Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) | Definition

/ˈdivəˌdend rēinˈvestmənt plan/

automatically reinvests dividends earned from a company to earn more shares over time.

Next word FDIC | Definition ᐳ

Did You Know

One con to a dividend reinvestment plan is the lack of control over the share price. When you sign up for a dividend reinvestment plan, those shares are automatically bought, no matter the share price. Thus, you could invest when the share prices are really high or low.

Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs or DRPs) are plans companies offer to allow their shareholders to reinvest cash dividends into additional company shares. DRIPs are designed to provide shareholders with an easy and cost-effective way to increase their ownership in a company while also providing companies with a convenient way to raise capital without issuing new shares.


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How DRIPs are Administered

DRIPs allow shareholders to reinvest their cash dividends automatically, usually on the dividend payment date, without incurring transaction costs or commissions. The program can be offered in two ways: company-operated DRIP or third-party-operated DRIP/broker-operated DRIP.



A company-operated DRIP is a program run directly by the company. Shareholders can sign up for the program, and the company handles the administration, record-keeping, and reinvestment of dividends into additional shares. This type of DRIP is often commission-free, making it an attractive option for investors who want to reinvest their dividends without incurring additional costs.

A third-party-operated DRIP is a program offered by a third-party provider, such as a transfer agent or a brokerage firm. The third-party provider handles administration, record-keeping, and the reinvestment of dividends into additional shares. This type of DRIP may charge fees or commissions. Still, it may offer additional features, such as the ability to purchase fractional shares or reinvest dividends into multiple companies.


Advantages and Disadvantages of DRIPs

DRIPs offer several advantages to shareholders, including the ability to reinvest dividend income automatically and without incurring transaction costs or commissions. DRIPs also allow shareholders to increase their ownership in a company over time, which can lead to compounding returns. Additionally, DRIPs can be a convenient way for shareholders to dollar-cost average into a stock, which can help reduce volatility and risk.


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However, DRIPs also have some disadvantages to consider. One of the main drawbacks is the lack of diversification from investing all of your dividends into a single company. DRIPs can also lead to higher transaction costs if you decide to sell your shares later on, as you may have to sell many small positions instead of a larger position. Additionally, DRIPs can sometimes be less tax-efficient than receiving cash dividends, as you may be required to pay taxes on the value of the additional shares you receive.



To better understand how DRIPs work, consider the following example. Let's say you own 100 shares of a company that pays a $1 dividend per share quarterly. If you reinvest your dividends through a DRIP, you would automatically receive an additional 2.5 shares each quarter (assuming a stock price of $40 per share), bringing your total ownership in the company to 102.5 shares after one year. Over time, this compounding effect can result in significant growth in your ownership of the company.


The Money Wrap-Up

DRIPs can be an attractive option for investors who want to reinvest their dividends automatically without incurring transaction costs or commissions. However, investors should also consider the potential drawbacks of DRIPs, including the lack of diversification and potential tax implications. As with any investment decision, weighing the advantages and disadvantages carefully before deciding whether a DRIP is right for you is important. 


Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be considered financial advice. Always do your own research prior to investing. CapWay is not liable for any losses which may be incurred.

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