Do Hedge Funds Pay Dividends? It Depends…

Do Hedge Funds Pay Dividends?

There are so many different hedge fund companies it can take a lot of work to understand the payment structure for each investment company. There isn’t one way to tell how often a fund will pay investors. As an investor, you will have to research each firm you are interested in. Some firms will pay their investors on a set schedule which may only be quarterly, once a year, or even every other year. That said, do hedge funds pay dividends?

Some hedge funds pay dividends, but not all of them. It all depends on the underlying securities that a management firm invests in and the firm’s particular strategy. Even if a fund receives dividends from the investments they hold, they may not pass those on to investors. To understand why a hedge fund may not pay dividends, you have to understand how these firms work.

How Hedge Funds Make Money

Hedge funds operate as a relationship between asset managers and investors. Investing managers often have a significant stake in their own firm to instill trust in investors. Investors pay a hedge fund using what is called a 2 and 20 fee. This means an investor will pay a 2% fee proportional to their investment. If a fund hits a certain performance checkmark in a year, fund managers may also be able to collect a 20% fee, also known as a performance incentive.

Because of the 20% performance incentive, some hedge funds may reinvest dividend payments to increase the overall profitability of a fund. Hedge funds can participate in a variety of investment strategies and so it will depend on the specific fund and the type of account that you have.

If your fund’s investing strategies involve a dividend-based model, then you may receive some money from the firm. However, the dividends that are controlled by your investment company are different than a dividend that you would receive from owning a stock.

Dividend Investment Strategies

If you invest on your own, without the help of a hedge fund company, then you may know that dividends are typically paid on a quarterly basis. If you are a shareholder you will be paid dividends just for holding stock. You are paid on a set schedule as long as you hold the asset before the ex-dividend date.

Divided focused investors may consider investing in companies because they offer a high dividend. The amount a company pays in dividends is expressed as dividend yield and is a percentage of the price of a single share. For example, one famously high dividend-paying stock is AT&T, which at the time of this article is currently offering a 7.19% dividend.

Investors can either make money by holding a dividend for a long time, but there are also dividend stripping strategies. Investors will purchase an asset with the intention of harvesting the dividend and then selling when the stock price increases as investors anticipate dividend payouts. Dividend stripping is often practiced by institutional investors.

Capital Appreciation

The other main way that people make money from stocks and investments is by the increase in value on the underlying asset. If an investor sells an asset for more than they bought it for, they are able to realize gains. By far, this is the most common way for investors to make money from stocks. It is often more lucrative to wait for an asset to appreciate than to make money from dividends.

Dividends and Hedge Funds

If we understand the difference between capital appreciation and dividend strategies, then we can better understand how they interact with hedge funds. Well as easy as it would be to tell you, yes, all hedge funds pay dividends, it isn’t that simple. Sometimes hedge funds will pay dividends, sometimes they won’t. The overall goal of a hedge fund is to make money, and if the hedge fund makes money from dividends, that will go into the overall profit of the fund for the year.

Hedge funds are structured in different ways. So even if you have a hedge fund that pays dividends, it won’t be operating with a dividend-based strategy. Dividends will be calculated as a percentage of the overall yield of the hedge fund.

Different hedge funds will provide better and more stable dividends. If you are interested in getting dividends, then you should find a company that is paying out consistently. Another thing that dividend based investors worry about is whether a dividend is stable. A lot of high paying dividends will sacrifice stability. When dividends are stable, they are often lower, and they can thereby grow year over year with conservative management.

What Are Dividend Aristocrats

Dividend aristocrats are dividends that have grown consistently for many years. Some of the longest dividend aristocrats have had steady growth for more than 50 years. These kinds of consistent returns provide mean that investors can be confident in their returns.

Growing a Portfolio from Dividends

There is a lot of disagreement on the best ways to make money from investments. Dividends are a solid way to build momentum in a portfolio. A lot of market experts don’t like dividend investing because it can be short sited. If you are early in your career, or if you are planning to invest for many years, then it may be better to forego dividend-paying stocks and invest in stocks that are more likely to have serious growth.

When investing in high dividend-dividend paying stocks you may see only meager long-term gains. You are being paid upfront rather than waiting for bigger returns later. While it does feel nice to be paid every so often by a company for just owning a stock, you may not be making the best financial decision. There are also downsides for a company that is foregoing growth in order to maintain a dividend.

There is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to growing a business. At some point, it becomes less profitable for a company to put its capital into an expense like advertising or product development. It makes sense that there is only so much money to be made depending on market exposure.

These diminishing returns where the place dividends came from initially. If a company was not making money from reinvesting, then they could try to do something more productive with their extra cash. Dividends are an easy way for companies to attract and please investors. Some companies will outweigh the value of pleasing investors to growing their business.

Sometimes the best decision is to stop growing a dividend and to put that money back into a company. This is especially the case during economic downturns. During the COVID Pandemic, we saw many airlines, such as Delta, stop paying dividends to slow their burn rate. \

All of this is to say that dividends aren’t always going to make you money. If a company grows by 20% in one year, then that is a much more significant return than even the highest paying dividends return. On top of that, stocks have their most significant gains in short periods of time. If you are reinvesting your dividends into stocks, you have better chances of good gains.

Dividends for Passive Income

A lot of investors who want to make money on the stock market passively, perhaps to maintain a lifestyle or retire early, will use dividends to sustain themselves and pay recurring expenses. Dividends that are consistent and from companies that have long histories of growth are ideal for this.

Hedge funds aren’t going to pay out dividends normally because they need to include those gains in their bottom lines. A lot of asset managers want to meet certain performance benchmarks because it unlocks the possibilities for bonuses. The bonuses can mean huge paydays, some of the largest hedge fund managers are able to earn millions from these payouts.

Should I Use A Hedge Fund to Get Dividends?

Hedge funds are probably not the best way to be paid dividends. There are enough index funds and ETFs out there that will provide you with the same kinds of financial gains while not costing nearly as much as a hedge fund. You can, for example, buy the VYM fund, or the popular, but sometimes underperforming, SPHD ETF that pays out monthly. These kinds of funds often only have a nominal fee and they offer the kind of dividend growth you’re after.

Benefits to Dividend Investing

  • You will get a consistent income that can help to pay recurring expenses.
  • Great for people who want to work less
  • Dividends can be especially helpful for people on a fixed income or who want to increase their income in retirement.

Risks to Dividend Investing

  • You might not make as much as you would with growth-oriented stocks
  • You may need to pay attention to how often dividends increase or decrease
  • You’ll need to evaluate the stability of dividends

Hedge funds don’t always pay dividends. Some hedge funds will, but you are often better off just buying a dividend-focused ETF or index fund.

Related Posts

  1. What is a Hedge Fund?
  2. Why Do Hedge Funds Exist?
  3. Why Do Hedge Fund Managers Make So Much Money?
  4. How Do Hedge Funds Make Money?
  5. Are Hedge Funds Regulated?
  6. Risks and Rewards of Investing in Hedge Funds
  7. How to Get a Job at a Hedge Fund
  8. How Can I Invest in a Hedge Fund?
  9. How to Start a Hedge Fund


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