After watching the markets for over 25 years, dividend investing has become one of my favorite types of investments. Recently a reader asked my opinion about a website called “Simply Safe Dividends.” I had never heard of them before, but that is not necessarily bad because there are more and more investing websites like this popping up every day.
To be completely upfront, I am going to give a very frank review of Simply Safe Dividends from a person that worked as a financial advisor and actively invests. I have not contacted them nor paid by them in any way to do this review.
He asked, “Is Simple Safe Dividends worth it.” The short answer is that I do not believe Simply Safe Dividends is worth the $399 a year for most investors because there are many alternatives that cheaper and offer more features/value. That being said, the company has a great reputation and an excellent trial period where they will return your money.
The article is my personal opinion, and you should do your own research before investing or buying any product.
Is Simply Safe Dividends Legit?
My first impressions were that the website appears to be legit and could be helpful with dividend income and investing. They don’t appear to be shouting crazy returns or promoting high dividend payouts. The focus is on finding quality dividends that have reduced the dividends.
I think this is all great, but what about growing dividends and finding companies that also increased in value? To me, these are very critical questions. Capital appreciation and preservation are often combined, but they are two different things. More importantly, when you are planning to live off dividends, this could be the difference between eating steak and Ramon noodles.
What bothered me most was trusting a software 100% to invest in a stock. This may be that I am just too old-fashioned, but I have a hard time finding safe dividends to add to my dividend portfolio without looking at the larger economic and geopolitical trends.
Who is Brian Bollinger, and What is Simply Safe Dividends?
Simply Safe Dividends is a platform that has been described by its founder Brian Bollinger as a “one-stop-shop for responsible income investing.” It pulls together in one place different resources that investors can rely upon to further their investment objectives in pursuit of what is called “dividend investing.” The company’s research, analysis, and tools are focused on their avowed philosophy of supporting enthusiasts of dividend investing.
Bollinger, a licensed CPA, used to be an equity research analyst at Ironbridge Capital Management, an investment firm. He was seized of the need for such a service at the time after the housing bubble and the introduction of the zero-interest-rate policy when people were searching for dividend-based returns. Simply Safe Dividends was born in 2015.
About Dividend Investing
So far, Bollinger’s efforts appear to have borne fruit. Compared to the 11% return generated by the S&P 500, the company’s portfolios have generated returns between 12 and 14%.
According to Simple Safe’s research, more than forty percent of the total returns for both European and U.S. stocks from 1970 have come from dividends.
However, investors need to bear in mind that paying dividends does not make a stock good or bad. Dividend payout is merely a strategy of cash distribution to owners. It is a choice. There are many factors that go into the decision to pay dividends.
Simply Safe Dividends advises investors to make their investment decisions on fundamentals based on research and align the picks with their personal investment objectives. With its well-researched strategies, analysis and research available to members, and personalized recommendations, Simply Safe Dividends can get you off to a pretty quick start.
Who can benefit from Simply Safe Dividends?
The platform is for you if your investment philosophy is based on dividend investing.
The platform is also for you if you are new to investing and are in the process of finding your comfort zone with regard to investing preferences and strategies. This platform keeps sight of the fundamentals of investing while providing resources to support dividend investing. Hence, it can tell you a lot about investing and stock analysis in general and dividend investing in particular.
A better way of saying this would be that the platform is suitable for all long-term investors who seek steady growth and returns and are not after outsized returns predicated on uncertain events. It focuses on the time-tested philosophy of continuous growth along with capital preservation.
How does the platform work?
In the competitive world we live in, with products shouting and screaming for attention, one major hurdle is crossed if the product is easy to use. Simply Safe Dividends passes this test. It is intuitive and easy to use, even for first-timers.
It will ask you to enter information about your dividend stocks. If you want analysis and feedback from the tool, providing the relevant information is a basic necessity. You will receive feedback in the form of monthly breakdowns, income projections, payments coming up, and lots more.
It provides a number of interesting features to make dividend investing easy and value accretive.
Its monthly newsletter, known as “The Intelligent Income,” continues to be written by the founder Brian Bollinger. Aimed at the beginner, it delivers informative content about the strategy. It also provides practical ideas which can be used for investing.
Like many other investing platforms and firms, Simply Safe Dividends tracks the performance of three dividend portfolios over time. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The portfolios are named “Long-term Dividend Growth,” “Top 20 Dividend Stocks,” and “Conservative Retirees.” these portfolios are managed personally by Bollinger and fed by his own money. He provides updates on their composition as well as a commentary on objectives and changes in holdings. The management is transparent. Investors can copy his ideas as well as portfolios if they so desire.
In simple terms, this is your projected income from the portfolio that you have fed into the platform, presented to you in a friendly manner. You no longer need to track receipt of individual stock dividends. The calendar sets it out for you. You can plan your budget based on the information more precisely. I thought this was a great feature, although there are much cheaper solutions out there.
Research is one of the basic products that all investment firms offer to investors. As professionals, it is understood that they are better placed and informed to make investing decisions. This then becomes their advice to individual investors based on their personal objectives and situations.
Simply Safe Dividends is no different. Covering over a hundred dividend-paying stocks, it provides information like growth profile, dividend safety, earning to payout ratios, payout ratio, fundamental analysis, etc.
It also compares dividend yield over the last 5 years as well as with other options for investment that compete for the investor’s dollars. Though Research is a product, everyone offers, Simply Safe Dividends makes it easy to understand and follow.
What is the Dividend Safety Scores?
The platform also calculates the safety score of your portfolio of dividend stocks, the ones you have shared with it. It is based on the fundamentals of the company as reflected in a few selected metrics used by the platform to arrive at this score. One of the key outputs is the risk of a cut in dividends. A high score means higher safety but lower yield at the same time.
This becomes a useful measure, particularly when you have riskier investments in your portfolio where it is important to know and follow developments closely. The tool even sends out alerts at each change in the score and its impact on your portfolio. It allows you to get out early and rebalance to meet your investment objectives.
Unfortunately, there are times when a company has dividend cuts that no one could have expected. An example recently is AT&T which decided to merge with Discovery and change its business model. The result is a 40% cut plus in the company’s dividend to finance the growth.
Dividend Screener Based on Dividend Safety Score
This functionality is designed to help mature investors make stock picks. People who have some ideas about their preferences can input them into the tool and in return, get suggestions on possible stock options matching their preferences. This helps them create a shortlist they can work with rather than going through the entire list of stocks.
Of course, it is always recommended that a fundamental analysis be done before jumping into a stock. Even here, the research carried out by the company can help you so that you can hit the ground running.
How much is Simplisafe dividends?
So, how much do you need to pay to get all this? ‘All this’ includes alerts, portfolio tracking and recommendations, research, analysis, newsletter, calendar for dividend tracking, etc. It can even be connected to your brokerage account so that information can be updated seamlessly and trading directly.
You pay $399- for this basket of services. For regular investors, this might be only a fraction of what they might pay to financial advisors, while for infrequent traders and beginners, it might seem like a high figure. It even has a 60-day moneyback guarantee offer, in case you decide it is not suitable for you. This is apart from a 14-da free trial that is available.
The decision is yours.
The investment philosophy of the company is simple and clear. I like the transparency of the company and the overall investment philosophy. It believes investors should aim for a diversified portfolio of high-quality instruments with the aim of earning continuous, growing dividends.
It does not recommend chasing high yields and returns. I really agree with this investment philosophy. It even recommends limiting trading activity to a minimum. Again, very good. All this with the broad goal of capital preservation along with the generation of a safe income stream.
That being said, each investor’s situation is unique and they need to decide for themselves. The following pros and cons should be considered while you evaluate the platform for its suitability to further your investment goals:
- For people interested in dividend investing, a formidable collection of resources in one place
- Intuitive and easy-to-use tool
- Solid investment strategy
- Continued involvement of founder and transparent tracking of portfolios he invests in
- Informative monthly newsletter with portfolio tracking and investment tips
- 14-day free trial AND 60-day money-back guarantee
- Expensive to use, especially for infrequent and new investors
- Cheaper and better research alternatives
- It appears to offer limited functionality; it can become a more comprehensive tool for wider applications.
- Only an online web version is available at this point
- Lack of larger geopolitical analysis
- Lack of real-world events such as rising inflation
- Only Computer-based.
- No monthly based subscription so you can’t stop or start your account.
Looking for an alternative? Try Alphabetastock.com’s Market Report, which helps conservative financial advisors and investors outperform the market.