Simply Safe Dividends Review
Ease of Use
Have you heard of the dividend portfolio management service, Simply Safe Dividends? This service claims to offer help in optimizing your dividend income. With some interesting tools and features, could Dividend be what you’re looking for? Before you buy, make sure to read our thorough review of Simply Safe Dividends and find out if they are the right fit for you.
About Simply Safe Dividends
While investing in dividend stocks may seem simple at first, the reality is that stocks with the highest dividends also tend to be extremely risky. New dividend investors often find this out the hard way when these companies go bankrupt or abruptly cut their dividends.
Enter Simply Safe Dividends, an investment research service that helps investors find top-rated dividend stocks. The service combines portfolio management tools, analysis, and capital preservation strategies to help you succeed as a dividend investor.
So, is Simply Safe Dividends right for you? Keep reading our Simply Safe Dividends review to find out.
History of Simply Safe Dividends
Simply Safe Dividends was launched in 2015 by Brian Bollinger, a licensed CPA and former partner at a Chicago-based investment firm. Dividend portfolios gained a lot of interest (no pun intended) through the zero-interest-rate-policy (ZIRP) era after the housing bubble. Low interest rates hurt retirees’ portfolios, so many looked to dividend investments as a way to generate income.
Bollinger identified this niche and focused on evolving the science of dividend portfolios. He created dividend portfolios that have outperformed the S&P 500. Bollinger compares buying stocks to buying a house in that the goal is not only capital appreciation, but also income generation. Bollinger has summed up the service as a “one-stop-shop for responsible income investing.”
Pitfalls of Dividend Investing
While dividend investing may seem like a straightforward way to grow your portfolio, the reality is that yield-chasing can be very risky for amateurs who don’t research the underlying companies in advance.
For example, an earnings miss could drop XYZ’s stock value by 25%, sending the annual dividend yield to 11%. An uninformed investor may be enthralled by the double-digit yield and jump headfirst into the stock looking to capture the rising yield, only to have the stock plummet another 20% on news that they will be cutting dividend payouts.
Simply Safe Dividends makes investors aware of risks like this, allowing you to take a more informed and strategic approach to dividend investing.
Let’s take a closer look.
How Simply Save Dividends Works
Like most mainstream fintech apps, Simply Safe Dividends aims to make its service simple and frictionless. All you need to do is provide basic financial information and list your dividend stocks. You can also connect a brokerage account to automate the onboarding process.
Simply Safe Dividends will analyze your portfolio to populate a personalized online dashboard that shows your yield, net gain, portfolio distribution, and more.
One of the simplest features of Simply Safe Dividends is also the most helpful. The platform provides a convenient Income Calendar that tracks and displays upcoming dividend payments so you can plan your budget accordingly. You can also see your projected annual income. This is a boon for budgeting, especially for retirees on a fixed income. Say goodbye to manually keeping track of payout dates in a notebook or Excel.
Dividend Safety Score
Simply Safe Dividends analyzes the companies you own to determine how at risk they are of dividend cuts. This research is simplified into a single Dividend Safety Score on a scale of 0-100. Safer dividends generate higher Dividend Safety Scores and often have lower dividend yields.
A stock’s Dividend Safety Score is especially helpful for deciding which risky dividend stocks are worth investing in. You can keep a close eye on high-yield stocks and get alerts when Simply Safe Dividends downgrades their Dividend Safety Score. In addition, any change in a company’s dividend (raise or cut) will trigger an email alert notifying the change amount and how it affects your income stream.
The Intelligent Income monthly newsletter is written by Simply Safe Dividends’ founder, Brian Bollinger. It’s a good resource for newbies to become familiarized with the science of dividends investing.
The newsletter is well written and easy to follow, as Mr. Bollinger has a knack for simplifying concepts. It also includes three model portfolios that Bollinger personally manages with his own money that you can follow, use to generate ideas, or even copy (at your own risk).
The three dividend portfolios are diversified in their investment objectives and are titled accordingly: Conservative Retirees, Long-term Dividend Growth, and Top 20 Dividend Stocks. Each portfolio includes performance metrics, detailed objectives, a list of holdings, recent changes, and commentary. Updated information is posted daily on the website for members.
Members can also get more investment ideas through the customized research that Simply Safe Dividends has performed on more than 100 dividend-paying stocks.
The in-depth research for each stock includes an underlying business model description, dividend growth profile, dividend safety information, earnings payout ratio, and earnings history. Simply Safe Dividends also created a timeliness metric that compares the five-year history dividend yield range and where the current yield falls in that range.
The data is purely centered around all things related to the dividend, so there is no digging or filtering involved to get to that information. For self-directed dividend investors, the research available from Simply Safe Dividends can be really helpful.
The Dividend Screener enables you to search for dividend stocks by sector, dividend yield, Dividend Safety Score, annual dividend increase streak, and more. You can sort the results by Dividend Safety Score or yield, making the results very actionable. The screener is a great tool for finding the best high-yield dividend stocks that are also rated as moderately safe.
Simply Safe Dividends Pricing
Simply Safe Dividends costs $499 per year. You can try out the software free for 14 days and there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee after you sign up.
As long as you keep your subscription, your rate is locked-in for life. This is a nice perk considering we’ve seen the price increase by $100 per year since writing our initial review.
Who is Simply Safe Dividends Best Suited For?
Simply Safe Dividends is ideal for retirees, passive long-term investors, and even Millennials interested in income investing. It’s all about finding reliable dividend stocks, with very little attention paid to price appreciation or diversification.
If you have a shorter-term investment horizon or you are looking for growth stocks, you may be better off with a stock picking service like Motley Fool Stock Advisor. That said, many investors, including younger investors, could benefit from having a growth portfolio built using Stock Advisor and a dividend portfolio built using Simply Safe Dividends.
Simply Safe Dividends’ $499 per year price tag is fair considering how unique and actionable this service is. However, the moderately high price makes the service more worthwhile for investors with bigger portfolios. We always like to think of service pricing relative to the investment performance needed to recoup the cost of the subscription fee. For example, an investor with a $5,000 portfolio would need to generate an extra 10% annually to recoup the fee, whereas an investor with a $100,000 portfolio would only need to generate an extra 0.5% (which is much more feasible).
Alternatives to Simply Safe Dividends
Simply Safe Dividends has one major competitor: Dividend.com. This is a great service for finding dividend stocks, but it’s a lot less straightforward than Simply Safe Dividends. There’s a lot more effort involved to find dividend stock picks and it’s not very friendly for first-time investors.
On the plus side, Dividend.com offers a lot of information for free and plans start at only $99 per year. So, it can be a good alternative to Simply Safe Dividends for investors with smaller portfolios.
It’s also worth remembering that while other investment research services aren’t as focused on dividends as Simply Safe Dividends is, many do offer analysis and screening tools based around dividends. For example, Morningstar Premium and Zacks Premium both allow you to filter stocks by dividend yield when using their screeners. These platforms also provide much more detail about the companies behind the dividends and can help you identify stocks that offer both price appreciation and dividend potential.
- Convenient one-stop platform for managing dividend portfolios
- Income Calendar shows when to expect income from dividend payouts
- Dividend Safety Score is a great metric to balance dividend portfolio risk
- Plenty of ideas provided through in-house research and newsletter
- Three model portfolios that users can follow
- Screener tool finds some under the radar dividend stocks
- Easy-to-use and follow for newbies to seasoned self-directed investors
- Very little focus on sector or geographic diversification
- Pricing may be prohibitive for smaller accounts