Apple Stock Reaches a Milestone

Apple stock reached a symbolic milestone last week as the total value of all the company’s stock—its “market capitalization”—surpassed $700 billion for the first time. Some analysts are now speculating that the company could grow to become worth over $1 trillion. These numbers are gaudy, and they reflect the fact that Apple’s business has been booming. But they may distract from what Apple shareholders should really focus on, which is the stock’s total return.

Topics: Blog Dividends Apple

Are More Share Buybacks a Good Sign?

Share buybacks—companies using cash to buy stock in their own company—are becoming a more common way for American corporations to spend their money. In the first quarter of 2014 share buybacks from the largest US companies increased by 50% relative to the first quarter of last year, according to analysts at FactSet. Is such an increase a good sign or a bad sign for investors? The answer (perhaps unsurprisingly) is “it depends”.

Topics: Blog Stock Market Dividends Buybacks

Why Dividends Matter

In a recent post we discussed how taking a total return approach to investing can have benefits relative to focusing on dividends when trying to generate income from your portfolio. Does that mean dividends (and the numerous funds and commentators who focus on them) are irrelevant? Not exactly.

Topics: Blog Stock Market Dividends

Meeting Your Income Needs with a Total Return Approach

If you need to generate income from your investment portfolio to pay for expenses, the process of selecting investments can seem a lot more complicated. Since almost all bonds, many stocks, and some alternative investments provide periodic income in the form of interest or dividends, almost any portfolio will generate some cash. But in the current low interest rate environment, there aren’t many investments that yield more than a few percentage points.

Topics: Blog Dividends Total Return Diversification Income Wealth Management