Dividend Drag

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DEFINITION of 'Dividend Drag '

A disadvantage of the dividend structure of unit trust exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that results from SEC rules that stipulate that passively managed ETFs cannot reinvest dividends back into the portfolio. ETFs must instead accumulate the dividends in cash and pay them to holders at periodic intervals. During periods of rising markets, the dividends would be better served being reinvested in securities rather than held in cash. This leads the ETF to lag a portfolio that would be able to reinvest.

BREAKING DOWN 'Dividend Drag '

This is a problem in a rising market, but the same SEC rule is beneficial in a declining market. Either way, this has been a problem in ETF circles, which have been pushing for the SEC to change the rules. If this happens, dividend drag will essentially disappear.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Are dividends considered passive or ordinary income?

    Despite the fact that earning dividends requires no active participation on the part of the shareholder, they do not meet ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is dividend income taxable?

    Dividend income is taxable but it is taxed in different ways depending on whether the dividends are qualified or nonqualified. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do dividends affect net asset value (NAV) in mutual funds?

    Distribution of dividends reduces the net asset value (NAV) of mutual fund shares. However, this doesn't mean that fund investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are mutual funds considered retirement accounts?

    Unlike a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), mutual funds are not classified as retirement accounts. Employers ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do mutual funds invest only in stocks?

    Mutual funds invest in stocks, but certain types also invest in government and corporate bonds. Stocks are subject to the ... Read Full Answer >>

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