Thought Leadership

S&P 500 Paid Record Dividends of $485bn Last Year

In 2019 the S&P 500 constituents paid record dividends of $485bn[1]. This record payout to shareholders is thanks to a 6.4% dividend growth rate from the year prior. Strong dividend growth can act as a great proxy for quality, as well as provide insight to management’s view on the long-term earnings power of a company. In a time of lower interest rates and investors that are reaching for yield, we have seen many turn to the equity market to supplement income.

For many, the current yield of a dividend paying security makes up a large part of the equation. At Bristol Gate, however, we have decided to ask a different question. Our investment process looks to identify the highest dividend growers at the highest quality. While a growth rate of 6.4% last year is nothing to overlook, we can’t help but think what the outcome would have been for shareholders if they experienced a dividend growth rate of over 3 times that of the market. For the last 10 years our Bristol Gate US Equity Portfolio has provided an annualized dividend growth rate of 20.4%.


Source: Wall Street Journal – January 10, 2020


This is presented for illustrative and discussion purposes only. It should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities and it does not consider unique objectives, constraints, or financial needs of the individual. Under no circumstances does this piece suggest that you should time the market in any way or make investment decisions based on the content. Investors are advised that their investments are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated. References to specific securities are presented to illustrate the application of our investment philosophy only, do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for the portfolio, and it should not be assumed that investments in the securities identified were or will be profitable and should not be considered recommendations by Bristol Gate Capital Partners Inc. The information contained in this piece is the opinion of Bristol Gate Capital Partners Inc. and/or its employees as of the date of the piece and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in this piece at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and Bristol Gate Capital Partners Inc. accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. We strongly recommend you consult with a financial advisor prior to making any investment decisions. Please refer to the Legal section of Bristol Gate’s website for additional information at

News & Insights


Learn about News, Events and how we are using Data Science to eliminate human bias.