# How to Use a Dividend Calculator for Effective Investment Planning

When investing in stocks, many tend to focus only on capital appreciation. However, there are other ways to get returns from your stock investments, such as from dividends. Dividends are a form of passive income that some fundamentally strong and profitable companies distribute periodically to their shareholders.

If you are planning to invest in dividend stocks, it is crucial to be aware of the dividend you are likely to receive since it can help simplify your investment planning.

In this article, we are going to briefly explore the concept of dividends and get into the intricate details of a dividend calculator, including how to use one and the various ways in which it can help you plan your investments better.

## What is a Dividend?

When you purchase the shares of a company, you essentially become one of its shareholders. As a shareholder, you are entitled to certain rights, which include the right to vote on certain business decisions in general meetings and the right to a share in the company’s profits.

When some companies generate profits through their business activities, they choose to distribute a portion of it to their shareholders. Such profit distributions to shareholders are termed dividends.

The decision to distribute dividends to the shareholders is taken by the company’s Board of Directors, who also decide on the dividend income each share is entitled to and the date of distribution.

Here is a hypothetical example to help you understand the concept of dividends. Assume there is a company called ABC Limited. The company is in the business of manufacturing toys. Thanks to a stellar year, the company generated a healthy profit of Rs. 2 crore. The Board of Directors of ABC Limited plans to distribute half of the profits (Rs. 1 crore) as dividends to their shareholders. They announce a dividend of Rs. 5 per equity share.

You are one of the shareholders of ABC Limited and are currently holding 100 shares, making you eligible to receive a dividend of Rs. 500 (Rs. 5 x 100 shares).

## What is a Dividend Calculator and How to Use One?

Dividends are a major source of passive income that can either be used to supplement your primary income source or reinvested into the company to boost your investment’s returns. Calculating the dividend income you are eligible to receive is very important, especially if you intend to hold your investments for the long term. Here is where a dividend calculator can help.

A dividend calculator is one of the many important financial calculators for an investor. It is a dedicated tool that can estimate the amount of dividend you are likely to receive from a company you have invested in.

Using a dividend calculator is quite straightforward. Here is a step-by-step overview of the process you need to follow.

• Step 1: Select a dividend calculator of your choice. Samco Securities offers a simple and user-friendly calculator that can instantly display the dividend you are entitled to receive.
• Step 2: Specify the total number of shares you own in your demat account.
• Step 3: Enter the dividend rate as announced by the company. Usually, the rate of dividends is expressed on a per-share basis.

That’s it. Once all of the required details are entered, the calculator should display the amount of dividend you would receive.

A dividend calculator is an invaluable tool for investors. It can provide you with crucial insights that can help you plan your investments strategically. Here are some of the many ways in which the tool can enhance investment planning:

• ### Helps Determine the Income from Your Investments

A dividend calculator helps you accurately determine the income you are eligible to receive from your stock investments. That’s not all. By inputting an estimated dividend rate, you can use the tool to project future earnings from their investments over multiple time periods of your choice.

By clearly showcasing how much income will be generated over the selected period, the calculator helps you accurately gauge the long-term benefits of your investment choices. This information can be crucial, especially if you are someone who relies on dividends for regular income or if you want to generate steady passive income to supplement your primary income source.

• ### Enables Comparison of Different Scenarios

With a dividend calculator, you can easily compare different investment scenarios. For example, by manipulating the number of shares you own, you can quickly evaluate just how a higher initial investment would have affected your returns. By adjusting the variables, you can quickly assess various possibilities and choose the strategy that best aligns with your investment objectives.

Additionally, you can also compare the dividend income you would earn from your stock investment with the returns from other market-linked and non-market-linked investment opportunities. Such comparisons allow you to plan your investments better by giving you the insights you need to pick the right investment option.

• ### Assists in Evaluating Companies

A dividend calculator makes assessing the valuation and attractiveness of a company a lot easier. For instance, you can determine just how accurately the market values a company by comparing its dividend yield with its current market price.

Companies with a high dividend yield relative to their stock price could potentially be undervalued by the market. Undervalued stocks usually tend to appreciate in the long run and make for good investment candidates.

On the other hand, companies with a low dividend yield relative to their stock price could indicate overvaluation. Such overvalued stocks are likely to undergo a market correction in the future.

Furthermore, you can also use the calculator to gain insights into the financial health of a company. For example, you can calculate the dividends a company distributes over a certain period of time and compare them. If you find that the dividend income being distributed is increasing and consistent, it could be indicative of a financially healthy company with good management at the helm.

• ### Enables Comparison of Different Stocks

Not all dividend stocks distribute profits at the same rate. This makes choosing between multiple stocks a lot more challenging. With a dividend calculator, you can make investment planning easier by comparing the potential returns of different stocks. Such comparisons are crucial in identifying which stocks are likely to provide better returns in the long run.

One of the many advantages of comparing stocks based on their dividend payment ability is that it allows for cross-sector comparisons. For example, you can compare a stock from the infrastructure sector with a stock from the information technology sector to determine which of the two is ideal for long-term wealth creation.

• ### Provides an Accurate Assessment of Risk

Although dividend stocks are often considered to be financially stable and less volatile, they still carry certain risks. As an investor, it is important to analyse the various risks to ensure that you properly account for them before investing.

With a dividend calculator, you can assess the risk associated with a stock. For example, when projecting future dividend income, you can use a more conservative estimate for dividend growth or consider scenarios where dividends are cut. This allows you to build a more resilient portfolio by keeping you prepared for less favourable outcomes.

• ### Helps Visualise Growth

Once you get an estimate of the dividend income you are likely to receive from a company using a dividend calculator, you can create a scenario where you reinvest the dividends.

Reinvesting dividends involves using the income to purchase additional shares in the company, which can end up generating more dividends. When you continue reinvesting dividends over a long period, this compounding effect can significantly enhance your overall returns.

Visualising the power of compound growth through dividend reinvestment is easier with a dividend calculator. Some versions of the tool can even display the difference between receiving dividends as cash and reinvesting them, helping you make an informed decision based on your financial goals.

## What is Dividend Yield?

When investing in dividend stocks, it is natural for you to focus on the amount you are likely to receive. Although this is important, another equally crucial aspect you must pay attention to is the dividend yield.

The dividend yield is a financial ratio that shows just how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its stock price. The higher the dividend yield is, the more the company pays out as dividends compared to its stock price. It is typically expressed as a percentage and is calculated using this formula:

Dividend Yield = (Annual Dividends Per Share ÷ Current Stock Price) x 100

Here is a hypothetical example to help you understand how dividend yield can be computed for a stock. Assume there is a company called XYZ Limited that issues dividends twice during a financial year. The first time the company issued a dividend of Rs. 3 per share. The second time, the company issued a dividend of Rs. 5 per share. The company’s current stock price is Rs. 988 per share. In this case, the dividend yield of XYZ Limited would be as follows:

Dividend Yield of XYZ Limited = 0.8% {[(Rs. 3 + Rs. 5) ÷ Rs. 988] x 100}

## Why is Dividend Yield Important?

Drawing conclusions simply based on the dividend a company declares can lead to suboptimal investment decisions. Here is a hypothetical example to help you understand why dividend yield is an important factor you must consider when evaluating dividend stocks.

Assume there are two companies: ABC Limited and XYZ Limited. ABC Limited declares an annual dividend of Rs. 5 per share, whereas XYZ Limited declares an annual dividend of Rs. 8 per share.

At the outset, among the two dividend stocks, XYZ Limited looks to be the more attractive investment option since it offers a dividend of Rs. 8 per share. But let us consider this.

Although ABC Limited declared an annual dividend of just Rs. 5 per share, its current market price is just Rs. 480 per share. This essentially means that the company’s dividend yield is 1.04% [(Rs. 5 ÷ Rs. 480) x 100]. The dividend yield of XYZ Limited, meanwhile, is 0.8%.

Now, ABC Limited looks to be the more attractive investment option among the two dividend stocks. This is simply because the company has a better dividend yield among the two.

Although XYZ Limited declared an annual dividend of Rs. 8 per share, the amount of the dividend amounts to just 0.8% of its current market price. Furthermore, to earn Rs. 8 per share as a dividend, you need to invest Rs. 988, which increases your initial capital outlay.

Compare this with ABC Limited, where, although the dividend is just Rs. 5 per share, it amounts to 1.04% of its current market price. Furthermore, to earn Rs. 5 per share as a dividend, you only need to invest Rs. 480 per share.

Therefore, the dividend yield is a very important metric that you must consider when assessing dividend stocks. It gives you nuanced insights into a company, helps you compare different stocks, and makes the assessment of the sustainability of dividend payments easier.

## Conclusion

The dividend calculator is one of the most important financial planning tools that you must use when investing. Apart from enabling you to quickly estimate the amount of dividend you would receive from your stock investments, the tool can also significantly enhance investment planning.

That said, it is important to remember that the amount of dividends and the yield are not the only factors you must consider when evaluating dividend stocks. You must also take into account other aspects such as the overall financial health of the company, the sustainability of its dividends, the dividend growth rate, and the payout ratio. This way, you can make well-informed decisions that are in line with your goals and risk profile.

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