We are driven by a simple philosophy: Dividend growth is the dominant force driving long-term outperformance.
Whether you are in the accumulation phase of your pension, enjoying retirement, or whether you are a charity or a foundation, saving for the long term is essential. Once you embrace this mindset, understanding the factors that drive long-term returns becomes crucial.
We invest in companies that we believe will consistently make more money over time. Our goal is to find businesses whose profits can double, triple, or better. Share prices might not always reflect this growth in the short term, but over time, this steady business growth will be the core of total return.
Why dividend growth?
Dividends are the most reliable and least volatile component of long-term total return. Not only the dividend paid as income, but more significantly, the growth in that payment year on year.
To grow dividends consistently requires companies to deliver growing revenues, growing profits, high free cash-flow and high reinvestment rates.
Dividends have the following positive attributes:
- They are physical payments aligning the board with the shareholders
- They are inherently conservative and will only be cut in extreme circumstances
- They are reflective of the past and the future
- They are a sign of prudent cash management
These are all characteristics of good corporate governance.
Our guiding principle:
Where dividends grow,
share prices follow.
Where dividends grow, share prices follow:
The chart above is an analysis of the components of global equity total return, over short and long term periods spanning from 1994 to 2016.
The findings reveal that during individual annual periods, approximately half of the total return can be attributed to the fundamentals, expressed by the combination of dividend yield and growth. The remaining portion is attributed to changes in valuation, which tend to garner more attention in news headlines.
However, a notable shift occurs over ten-year periods. Dividends dominate, comprising 80% of the total return. This demonstrates the link between dividends and total return – where dividends grow, share prices follow.
Our investment philosophy is based on selecting companies that consistently deliver higher than market dividend growth, and having the patience to hold them.
Based in Edinburgh, we manage assets for professional clients around the world.
Since its inception in 2010, our firm has had a threefold approach:
- We align ourselves with our clients by personally investing alongside them
- Our exclusive focus is on investing in companies with robust dividend growth
- Our partnership structure allows for a seamless transfer of responsibilities to ensure enduring success
Our process is framed by in-house research and a generalist approach.
Why in-house research?
Engaging in independent research empowers our team to uncover valuable insights and connections for better investment opportunities. Leveraging readily available financial and ESG metrics, as well as company and industry materials, we conduct our own analysis. This fosters critical thinking, free from external bias.
All research is stored in our central library, housing over a decade’s worth of insights. This serves as a valuable resource, guiding our decision-making with a wealth of collective knowledge and experience.
As generalists, we do not focus on any specific country, industry, or company. Rather, our team looks at different areas of the market together. This allows us to mitigate our personal biases, which can cloud judgment and sway decisions.
Through open dialogue and challenge, we keep things objective, balanced and minimise the risk of relying on any one individual.
In addition, as generalists we identify links between various companies and industries. Recognising and understanding the factors that affect multiple companies helps the team discover better investment prospects.
As co-investors, you can be sure that every stock in your portfolio has been thoroughly researched and challenged.