I Have $100k to Invest. How Much Can I Make in Dividends?

A woman making a lot of money with dividends
A woman making a lot of money with dividends

Popular conceptions of investing involve trading company stock when its value appreciates. However, dividends allow you to profit from holding company stock without selling it. Dividends offer investors regular cash payouts from companies they’ve invested in, resulting in passive income. Whether you’re a seasoned investor seeking to optimize your portfolio or a newcomer curious about the power of dividends, here’s what you can expect to receive if you have $100k to invest. You may also want to discuss your strategy with a financial advisor to maximize your returns.

How Much Can You Make in Dividends with $100K?

Your earning potential with $100,000 in dividends depends on how well the companies you invest in perform and how they distribute dividends. One way to measure performance is through dividend yield. You can calculate dividend yield by dividing annual dividend payments by market price per share. For example, let’s say you received $100 in dividends last year. You held one share of stock worth $1,000. As a result, $100/$1,000 = 10%. So, the dividend yield means you would estimate a 10% return in dividends through your investment next year.

With this concept in mind, here’s a table demonstrating how your portfolio’s dividend yield increases your earning power with $100,000:

Portfolio Dividend Yield

Dividend Payments With $100K





















What Is a Portfolio Dividend Yield?

While the example above mentioned your dividend investment in one company, investors typically invest in numerous companies. This practice is known as diversification, meaning investors spread their money across a host of companies and industries. Diversification prevents you from putting all your eggs in one basket; instead, you give yourself exposure to many sectors, increasing your chances of success.

Diversifying your investments results in a portfolio of shares in various companies. Therefore, your portfolio dividend yield is the average dividend yield from all the stocks you hold. For instance, you split your $100,000 by investing $10,000 in one company and $1,000 in ninety more companies. Or, to allocate your investments evenly, you could invest $500 in 200 companies. Either way, you’ll have a stock portfolio earning dividends annually. You can track your earnings by calculating your overall portfolio dividend yield.

How to Calculate a Portfolio Dividend Yield

A woman excited to learn about how much she will make in dividends with her $100,000
A woman excited to learn about how much she will make in dividends with her $100,000

Calculating your portfolio yield is like calculating the dividend yield for one company. The difference is you take all your investments into account. For example, let’s say you have 10 investments of $10,000 each in various companies. The first five companies you invest in each provide a $500 dividend yield. The next two companies provide a $2,000 yield each. Another company provides a $3,000 yield and the last two companies fail to pay dividends at all.

Given these figures, your total annual dividend payout is $2,500+$4,000+$3,000=$9,500. Now, you divide this total by your investment amount of $100,000. So, $9,500/$100,000=9.5%. Therefore, your portfolio dividend yield is 9.5%.

How to Pick Dividend Stocks

Incorporating the following considerations into your investment strategy can help you select dividend stocks that contribute to a resilient portfolio. Remember that thorough research, diversification and periodic portfolio reviews are essential for successful dividend investing.

A financial advisor can help you determine appropriate investments for your goals. Get matched with a financial advisor today.

Plan for the Long Haul

When selecting dividend stocks for a strong portfolio, adopting a long-term perspective is essential. While purchasing a stock when it’s underpriced and selling it a few months later for a profit is a valid investment approach, dividend investing means holding the stock and receiving payments as the company thrives. Therefore, it’s best to buy stock in companies with strong fundamentals and a proven track record of weathering market fluctuations. Likewise, a history of consistent dividend payments and a commitment to maintaining or increasing dividends over time is crucial. Reliable dividends can contribute to stable returns and compound growth, especially when reinvested.

Look for Consistent Cash Flow

A company’s ability to pay dividends hinges on its consistent cash flow generation. Analyze the company’s financial statements to ensure its operating cash flow consistently covers dividend payments. Companies with diversified revenue streams, recurring business models and time-tested products or services are better suited to maintain stable cash flow, even during economic downturns. In turn, these companies can better sustain dividends over the long term.

Consider Debt-to-Equity Ratios

A company’s debt-to-equity ratio reflects the proportion of its debt to shareholder equity. Therefore, the number reflects financial health, indicating whether the company’s debt is too burdensome. A rule of thumb is to avoid companies with more than twice the debt of their equity. Companies with more debt than this will likely direct excess cash to pay down the debt than dividends. In addition, high debt levels can strain a company’s ability to survive tough economic times.

Evaluate the Company’s Position in the Industry

Companies succeed when they beat the competition. Therefore, a company at the forefront of its industry is better positioned to sustain dividends. Look for companies with long-term competitive advantages, such as widespread brand recognition, intellectual property or a large market share. Likewise, companies with a wide economic moat are more likely to withstand industry disruptions, regulatory shifts and economic challenges, ensuring their ability to continue dividend payments.

Rules for Successful Dividend Investing

The rules below will allow you to build a dividend-focused investment strategy that balances stability, growth and risk management, ultimately contributing to your portfolio’s long-term success.

1. Choose Reliable Companies

Companies with a history of consistent dividend payments, strong financials and a commitment to maintaining or growing dividends over time tend to offer more stable dividends. And companies that have raised dividends for the past 25 years or more have the “dividend aristocrat” status. These companies often have well-established operations, strong brand recognition and the ability to navigate economic cycles. Investing with them provides predictability regarding dividend payments. While newer companies might offer higher growth potential, they often come with increased risk.

2. Don’t Forget the Growth Potential

While stability is essential, it’s also crucial to consider the growth potential of dividend-paying stocks. Seek companies that operate in industries with long-term growth prospects. Companies with innovative products, expanding markets or opportunities for market share gains are more likely to experience both capital appreciation and dividend growth. In other words, a balance between stability and growth potential can enhance the overall performance of your dividend portfolio.

3. Prioritize the Payout Ratio

The payout ratio, which represents the proportion of earnings paid out as dividends, is a critical metric to monitor. A high payout ratio might indicate that a company is distributing too much of its earnings as dividends and could be unsustainable in the long term. This situation may seem counterintuitive, but companies must address essential expenses, such as operating costs and debt payments, to stay in business. Hefty dividend payments for a few quarters or a year may seem fantastic, but not at the cost of the company going under.

Conversely, a meager payout ratio can mean the investment isn’t worthwhile. Aim for a balanced payout ratio that leaves room for both dividend payments and reinvestment in the business.

4. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

As stated earlier, diversification is a fundamental principle of successful dividend investing. It may be tempting to dump your money into a few companies you’re excited about, but you could be setting yourself up for disaster if those companies or market sectors experience a downturn. On the other hand, spreading your investments across different sectors and industries reduces risk.

5. Adjust As You Go

Dividend investing requires understanding when to sit tight and when to cut your losses. Regularly review your holdings and assess whether the companies you’ve invested in continue to meet your criteria for quality and growth potential. If a company’s fundamentals deteriorate significantly, you can sell and reallocate your funds to more promising opportunities. Balancing loyalty to a company committed to maintaining a robust and resilient portfolio is key.

A financial advisor can help you plan your income streams and investments. Talk to a financial advisor today.

Bottom Line

A woman calculating how much she will make in dividends if she invests her $100,000
A woman calculating how much she will make in dividends if she invests her $100,000

The potential earnings from investing $100,000 in dividends can range above 7% when approached with a thoughtful and strategic investment strategy. By selecting quality dividend-paying stocks, focusing on established companies with growth potential and being mindful of factors like payout ratios, investors can aim to create a balanced and resilient portfolio. While the exact amount of dividends earned will vary based on market conditions and the specific stocks chosen, diligent research and a long-term perspective can contribute to building a robust income stream and capital appreciation over time.

Dividend Earning Tips

  • Dividends are an excellent income stream for retirement. As a form of passive income, your dividend investments can provide solid payments for the rest of your life. Here’s how to know how much you need to live off dividends.

  • Dividend investing requires similar knowledge as stock investing. Fortunately, a financial advisor can guide both. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

  • Keep an emergency fund on hand in case you run into unexpected expenses. An emergency fund should be liquid -- in an account that isn't at risk of significant fluctuation like the stock market. The tradeoff is that the value of liquid cash can be eroded by inflation. But a high-interest account allows you to earn compound interest. Compare savings accounts from these banks.

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