These are contradictory statements, yes, but these are also the times in which we’re living. As interest rates drift ever lower, yield-hungry investors
have been scrambling for cash flow. The stock market is about the only place to find it, which means taking on risk that may be beyond many people’s
Portfolio balance is one way to reduce that risk. Keep some of your money in bond funds and cash to cushion the blow if stocks pull back. And when you’re
considering which stocks to buy, focus on companies with the potential to increase dividends/distributions on a regular basis, not on those with the
highest current yield. Here are six to consider from the Recommended Lists of my Internet Wealth Builder and Income Investor
Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB).
Enbridge has a long history of annual dividend increases, but it has recently stepped up the pace. The 2015 increase was an eye-popping 33%, to $1.86 per
share annually. The company followed that up with a 14% boost at the start of 2016, to $2.12 per share. Management says the dividend will go up 15% when the deal to acquire Spectra Energy of Houston closes in 2017 and by 10% to 12% annually thereafter through 2024.
TransCanada Inc. (TSX: TRP).
Pipeline companies are usually good dividend growers, and TransCanada is no exception. The company has increased its dividend every year since 2000 and is
planning to continue the hikes at a rate of between 8% and 10% annually until the end of 2020. The current rate is $0.565 per quarter ($2.26 per year).
Brookfield Infrastructure Limited Partnership (TSX: BIP.UN). This Bermuda-based LP is a spinoff from Brookfield Asset Management. It invests in infrastructure assets around the world, mainly in North and South
America, Australia, and Britain. The partnership has a policy of paying out between 60% and 70% of its funds from operations in the form of shareholder
distributions, with a target annual distribution growth of between 5% and 9%. The 2016 increase was 7.5%, to US$0.57 per quarter (US$2.28 per year).
Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (TSX: BEP.UN). This is another Bermuda-based Brookfield spinoff. In this case, the assets in the portfolio are renewable energy facilities, mainly hydroelectricity but
with some wind farms. Its policy is to distribute 70% of its funds from operations to unitholders, with a target range for annual increases of between 5%
and 9%. This year’s hike was 7%, to US$0.445 per unit (US$1.78 annually).
Telus Corp. (TSX: T). Telecommunications companies are another good source for finding above-average dividend growth potential. Vancouver-based Telus has announced its
intention to target ongoing semi-annual dividend increases from 2017 through to the end of 2019. The total annual increase will be in the range of 7% to
10%. The company increased its dividend by 5% in July 2015, by 4.8% in January, and by a further 4.5% this past July. The quarterly dividend is now $0.46
per share ($1.84 annually). That’s up by 15% since the start of 2015.
Canadian REIT (TSX: REF.UN). Some REITs can be quite stingy when it comes to growing their distributions. RioCan REIT falls into that group, as does Crombie REIT. But a few have a
strong record of distribution hikes and one of them is Canadian REIT. It has raised its distribution six times since March 2012, for a total increase over
that period of just over 27%. The current rate stands at $0.1525 per month ($1.83 per year).
Although these are proven dividend growers and most of these companies have established targets for annual increases, nothing is guaranteed. A reversal in
company fortunes could force the directors to eliminate future increases or even cut the dividend in extreme circumstances. I don’t regard that as likely
in any of these cases but a prolonged downturn in the economy could change the situation.
Also, keep in mind that yield-hungry buyers have bid up the prices on these stocks in recent months, to the point when most are trading at near record
highs. Conservative investors may wish to wait for a market correction before taking new positions or adding to existing ones.
is one of Canada’s best-known personal finance commentators and investment experts. He is the publisher of
The Internet Wealth Builder and The Income Investor newsletter, which are available through the Building Wealth website.
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Notes and Disclaimer
© 2016 by The Fund Library. All rights reserved.
The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. Securities mentioned carry risk of loss, and no guarantee of
performance is made or implied. This information is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment,
financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.