There are now 20 investment companies that are dividend heroes, having increased their annual dividends for 20 years in a row.
On Thursday last week, Henderson Smaller Companies announced its final dividend, bringing total dividends for the year to 26.0p a share, an 8.3% increase on last year. This was the company’s 20th consecutive year of dividend increases.
Other new joiners to the dividend heroes club this year are Athelney Trust, which became a dividend hero in February, and BlackRock Smaller Companies, which joined the list in May.
The full list of dividend heroes, compiled by theAssociation of Investment Companies (AIC), can be found below. Nine of the 20 dividend heroes have increased their dividends for 50 or more consecutive years, including JPMorgan Claverhouse and Murray Income Trust, which both reached the 50-year milestone this year.
Investment companies are able to hold back up to 15% of the income they receive in any given year and hold it in a revenue reserve for distribution in future years. This enables investment companies to smooth dividends through time.
Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “Congratulations to the three investment companies that have achieved dividend hero status this year. It’s a real achievement to consistently increase dividend payments to shareholders for 20 years or more.
“It’s interesting to see that all three new entrants to the dividend heroes list this year are in the UK Smaller Companies sector. Smaller companies are often associated with growth rather than income, but these three investment companies show that they can also provide consistently growing dividends.
“It’s important to remember that dividends are never guaranteed, and if you’re in doubt about whether investment companies are suitable for you, you should speak to an independent financial adviser.”