Can We Consider Dividend Stocks as a Reliable Substitution of Bonds?

Dec 24, 2023 By Triston Martin

If you are seeking to make investments to generate income, you have a variety of alternatives available to you. Some of these possibilities include earnings securities and bonds. When the interest rates currently being offered drop, it is interesting to reinvest your money in dividend-paying stocks because these stocks could perhaps provide a greater yield. Although bonds and the substitution of bond investments have specific characteristics, they are not identical and should not be considered interchangeable investments. Both have their particular benefits and dangers, which you should carefully consider concerning your investing goals before making any financial commitments.

For the past few years, due to the low-interest rate environment, venture capitalists have been challenged to make investments. The yields on conventional investments like CDs, money market mutual funds, and securities are simply not high enough to satisfy these shareholders.

The merits of dividend-paying equities have been the subject of numerous newsletters and publications. There's no doubting the value of dividend-paying businesses and the collective investment schemes and ETFs that target those sectors. However, income-seeking investors should know that dividend-paying stocks are different from bonds. There are essential distinctions that financial planners owe to their clients to make clear.

Difference Between Dividend Stocks And Bonds

In the following section, we are going to discuss the contrast between dividend stock vs. bonds:

Non-Appealing Factors of Dividend Stocks

The allure of dividend-paying stocks cannot be overstated for retirees who aspire to derive a portion of monthly cash flows from the provision of organic forms of income. Even though bond rates have been rising over the previous several years, the rates on dividend-paying equities continue to be competitive.

However, the FTSE Dividend Growth Yield Indicator (which includes the top 50% of earnings in U.S. stocks) currently yields around 3%, which is on par with the rate of return. The S&P 500 pays out less than 2%. The dividends a company pays are discretionary, while the rate of return on a bond is what you see and get.

All investors, whether seeking income or not, would do well to include dividend-paying equities in their portfolios, as they have historically made up a sizable portion of the industry's return. It's a good sign that a company has the resources and integrity to distribute dividends to its shareholders.

Risky Situations

Dividend-paying equities remain stocks rather than bonds. While dividend stocks, in particular, would be less unpredictable than others, they are nonetheless vulnerable to the same market forces that affect the broader stock market. As an illustration, consider 2008. During that year, whereas the S&P 500 Index fell 37%, Barclay's Composite Bond Index increased by 5.24 percent.

Even though it suffered a smaller loss than the S&P 500, the VIG, referred to as Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF, also dropped by 26.63%. This exchange-traded fund emphasizes high-quality larger companies with a track record of increasing their dividends. In 2008, VYM, referred to as Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF, placed a greater emphasis on yield and saw a loss of 32.10%.

Even though both ETFs beat the S&P 500, deficits of this extent might be terrible for an investor focused on income, particularly one who is retired. Will bonds continue to behave in the context of higher interest rates in the future? Maybe so, but even when bond prices are at their lowest, their price movement has been significantly lower on average than that of share prices.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is another illustration of a misguided dependence on dividends. In 2014 m Midway through June, the price of their single share closed at approximately 104 dollars. The cost of a share of the company has dropped below $75 at the moment. So, if any person kept 100 shares throughout this period they must have seen a significant loss against their investment of around $2,900 while receiving a dividend payment of $499.

Preserving Investments

Suppose bond yields on money market mutual funds and CDs were between 4% and 6%. In that case, fixed-income traders could earn a respectable rate of return while still anticipating the preservation of a sizable portion of their initial investment and subsisting primarily on the interest.

A pension holder or other income-focused investors cannot manage to live off through this return and should not disturb their cash when money market prices are at zero as well as other products are at exceptionally low yields. Income-seeking investors must take on higher levels of risk. Options may include preferred shares, high-yield securities, some restricted funds, and equities that pay dividends.

Generally, the risk associated with such alternatives is higher than the conventional securities or money market products. Although low-interest rates influence the profits of certain unconsolidated investments, this option may also be considered.

Comparing the ROI to the Yield

Instead of concentrating on income, you may try increasing your portfolio's overall return. Return on investment considers both capital appreciation and dividends. Total return may be preferable to taking on even more investment portfolios in search of higher returns, particularly for retirees. Due to the increased life expectancy of today's retirees compared to previous generations, most will require investment growth of some kind to ensure they do not run out of money before they die. This strategy is sound even for those just starting in the investment world.

Upon retirement, one's portfolio might be divided and used for various purposes. The first chunk would cover current annual expenditure demands, plus perhaps another two to five years. This share of the portfolio is made up of liquid assets. Stocks that pay dividends and other vehicles that generate income and have moderate growth potential would make up the next section. Cash generated from this portfolio section might be used to restock the cash holdings. The final team of the portfolios might be dedicated to development. This would be a collection of stocks and other economical vehicles chosen to ensure that the portfolio's proprietor does not outlast their money.


Financial backers have had a rough go of it lately. Dividend stocks have been acknowledged as an alternative to conventional fixed-income vehicles by several media outlets and financial experts. Dividend payments are still equities and have higher risks than many fixed-income instruments, even if they do pay dividends. Clients seeking to find their way through this challenge might benefit from financial advisers by exploring alternative strategies that allow them to take just the level of risk acceptable to them.

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