Discover the 23 investment trusts that have increased their dividends each year for 10 to 20 years.
Investors on the lookout for consistent dividend growth have plenty of choice among investment trusts, with new data showing there are 23 trusts waiting in the wings to become ‘dividend heroes’.
The Association of Investment Companies’ (AIC) updated list of trusts that have increased dividends for 10 or more consecutive years, but less than 20, has seven new entrants compared to a year ago. Its ‘dividend heroes’, of which there are 19 in total, have raised dividends for at least two decades.
The new joiners have all notched up a decade of dividend increases: Chelverton UK Dividend (LSE:SDV), Invesco Select Trust Global Equity Income (LSE:IVPG), JPMorgan Elect Managed Income (LSE:JPEI), Aberforth Smaller Companies (LSE:ASL), TR Property (LSE:TRY), Henderson Opportunities Trust (LSE:HOT) and Fidelity European Trust (LSE:FEV).
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However, there have been some dividend casualties. A year ago, there were 25 trusts that had raised dividends for between 10 and 20 years. With the seven additions to this year’s list, nine trusts have therefore lost their place.
Of those nine trusts, eight either maintained or cut dividends. The exception was Aberdeen Standard Equity Income (LSE:ASEI), which was promoted to the ‘dividend hero’ list following its 20th consecutive year of dividend increases.
Five trusts maintained dividends in 2020: TR European Growth (LSE:TRG), BlackRock Throgmorton Trust (LSE:THRG), Henderson European Focus (LSE:HEFT), Standard Life UK Smaller Companies (LSE:SLS) and Edinburgh Investment Trust (LSE:EDIN). Although, it is worth pointing out that Edinburgh Investment Trust said last November that it will be lowering dividends to a more sustainable level this year.
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Athelney (LSE:ATY) leads the next generation of dividend heroes having increased its dividend for 18 consecutive years. In joint second place, with 17 years of dividend hikes, are BlackRock Smaller Companies (LSE:BRSC) and Henderson Smaller Companies (LSE:HSL).
The consistency of a growing income stream year on year is one of the key advantages associated with income-focused investment trusts. Trusts can draw on a ‘dividend reserve’ account to bolster income during challenging markets. The reserves were tapped in 2020 when dividends dried up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with 85% of income-paying trusts (with yields above 1%) increasing or holding dividends in 2020.
As reported last week, 19 trusts have raised dividends for at least 20 years. Six trusts have raised dividends for 50 year or more. City of London (LSE:CTY), Bankers (LSE:BNKR) and Alliance Trust (LSE:ATST) lead the way with 54 years of consecutive increases. Caledonia Investments (LSE:CLDN) has upped payouts for 52 years, followed by BMO Global Smaller Companies (LSE:BGSC) and F&C Investment Trust (LSE:FCIT), which have increased income each year to shareholders for 50 years.
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The next generation of trust dividend heroes
Source: AIC/Morningstar. *Invesco Select Trust consists of four pools of assets. It is the Global Equity Income pool that has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years.
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