You may have noticed that the market cycle has changed along with the Fed’s monetary policy shift to fight inflation. In a bull market, it pays to focus on capturing return. Bull markets are typically built and become wholly dependent on the Fed maintaining an accommodative monetary policy. Growth, momentum, and tech stocks typically do very well during bull markets.
Focus on Protecting Capital
In a negative market cycle, it pays to shift your primary focus to protecting capital. Historically, the beginning of the year provides strong positive performance – but not this year. The broad market S&P Dow Jones Indices all delivered negative returns in Q1 of 2022.
With inflation soaring and the Fed way behind the curve on interest rate hikes, they will likely stomp on the proverbial brakes to slow the economy and inflation. When the Fed moves into this type of posture, they have caused a recession about 75% of the time. And recessions typically lead to bear markets. Dividend-paying stocks, especially high-quality and high-yielding dividend-paying stocks, are defensive but can also provide positive returns when the rest of the stock market falters. When we dig a little deeper into groups of stocks using factor-based analysis, we can see the outperformance so far this year for dividend stocks versus all other segments of the market, with the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend factor index leading the way.
At WBI, we specialize in dividend investing because we like the consistent return from dividend payments that are not dependent on market price movements. In declining markets, this source of positive return provides income that can be reinvested to improve compounding or used to support lifestyle expenses in retirement. As companies increase dividend payouts, the additional income provides an important inflation-fighting component to your portfolio. During negative market cycles, dividend stocks can help you play defense because they typically decline less in bear markets than growth stocks.
Our Power Factor®️security selection models are designed to help us find the highest quality high-yielding dividend-paying stocks to deploy on behalf of our clients. We offer dividend strategies that stay fully invested and rebalance quarterly to maintain high quality and yield. And for conservative investors, we offer more actively risk-managed strategies using the same security selection process, but add our Cash Hedge ProTM system that seeks capital protection.
Dividend Stock Super Cycle
The Fed’s shift to fight inflation is a clear signal to us that markets are entering into a “Dividend Stock Super Cycle”. We believe smart investors will stop chasing returns in growth stocks when that opportunity is mostly behind us. Instead, they will position their portfolios for the road ahead that will be paved with dividends.
All investing involves risk, including the loss of principal. There is no guarantee that investment objectives will be attained. Results may vary. There is no guarantee that risk can be managed successfully. Dividends are not guaranteed, are at the discretion of companies, and can stop at any time.