Rising Dividend Portfolio

Separately Managed Account

This portfolio seeks quality, large-cap companies with rising dividends at reasonable valuations. A quality company should have low debt, stable cash flow, and productive assets. We generally look for firms with five or more consecutive calendar years of dividend increases. Moreover, we attempt to buy these quality companies without paying premium prices.

Quality

The watchword for the WCA Rising Dividend Portfolio strategy is quality. We look for resilient, conservatively-financed businesses with a competitive advantage. Academic studies show that quality is one of the few market anomalies that tend to persist over time.

Steadily Rising Dividends

Eligible companies must have demonstrated at least five consecutive years of dividend increases. Failure to raise the dividend is grounds for removal from the portfolio. Yet, we do not see a rising dividend as an end in itself, as much as a means to find quality. Thus, dividend growth rather than dividend yield is most important to us.

Value

Quality endures and we seek to buy it at a reasonable price. We use a proprietary valuation process using leading-edge techniques.

Style Considerations

We seek solid risk-adjusted returns and income growth, but no strategy outperforms in all markets. Quality styles tend to perform better in flat to down markets, but lag in strong bull markets. Because the strategy avoids high debt and volatile earnings, performance can differ substantially from traditional value strategies.


Recession or Booming?
The economy is either in recession or booming. This is what the headlines are telling us each week. So, against this muddled stream of seemingly conflicting and contradictory information, we look for signs regarding which way we are headed. Consider the following evidence for the “recession” case and the “boom” …
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When Going Gets Tough: Quality or Yield?
Where do you want to be invested when faced with the prospect of a bear market? Some say that high dividend yields provide protection when stocks fall. This implies that since the yield rises as the stock price declines, new buyers will be attracted as the price drops. Such buyers …
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Beta, Revisited
With the U.S. stock market near highs, we look at the role “beta” plays in portfolios and why we favor combining “beta” with fundamentals. We find that 1) the pandemic era brought a rise in average “betas”, and 2) that “betas” behave differently based on fundamental quality.
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Putting Dividend Growth to the Test
The pandemic provides a test for our crucial proposition that dividend growth points to quality. We look at recent evidence since the pandemic’s beginning to test this proposition. We find great similarity in performance of dividend growers and high quality on the one hand, and dividend cutters and low quality …
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Risk in Portfolio Management
There is more risk in the world than most people realize, and it is often inadequately measured. Here we look at how we measure risk and how quality can help address both volatility and unwanted surprises.
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Basic Math
Investing is not just about creating high returns but consistent returns. Therefore, we must contemplate how to address risk well in advance of demanding markets. This commentary addresses how some basic math can help explain the value of investing in high quality.
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Disclosures