The Ultimate Dividend Playbook by Josh Peters Book Review


Book Review: The Ultimate Dividend Playbook by Josh Peters

Tom from Dividends Diversify recommended this book by Josh Peters, titled “The Ultimate Dividend Playbook: Income, Insight, and Independence for Today’s Investor”.  I therefore put it on my to-read list for my 2019 Personal Finance Resolutions, this is one of five personal finance/ investing books that I wanted to read.

The Ultimate Dividend Playbook
Source: Goodreads

I was pleasantly surprised by the book, and a lot of the dividend paying companies that I had never heard of (e.g. Paychex) are actually part of Tom’s Dividend Deluxe Portfolio and mentioned in this book as well.  For more information or other reviews of The Ultimate Dividend Playbook, here is one by Good reads.

Even though I borrowed this copy from the library, I am seriously considering buying a copy just because it was really good, I didn’t get to take notes, and seems like it would be a great reference.

I would definitely recommend this as a top 5 dividend investing book to read.

Who is Josh Peters?

Josh Peters is a portfolio manager for Morningstar’s Investment Management group (though I’m not sure if is still a portfolio manager there).  He’s also the editor for the monthly newsletter Morningstar® DividendInvestorSM. He has a CFA designation.

The Ultimate Dividend Playbook

The beginning of the book explains what dividends are, and the guidelines to follow when you are evaluating a dividend stock- to see whether it is safe, whether it will grow, and to review what the return is.  Then he talks about how to manage a dividend portfolio and what the future of dividends might look like.

He also explains how exactly a dividend payment works, he explains the ex-dividend date, the annualized dividend rate, and the dividend types such as a special dividend or regular dividends.  Josh Peters also explains to read charts carefully because a dividend yield might be over inflated or under inflated, for example if the company had a special dividend that was paid out, the annual dividend yield will be falsely higher than it is intended to be.

What I liked about the Ultimate Dividend Playbook

I liked that the author has a dry sense of humour and it wasn’t a boring book to read.  He broke the dividend investing terms and concepts down into easy bite sized digestable pieces.  I feel like this book is like the like Intelligent Investor but much easier to read and understand and more updated to the current investing landscape.

The best part of the book, in my opinion, was the Appendix.  In the appendix, Josh Peters talks about the nitty gritty of dividend payments, taxation of dividends (in the US), banks, utilities, real estate investment trusts ( REITS), and other dividend opportunities.  He explains why banks and utilities are great companies to own in your dividend portfolio.  He explains the recommended payout ratio for each of these dividend paying classes.

Josh Peters is a big fan of banks.  Even though banks may offer incentives to switch from your current bank to their bank- for example, with an enticing $300 offer bonus on new chequing account sign ups, it takes a LOT for someone to make the change.  You have your paycheques wired into your current chequing account with direct deposit and you’ll likely not change that.  This is so true since I have been banking with the same banking institution for the past 20 years!

Another example of a great feature in this book is that I learned more about real estate investment trusts and the different kinds of REITs available and how their business model works– that not all REITs are created equal.  He explains how property REITs work, and how mortgage REITs work, and how hybrid REITs work.

What I Did Not Like about the Ultimate Dividend Playbook

There wasn’t much that I did not like about The Ultimate Dividend Playbook. If I had to say something though- It’s a bit dated, it was published before the 2008 crash, but it’s still very relevant.  It would be nice to have an updated edition of the book.

I really like this book because it made me love dividends even more (is that even possible?) and reinforced the disciplined approach (Dollar cost averaging and dividends)  to continue adding to dividends in my investment portfolio and then tune out the rest of the noise out there.  I plan to do this with my investing in moderation motto, dollar cost averaging and dividends.

If you don’t have one yet, here’s how to use a dividend tracker spreadsheet.

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8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Dividend Playbook by Josh Peters Book Review”

  1. Thanks for the mention GYM. Totally agree on your assessment. The book is a bit dated and reflected many of the authors views when the book was written, pre 2008-09 crash. It is important to look beyond the time it was written to the more “evergreen” concepts as you did.

    The author edited an excellent monthly investment newsletter by Morningstar up until a couple years ago when he moved on to run an investment fund. The newsletter allowed me to see how his thoughts evolved beyond the book and over a 10+ year period through the crash and into the recovery. Many of his dividend investing views shaped mine to this day. After he left, I dropped my subscription. I occassionally look in for free now Our library has a digital Moringstar subscription which I access periodically.

    The book is one of few I keep on my bookshelf and refer to. During the crash, one of the author’s favorite lines still sticks with me. He would say that you sometimes need to have “the courage to do nothing”. Those words helped me hold on through very difficult times. And they will become relevant again someday in the future….

    Great review and thanks again for the mention! Tom

    • @Tom- Thanks for the book recommendation! It certainly is a good reference book- I am contemplating buying a copy it is that good!

  2. Haven’t really ran into a book solely focused on dividends, pretty cool that you found one and really liked it. I read Intelligent Investor and it sounds like this one is easier to read, I may have to take a look at it. Thanks for the review GYM!!


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