By Frank Holmes via Iris.xyz
The current stock bull market, already the longest in U.S. history, turns 10 years old this month.
It’s been a phenomenally profitable time to participate, especially if you’ve stuck to an investment strategy that favors dividend-paying stocks.
As you can see in the chart below, the amount of cash that S&P 500 Index companies have returned to shareholders has grown each year since 2009. In the final three months of 2018 alone, S&P companies paid out $119.8 billion, a quarterly record. Total dividends for the full year stood at $456.3 billion, up 9 percent from the previous year—another new record.
Thanks to corporate tax reform, stock buybacks also shot up to an all-time high of more than $800 billion in 2018. For the first time since 2008, this amount topped what S&P companies spent to replace or upgrade offices and equipment.
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