In this article, I provide a review of the Sure Dividend Newsletter, which is one of the best dividend stock newsletters, in my opinion. Before I proceed, I want to disclose that I am an Affiliate of Sure Dividend. I provide affiliate links to the Sure Dividend Newsletter in this post, meaning that I earn a commission for any purchases you make at the Affiliates’ website through these links. This will not incur additional costs for you. Please read my disclosure for more information. In addition, I want to disclose that I provide investment research analyses on several stocks for their Sure Analysis Research Database.
Sure Dividend Newsletter Review – What is Sure Dividend?
In this review, I want first to answer the question “What is Sure Dividend?” Sure Dividend is an investment site and research service run by my fellow dividend growth investor, Ben Reynolds. The website was started in 2014 and built a large following by providing free content and lists of dividend stocks.
The Sure Dividend motto is “High-Quality Dividend Stocks, Long-Term Plan,” as stated on their website. The dividend investing newsletter aims to “help individual investors build high-quality dividend growth portfolios for the long run.” Their stated goal is “…financial freedom through an investment portfolio that pays rising dividend income over time.” Since I am a dividend growth investor, this fits my dividend investing strategy and long-term plan.
From the perspective of a do-it-yourself or ‘DIY’ investor, Sure Dividend is four services. Sure Dividend features
- Free content in a blog,
- Three premium newsletters,
- Two premium top 10 lists, and a
- Premium database of investment research on individual stocks.
In addition, there is an extensive archive of free articles on the Sure Dividend website. The Sure Dividend archives date back to late March 2014. The articles cover a wide array of topics that I will talk about below.
The premium investing newsletters are paid services. There are three monthly investing newsletters: The Sure Dividend Newsletter, The Sure Retirement Newsletter, and The Sure Passive Income Newsletter. The Sure Dividend Newsletter covers dividend growth stocks and draws upon the over 600 stocks analyzed in the Sure Analysis Research Database. The Sure Retirement Newsletter covers the best 4%+ yielding stocks. Finally, the Sure Passive Income Newsletter covers buy and hold stocks with rising income. All three newsletter comes out monthly. I will first discuss the free content and then review the Sure Dividend Newsletter.
Sure Dividend Review – The Free Content
Before I review The Sure Dividend Newsletter, let me first discuss the free content. The free content includes many valuable lists of dividend stocks as well as some free analyses.
Free Articles on Dividend Stocks and More
For example, the list of articles for March 2021 is seen in the screenshot below. You can see that the free content includes dividend stock lists, free MS Excel spreadsheets, an analysis of a few stocks that do not pay a dividend and the potential for them to do so, and other content.
This free content got me interested in and following Sure Dividend and the investing newsletter in the first place. In my opinion, there are few investment sites and services offering as much quality free content for the DIY or self-directed small investor. Sure Dividend also provides quite a bit of free analyses on other investment sites. For example, Sure Dividend wrote an article for my blog about Procter & Gamble and now publishes monthly articles on Dividend Power.
The most popular articles are
- The Dividend Aristocats List
- The Higher Dividend Stocks List
- The Monthly Dividend Stocks List
- The Dividend Kings List
- The Blue Chip Stocks List
Free Excel Spreadsheets
The other beneficial and popular free content on the Sure Dividend website is the free spreadsheets. This list includes spreadsheets of the
- Dividend Kings
- Blue Chip Stocks
- Dividend Aristocrats
- Dividend Achievers
- Dividend Champions
- Dividend Contenders
- Dividend Challengers
- High Dividend Stocks
- Cheap Dividend Stocks
- Monthly Dividend Stocks
- Dividend Stocks by Payment Date
- Index Lists, Industry & Sector Lists
- Guru and Hedge Fund Lists, and more.
You can see in the screenshot below the free content from the Dividend Kings spreadsheet. It covers much of the valuable data investors need to evaluate and perform investment research on a stock. The other part is that you can use the data in the spreadsheet in your spreadsheets.
The Sure Dividend Newsletter – Review
Now let’s review The Sure Dividend Newsletter, the core investing newsletter Sure Dividend provides. As a DIY or self-directed dividend growth investor, I am primarily attracted to The Sure Dividend Newsletter. This newsletter covers “high-quality dividend growth stocks” that are investment ideas for you. Ideally, that is what I want to invest in, high-quality stocks that raise their dividend annually with a low probability of a dividend cut or suspension. The very detailed newsletter is comprised of stock analyses, tables, charts, and commentary. The newsletter comes out monthly.
Why Dividend Growth Stocks?
One may ask, why focus on dividend growth stocks? Well, as my readers know, dividend growth stocks tend to outperform other categories, including stocks that pay a dividend (no growth), stocks that do not change the dividend, stocks without a dividend, stocks that cut or eliminate the dividend, and an equally weighted S&P 500 index.
Further, dividend growth stocks tend to have lower volatility as a group compared to the other categories. Take a look at the table below. The table supports what I am talking about. Dividend growth stocks have higher annual total returns and lower volatility as measured by beta and standard deviation over the long haul—the differences between stocks that pay a dividend and those that don’t are stark.
This Sure Dividend Newsletter draws upon the 700+ stocks in the Sure Analysis Research Database to evaluate and rank dividend growth stocks.
The newsletter ranks stocks based upon their dividend risk ratings, expected total returns, and dividend yields. The dividend risks scores should be ‘A’ or ‘B.’ The expected total returns should be greater than the broader market. Finally, the dividend yield should be greater than 2%. As a point of reference, the S&P 500’s dividend yield is currently about 1.3%.
Each month the Sure Dividend team provides a list of 10 stocks along with detailed analyses. In general, these are undervalued stocks with a margin of safety. They also include over 700 stocks with risk rankings. The detail mentioned above is why I think the Sure Dividend Newsletter is one of the best dividend stock newsletters.
Opening Thoughts from Sure Dividend
The Sure Dividend Newsletter includes opening commentary from the authors that are often thought-provoking. For instance, in a recent newsletter, the topic was “Do Recession-Resistant Stocks Stay Recession Resistant?” Other past topics include:
- End of Year Tax-Loss Harvesting
- Why Invest in Dividend Stocks?
- The Taxation of Dividends
- The Similarities Between Dividend Growth Investing and Warren Buffett’s Investing Style
- On Branded Consumer Goods Companies
The opening thoughts are about one page in length, so it is an easy read and provides relevant information for small investors.
The following section includes sell recommendations. These are stocks that Sure Dividend has previously recommended as buys but now recommend as sells. The main reason is they are overvalued with low expected total returns. However, these stocks have appreciated in many cases, and they may be trading above their fair value estimates.
Sure Dividend Newsletter Review – The Sure Dividend Top 10 List
Next, a list of stocks called “The Sure Dividend Top 10” comprises the top 10 stocks in Sure Dividend’s investing research database for the month’s newsletter. This list is one of the most important and probably popular sections, in my opinion. It is here that many readers likely get investment ideas for further research. It is an excellent starting point. I include a screenshot from an older newsletter in January 2020 as an example.
The chart above includes both actual current data and metrics based on analysis. The top 10 list covers the company name, ticker, Sure Dividend’s Risk Score (a proprietary score), current stock prices, estimated fair value, expected value return, dividend yield, dividend payout ratio, the expected growth of the dividend, and expected total annualized return or ‘ETR.’
At the bottom of the same page, a comparison of an equal-weighted portfolio of the Top 10 list with the S&P500 is shown.
Sure Dividend Review – Analysis of the Top 10 Stocks
The central part of the Sure Dividend Newsletter is a deep-dive analysis of the stocks in The Sure Dividend Top 10 recommendation every month. This section includes about one page of analysis commentary, one page of data tables, charts of dividend yield history and stock price, charts on fundamentals, and a bar graph on valuation analysis.
The analysis commentary section in the Sure Dividend Newsletter includes an overview & current events, competitive advantage & recession performance, growth prospects, valuation & catalyst. The analysis commentary ends with key statistics, ratios & metrics. Below is an example of International Business Machines (IBM) from January 2020.
There are three financial data tables covering 10-years of trailing data from the income statement, balance sheets, and profitability & per share metrics. This data is helpful for investors who have held a stock for many years and want to see trends. The data can also be used for your calculations and analysis.
The charts in the Sure Dividend Newsletter are useful for historical comparisons. I show an example of IBM again from the January 2020 newsletter. In addition, the chart on dividend yield and price is helpful. As you are well aware, dividend yield and price are inversely related. But you can check and see if the dividend yield is above or below trailing periods as a measure of over or undervaluation.
The chart on fundamentals covers dividend payout ratio, dividends, and earnings. The bar graph on valuation analysis covers the average annual price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio over the past 10-years. I will leave it to you to give the Sure Dividend Newsletter a try to check these features out during the free trial.
Next, Ben and his team at Sure Dividend provide some closing thoughts for the analysis section in the newsletter. This is similar to opening thoughts. This page ends with the disclaimer.
Real Money Portfolio
The section tracks actual investments based on the Top 10 list each month. Sure Dividend invests $1,000 in the highest-ranked security they do not own or own the least in the portfolio. Money will not be added to specific stock if it pushes the sector weighting to over 30% to maintain diversification and reduce risk. The target number of stocks in the Sure Dividend portfolio is a maximum of 30. Once 30 stocks are reached, Sure Dividend will buy the next highest-ranked stock in the portfolio up to 10% of the total portfolio. Sell decisions are based on the same sell criteria used in the Sure Dividend Newsletter.
Buying & Ranking Criteria
This section discusses how Sure Dividend comes up with the Sure Dividend Top 10 list each month. The screenshot below is taken from the January 2020 Sure Dividend Newsletter.
This section also covers information on the expected total return.
Portfolio Buying Guide
The following section provides a strategy on how to buy stocks. Sure Dividend states, “Each month invest in the top-ranked security in which you own the smallest dollar amount out of the Top 10.” Of course, this is one allocation strategy, but you can use your own along with the Top 10 list. The strategy is simple since you are buying the highest-ranked stock if you do not own it. However, if you already own all ten on the list, you purchase the one you own the least. The screenshot below is an example from the January 2021 Sure Dividend Newsletter. Over time you will build a portfolio of about 30 stocks.
Past Recommendations & Sells
This section includes every past buy recommendation that has not yet been sold. It clearly shows the stock, the number of years since first recommended, the dividend risk score, total return, CAGR, and comparison to S&P 500 total return. Past recommendations that are at or below the sell thresholds are bolded and in red. The last two parts of this section include pending sells and sold positions.
The Sure Dividend Newsletter has two sell rules. The first sell rule is dividend-based. The second sell rule is valuation-based.
Sell Rule #1, Dividend-Based Sell Rules: Any past recommendation that reduces or eliminates its dividend is automatically a pending sell. First, we review and analyze these securities to determine when to initiate the final sale. Secondly, any past recommendation with an “F” Dividend Risk Score is examined as a potential sell.
Sell Rule #2, Valuation-Based Sell Rules: Sell past recommendations with expected total returns below the expected total returns of the S&P 500 over the next several years. This sell rule replaces our previous valuation-based sell rule of selling securities with an adjusted P/E ratio of 40 or higher.
Sure Dividend Review – List of Stocks by Dividend Risk Score & Sector
The following section is a List of Stocks by Dividend Risk Score. This section groups stocks in categories A through F and sorted by expected total returns from highest to lowest. The last section groups stocks by sector and then sorted by dividend risk scores and excepted total returns. These rankings don’t always align with the Top 10 list due to additional safety considerations. But it is a place to look for investment ideas.
The eleven sectors for stocks are:
- Basic Materials
- Communication Services
- Consumer Cyclical
- Consumer Defensive
- Financial Services
- Real Estate
What I Like About The Sure Dividend Newsletter?
Sure Dividend Newsletter Review – Who Is Sure Dividend For?
In my opinion, the Sure Dividend Newsletter is for serious ‘DIY’ or self-directed dividend growth investors. The Sure Dividend Newsletter is useful for building a portfolio of dividend stocks and generating a rising passive income stream regardless of age. The newsletter provides a wealth of information that one can review and read. There is quite a bit of commentary, analysis, and data in the newsletter consolidated into one place for dividend growth investors. This information is beneficial for investors. It is clear from the newsletter that Ben and his team put a significant amount of time and effort into producing it each month.
Structured and Quantitative Method with Qualitative Analysis
I also like that there is a structured, quantitative ranking method mixed with qualitative analysis. Most small investors don’t have a systematic dividend investing method to filter an extensive list of stocks into a smaller usable and unwieldy list. Ben and his team have done that for you by creating the monthly Top 10 list in the Sure Dividend Newsletter. They have also analyzed the stocks for qualitative factors, which are also crucial in selecting stocks. The Top 10 is a place to start for most investors looking for investment ideas. One can read the analysis of each stock, look at the tables, check valuation, and then make some decisions on whether to invest or not. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
Good for Investors With Wide Range of Experience
I also like that beginners can use the Sure Dividend Newsletter as well as intermediate to more advanced investors. The investing newsletter simplifies the stock selection process and guides how to build a portfolio. Building a portfolio can be challenging. Many DIY investors end up with a hodge-podge of too many stocks. Their portfolio may be too concentrated in specific sectors. Alternatively, their portfolio may not provide adequate diversification. This section is an excellent place to get some information on portfolio building.
Dividend investing and investing, in general, is about information, structure, and decision making. The Sure Dividend Newsletter provides information, data, analyses, and structure. It permits a DIY investor to make decisions knowledgeably. The path of a DIY or self-directed investor is not for everyone. It takes time and effort. However, if this path works for you, then the Sure Dividend Newsletter may help you.
As a final note, there are three newsletters from Sure Dividend.
The Sure Dividend Newsletter covers dividend growth stocks and draws upon the over 700+ stock analyses in the Sure Analysis Research Database.
The Sure Retirement Newsletter covers high-yield stocks with a dividend yield more than 4% for those seeking income.
The Sure Passive Income Newsletter covers buy and hold stocks with rising income.
What is the Price of The Sure Dividend Newsletter?
I hope that you found this review of the Sure Dividend Newsletter useful. If you are interested in subscribing to The Sure Dividend Newsletter, please click here. The link includes the Sure Dividend coupon code, DP41off which reduces the newsletter price by a little over 25% or $41. The regular price for The Sure Dividend Newsletter is $199 a year, and the reduced price through this offer is $158 per year.
If you are interested in The Sure Retirement Newsletter, please click here. The same Sure Dividend coupon code, DP41off, reduces the price by a little over 25% or $41. The regular price of The Sure Retirement Newsletter is $199, and the reduced price through this offer is $158 per year.
If you are interested in The Sure Passive Income Newsletter, please click here. The same Sure Dividend coupon code, DP41off, reduces the price by a little over 25% or $41. The regular price of The Sure Passive Income Newsletter is $199, and the reduced price through this offer is $158 per year.
- Top 10 list of stocks every month
- Focus on high-quality dividend stocks and risk
- Written analysis and historical data of the Top 10 stocks
- List of stocks by dividend risk score and sector
- Great customer service
- Does not cover ETFs
- Performance tracking for the portfolio is limited
Prakash Kolli is the founder of the Dividend Power site. He is a self-taught investor, analyst, and writer on dividend growth stocks and financial independence. His writings can be found on Seeking Alpha, InvestorPlace, Business Insider, Nasdaq, TalkMarkets, ValueWalk, The Money Show, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and leading financial sites. In addition, he is part of the Portfolio Insight and Sure Dividend teams. He was recently in the top 1.0% and 100 (73 out of over 13,450) financial bloggers, as tracked by TipRanks (an independent analyst tracking site) for his articles on Seeking Alpha.