What is Dividend Frequency?

Dividends are paid at certain intervals by companies who pay them. This might be quarterly, annually, or semi-annually.

The dividend rate that investors should keep up with is the annualized amount, but there is a lot to be said for quarterly or monthly payments, particularly for those actually using dividends as income, but even if you are just reinvesting. Higher dividend payment frequency means higher liquidity, more control, and probably higher returns in your portfolio.

If you’re reinvesting dividends at regular monthly or quarterly intervals, you also have a higher chance of getting a better share price than if you only did so annually, due to the logic behind dollar cost averaging. For people who are using the dividends for income purposes, higher-frequency dividends will of course give the individual a higher degree of liquidity.

On the other hand, budgeting can be more certain with annual dividends, since there is a chance that a quarterly dividend will change unexpectedly. The yield on dividends is an annualized number, of course, so the frequency of dividends will not affect the yield.