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.


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.


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.

Dividend Growth for the Long Term
Buy quality stocks that increase dividends regularly. This simple strategy takes a long-term view of investing and focuses on the dividend, not the stock price. Passive income generated from dividend growth has two main benefits. First, it focuses your investment strategy on cash-generating, growing companies. Second, it tends to lead…
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Leverage and Quality
It is essential not to overlook critical assumptions. One of the most basic stock investing beliefs is that firms will continue to exist — firms do not live forever. Beginning as a start-up and ending in decline, firms undergo many changes over their lives. An idea becomes a business that…
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(More) Spending on the Way
President Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion Coronavirus aid package last week. New spending of $1.1 trillion is expected this year, with the remaining $0.8 trillion spread out over the coming years. The spending is on top of last year’s $3 trillion fiscal support program, sets up 15% annual…
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Quality First
There is lots of discussion about the return of speculation. Cryptocurrencies, message board short-squeezes, soaring penny stocks, “blank check” companies, and record issuance of risky debt dominate today’s headlines. It is hard to imagine that, just under a year ago, financial markets were in freefall. Greed replaced fear in the…
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Quality Over “Style”
For years, stock investors have fixated on “style,” which means investing in “growth” or “value.” “Value” in this context is usually defined as buying stocks with low price-to-book or low price-to-earnings ratios. Some are now rethinking the very foundations of this framework as the return to value indexes continues to…
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Dividends Are Front Page News
Today, The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page, above-the-fold article titled “Dividend Darlings Trail Stock Market Despite Pumped-Up Yields.” The authors point to underperformance by dividend payers within the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index, an equally weighted index consisting of all S&P 500 companies that have increased dividends every year…
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