Biggest Dividend

History of Dividends


Companies that earn a profit can do one of three things: pay that profit out to shareholders, reinvest it in the business through expansion, debt reduction or share repurchases, or both. When a portion of the profit is paid out to shareholders, the payment is known as a dividend.

During the first part of the twentieth century, dividends were the primary reason investors purchased stock. It was literally said on Wall Street, “the purpose of a company is to pay dividends”. Today, the investor’s view is a bit more refined; it could be stated, instead, as, “the purpose of a company is to increase my wealth.” Indeed, today’s investor looks to dividends and capital gains as a source of increase.

Microsoft, for example, did not pay a dividend until it had already become a $350 billion company, long after making the company’s founders and long-term shareholders multi-millionaires or billionaires.

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