The theory is that you should use the dividend yield to see if a dividend stock is selling at a stock price that is relatively cheap. A stock price is considered cheap if it is selling at a dividend yield higher than the historical high yield or higher than the historical average yield. See my spreadsheet at dividend growth stocks that I just updated for March 2014.
I am showing whether a stock is relatively cheap based on historical high dividend yields (P/Hi), historical average dividend yields (P/Ave) or on 5 year median dividend yields (P/5Yr). See these fields on the right side of the file. You can highlight a particular stock using your cursor to highlight the appropriate line.
There are always some stocks to buy because they are priced reasonably. There are always stocks to currently avoid because they are overpriced. Looking at dividend growth stocks that are selling at stock prices that give them a dividend yield above the historical average dividend yield are probably the best bet.
The stocks that are selling at prices that give them a dividend yield above the historical high yield could be good stocks to buy. However, these stocks may be selling so cheap because of current troubles, especially financial troubles and should be treated with caution. Do not forget that I have all the stocks I follow on this spreadsheet and some are much better investments than others.
However, you should always investigate a stock before you buy. Sometimes different stocks in certain sectors are just out of favour or the stock market is just in one of its declines. However, a stock may be relatively cheap because it has problems. That is why you should always investigate a stock before buying.
Looking at stock this way is equivalent to a stock filter. A main problem I know of is for the old income trusts. They are generally lowered their dividend yields forever and they will probably never get back to the old dividend yield highs they made as an income trust company. For these stocks, you might be better comparing the current dividend yield to the 5 year median dividend yield.
Also, on some stocks I have a lot more information years in my spreadsheets than for other stocks. So, finding a stock on the list as "cheap" is only the first step in finding a stock to buy. This is the same with any other sort of stock filters that you can use.
The last thing to remember is that I have entering figures into a spreadsheet. I could put them in incorrectly, I can transpose figures and I can misread figures. This is another great reason why you should check a stock out before investing. As this is just a filter, it works better on some stocks than on others.
See my entry on my methodology in establishing the historical dividend yield highs and lows for the stocks that I cover. You might want to look at my original entry on Dividend Growth Stocks.
On my other blog I am today writing about Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX-REF.UN, OTC-CRXIF) ...continue...
This blog is meant for educational purposes only, and is not to provide investment advice. Before making any investment decision, you should always do your own research or consult an investment professional. See my site for an index to these blog entries and for stocks followed. Follow me on Twitter.