Having the stability to receive a dividend every month is great if you like to reinvest dividends or are looking for a dividend income stream to fund living expenses. To make this strategy most effective, you need stocks that pay their dividends in different months and for those stocks to have decent yields behind them. To get you started on your search, I've identified three bank stocks to provide you with a monthly dividend check.
January, April, July, and October
Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) is one of the largest banks in Canada, but the bank's presence can be felt well beyond Canada's borders. The bank owns roughly 42% of U.S. brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, although an agreement between the parties restricts TD Bank from owning more than 45% of TD Ameritrade.
TD Bank also moved into the U.S. auto market when it purchased Chrysler Financial from Cerberus Capital Management for $6.3 billion in 2010. This move should allow TD to grab a piece of the profits from the rebound in U.S. auto sales as customers look to finance their purchases.
On the dividend side, TD Bank pays a healthy 3.3% dividend that saw several increases over the past few years, as the bank continued to return profits to shareholders. For U.S. investors, Canada has a 15% dividend withholding tax, but a tax treaty makes shares held in an IRA or 401(k) generally exempt. But even if you have to pay the tax, you may be able to claim a foreign tax credit reducing your tax burden to the IRS.
February, May, August, November
If you're looking for big bank dividends, Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN) may be for you. Paying out a sizable 8.3% yield, this bank competes with investments of far higher risk.
Although Banco Santander is headquartered in Spain, the bank is well diversified across Europe, the United States, and Latin America. So even as the Spanish economy has slowed, Banco Santander has continued to generate profits and pay dividends to shareholders.
However, Banco Santander's strong dividend is also one of the risks facing the bank. While the current dividend runs roughly $0.80 per share per year, the bank is only expected to post earnings of $0.62 per share in 2014 and $0.75 per share in 2015. The cash side of this difference can be made up for in the short-term since much of the dividend is actually paid out in Banco Santander shares to shareholders that opt for the scrip dividend. But this pattern cannot continue forever. Over the long-term, the bank needs to increase its earnings to meet its dividend so whether or not the current dividend continues will largely be determined by macroeconomic conditions, especially in Europe, and how Banco Santander can respond.
Dividends from Spain are currently subject to a 21% dividend withholding tax, although U.S. investors may be able to claim a foreign tax credit with the IRS to soften the blow. For those who want to avoid the dividend withholding tax, the bank lets investors take additional shares instead of a cash dividend, which allows investors to avoid the tax.
March, June, September, December
Major American banks tend to trail healthy foreign peers in terms of dividend yield, but that doesn't mean investors should ignore opportunities at home. Among those with a decent yield is Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) at 2.7%.
But this dividend has the potential to go higher, as the bank is paying out only a little over a quarter of its earnings as dividends and has raised its dividend four times since 2012.
Although Wells Fargo has many more moving parts, the bank is well-known for its presence in the mortgage market. Now issuing over 20% of U.S. home loans, or about twice the market share from before the Wachovia acquisition, Wells Fargo has positioned itself for a mortgage and real estate rebound.
The bank also has the best track record among the four major U.S. banks when it comes to performance through the financial crisis and, like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo kept share dilution limited making a full share price recovery far easier. Although it's not wise to just look in the rearview mirror, the bank's performance through the crisis and strong current capital ratios set Wells Fargo up as one of the more conservative investments among U.S. banks.
Among those most bullish on Wells Fargo is Warren Buffett, who has over $23 billion, or 8.9% of Wells Fargo, in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio. Even though you may not be able to collect $650 million in annual Wells Fargo dividends like Buffett will at the current dividend rate, Wells Fargo is a good pick for a combination of income and capital appreciation.
Finding quality dividend-paying bank stocks can be tough following the financial crisis, but with the right selection, you can get a bank dividend every month. If you're looking for more high-yield bank dividend picks, you can look at this article for a few more to consider.
As always, its best to do your own due diligence when it comes to investing and consider how dividends can help grow your portfolio or supplement your income.
Alexander MacLennan has no position in any stocks mentioned. He is not a tax professional. Please consult a reputable tax professional before makig investment decisions. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, TD Ameritrade, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.