What Are the Capital Gains Tax Rates for 2021 vs. 2022?

The federal income tax rate that applies to gains from the sale of stocks, mutual funds or other capital assets depends on how long you held the asset and your taxable income. Gains from the sale of capital assets that you held for at least one year, which are considered long-term capital gains, are taxed at either a 0%, 15% or 20% rate.

However, which one of those long-term capital gains rates – 0%, 15% or 20% – applies to you depends on your taxable income. The higher your income, the higher the rate. If you’re working on your 2021 tax return, here are the capital gains taxable income thresholds for the 2021 tax year:

2021 Longer-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate Income Thresholds

Capital Gains
Tax Rate

Taxable Income

Taxable Income
(Married Filing Separate)

Taxable Income
(Head of Household)

Taxable Income
(Married Filing Jointly)


Up to $40,400

Up to $40,400

Up to $54,100

Up to $80,800


$40,401 to $445,850

$40,401 to $250,800

$54,101 to $473,750

$80,801 to $501,600


Over $445,850

Over $250,800

Over $473,750

Over $501,600

The income thresholds for the capital gains tax rates are adjusted each year for inflation. To see how the thresholds will change from 2021 to 2022, here are the figures for the 2022 tax year:

2022 Capital Gains Tax Rate Thresholds

Capital Gains
Tax Rate

Taxable Income

Taxable Income
(Married Filing Separate)

Taxable Income
(Head of Household)

Taxable Income
(Married Filing Jointly)


Up to $41,675

Up to $41,675

Up to $55,800

Up to $83,350


$41,675 to $459,750

$41,675 to $258,600

$55,800 to $488,500

$83,350 to $517,200


Over $459,750

Over $258,600

Over $488,500

Over $517,200

The tax rate on short-term capitals gains (i.e., from the sale of assets held for less than one year) is the same as the rate you pay on wages and other “ordinary” income. Those rates currently range from 10% to 37%, depending on your taxable income. To see what rate you’ll pay, see What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2021 vs. 2022?

Surtax on Net Investment Income

There’s an additional 3.8% surtax on net investment income (NII) that you might have to pay on top of the capital gains tax. (NII includes, among other things, taxable interest, dividends, gains, passive rents, annuities, and royalties.) You must pay the surtax if you’re a single or head-of-household taxpayer with modified adjusted gross income (AGI) over $200,000, a married couple filing a joint return with modified AGI over $250,000, or a married person filing a separate return with modified AGI over $125,000. Use Form 8960 to calculate the surtax.

Under the current version of the Build Back Better Act, which is being considered by Congress, the surtax would be expanded to cover NII derived in the ordinary course of a trade or business for joint filers with modified AGI over $500,000, single or head-of-household filers with modified AGI over $400,000, and married people filing a separate return with a modified AGI over $250,000. The proposed legislation would also clarify that the surtax doesn’t apply to wages on which Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes (i.e., FICA taxes) are already imposed. The Build Back Better Act was passed by the House in December, but it has stalled in the Senate.

Source: kiplinger.com

5 Mortgage REITs for Yield-Hungry Investors

In the search for rich dividend yields, mortgage REITs (mREITs) are in a class all their own. 

These are companies are structured as real estate investment trusts (REITs), but they own interest-bearing assets like mortgages and mortgage-backed securities rather than physical real estate.

One of the biggest reasons to own mortgage REITs is their exceptional yields, currently averaging around 8% to 9%, according to Nareit – the leading global producer on REIT investment research – more than four times the yield available on the S&P 500. These outsized yields are enticing, but investors should approach these stocks with caution and hold them only as one part of a larger, more diversified portfolio. 

One reason for this is their sensitivity to changes in interest rates. When interest rates rise, mortgage REIT earnings generally decline. The Federal Reserve is signaling plans for multiple rate hikes in 2022 that could create headwinds for these stocks.   

And increasing interest rates hurt mREITs because these businesses borrow money to fund their operations. Their borrowing costs rise with interest rates, but the interest payments they collect from mortgages remain the same, causing profit margins to compress. Some of this risk can be managed with hedging tools, but mortgage REITs can’t eliminate interest-rate risk altogether.  

Another caveat is that mortgage REITs frequently cut dividends when times are tough. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 30 of this sector’s 40 companies either cut or suspended dividends. On the flip side, dividends were quickly restored in 2021, with 20 mREITs raising dividends.

We searched the mortgage REIT universe for stocks whose dividends appear safe this year.

Read on as we explore five of the best mREITs for 2022. A few of these REITs are reducing interest-rate risk via acquisitions or an unusual lending focus, while others have strong balance sheets or outstanding track records for raising dividends. And all of them offer exceptional yields for investors.

Data is as of Jan. 12. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price. Stocks are listed in order of lowest to highest dividend yield.

1 of 5

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital

green investing conceptgreen investing concept
  • Market value: $4.1 billion
  • Dividend yield: 2.9%

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital (HASI, $48.56) is a bit of an oddball for a mortgage REIT in that it specializes in clean energy and infrastructure rather than pure real estate. Specifically, the real estate investment trust invests in wind, solar, storage, energy efficiency and environmental remediation projects – making it not only one of the best mREITs, but also one of the best green energy stocks to own.

Its loan portfolio encompasses 260 projects and is valued at $3.2 billion. In addition to its own loans, Hannon Armstrong manages roughly $8 billion of other assets, mainly for public sector clients.   

This mREIT boasts a $3 billion pipeline and is ideally positioned to capture some portion of the spending from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that was passed by Congress in late 2021.  

Over the last three years, Hannon Armstrong has generated 7% annual earnings per share (EPS) gains and 1% yearly dividend growth. Over the next three years, HASI is targeting accelerated gains of 7% to 10% yearly earnings per share growth and 3% to 5% in dividend hikes. Future earnings growth should be enhanced by the firm’s prudent 1.6 times debt-to-equity ratio.

Hannon Armstrong produced exceptional September-quarter results, showing 45% year-over-year loan portfolio growth and a 14% increase in distributable earnings per share. 

Analysts expect earnings of $1.83 per share this year and $1.91 per share next year – more than enough to cover the REIT’s $1.40 per share annual dividend.

HASI is well-liked by Wall Street analysts, with five of the six that are tracking the stock calling it a Buy or Strong Buy. 

2 of 5

Starwood Property Trust

little red house surrounded by little white houseslittle red house surrounded by little white houses
  • Market value: $7.7 billion
  • Dividend yield: 7.6%

Starwood Property Trust (STWD, $25.44) has a $21 billion loan portfolio, making it the largest mortgage REIT in the U.S. The company is affiliated with Starwood Capital Group, one of the world’s biggest private investment firms. 

STWD is considered a mortgage real estate investment trust, but it operates more like a hybrid by owning physical properties as well as mortgages and real estate securities. Its portfolio comprises 61% commercial loans, but the REIT also has sizable footholds in residential loans (11%), properties (12%) and infrastructure lending (9%), a relatively new focus for the company.

The mREIT benefits from access to the databases of Starwood Capital Group, which makes over $100 billion in real estate transactions annually and has a portfolio consisting of 96% floating-rate debt. This high percentage of floating-rate debt and unusually short loan durations – averaging just 3.3 years – minimizes Starwood’s risk from rising interest rates. 

STWD is also one of the nation’s largest servicers of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loans; sizable, reliable loan servicing fees help mitigate risk if loan credit quality deteriorates.

Starwood Property Trust closed $3.8 billion of new loans during the September quarter and generated distributable earnings of 52 cents per share – up sequentially from June and slightly above analysts’ consensus estimate. After the September quarter closed, the mREIT booked a huge $1.1 billion gain on the sale of a 20% stake in an affordable housing real estate portfolio.   

The company has made 12 consecutive years of quarterly dividend payments, and unlike many other mortgage REITs, held its ground in 2020 by maintaining an unchanged dividend.

Of the seven Wall Street pros following STWD, one says it’s a Strong Buy, five call it a Buy and just one says Hold. Adding fuel to the bullish fire, CNBC analyst Jon Najarian recently tapped Starwood as one of his top stocks to watch, given its impressive 7.6% dividend yield.

3 of 5

Arbor Realty Trust

mortgage-backed securities conceptmortgage-backed securities concept
  • Market value: $2.8 billion
  • Dividend yield: 7.7%

Arbor Realty Trust (ABR, $18.70) stands out as one of the best mREITS given its six straight quarters of dividend hikes and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 18% for dividend growth over the past five years. 

What’s more, Arbor Realty Trust has delivered 10 straight years of dividend growth while maintaining the industry’s lowest dividend payout rate.

This mortgage REIT is able to steadily grow dividends thanks to the diversity of its operating platform, which generates income from agency and non-agency loans, physical real estate (including rentals) and servicing fees.

Agency loan originations and the servicing portfolio have grown at a 16% CAGR over five years. And during the first nine months of 2021, Arbor Realty Trust set a new record with balance sheet loan originations, coming in at $7.2 billion – 2.5 times its previous record. Loan volume rose 45% over its previous record to total $13.2 billion over the nine-month period.

While September EPS declined year-over-year due to a reduced contribution from equity affiliates, earnings for the first nine months of the year were up 164% from the year prior to $1.56 per share.

Arbor Realty Trust earns Buy ratings from two of the three Wall Street analysts following the stock, and Zacks Research recently named ABR one of its top income picks for 2022. 

Valued at only 10 times forward earnings – which is 15.4% below industry peers – ABR shares appear bargain-priced at the moment.   

4 of 5

MFA Financial

person looking for business loan on laptopperson looking for business loan on laptop
  • Market value: $2.1 billion
  • Dividend yield: 8.2%

MFA Financial (MFA, $4.68) just closed an impactful acquisition that reduces its exposure to interest-rate changes and accelerates loan growth. This REIT was already hedging its bets by investing in both agency and non-agency mortgage securities. 

Agency securities are guaranteed by the U.S. government and tend to be safer, lower-yielding and more sensitive to interest rates than non-agency securities. By combining these in one portfolio, MFA Financial generates nice returns while reducing the impact of changes in interest rates and prepayments on the portfolio. 

Through the July acquisition of Lima One, MFA Financial becomes a major player in business purpose lending (BPL), an attractive niche comprised of fix-and-flip, construction, multi-family and single-family rental loans. 

An aging U.S. housing stock is creating demand for real estate renovations and causing BPL to soar. BPL loans are good quality and high-yielding, but difficult to source in the marketplace. With the purchase of Lima One, MFA Financial gains a $1.1 billion BPL loan-servicing portfolio and an established national franchise for originating these types of loans. 

Lima One’s impact was apparent in MFA Financial’s September-quarter results. The REIT originated $2.0 billion of loans, the highest quarterly total on record, and grew its portfolio by $1.5 billion after runoff. 

Net interest income increased 15% on a sequential basis, and gains recorded on the Lima One purchase contributed 10 cents to the mREIT’s earnings of 28 cents per share. MFA Financial also took advantage of the strong housing market to sell 151 properties, booking a $7.3 million gain on the sale. MFA’s book value – the difference between the total value of a company’s assets and its outstanding liabilities – rose 4% sequentially to $4.82 per share, a modest 3% premium to its current share price.

Raymond James analyst Stephen Laws upgraded MFA to Outperform from Market Perform – the equivalents of Buy and Hold, respectively – in December. He thinks the Lima One acquisition will accelerate loan growth and reduce the mortgage REIT’s borrowing costs.

MFA Financial has a 22-year track record of paying dividends. While payments were reduced in 2020, the REIT recently signaled improving prospects with a 10% dividend hike in late 2021.

5 of 5

Broadmark Realty Capital

real estate contract with keys and penreal estate contract with keys and pen
  • Market value: $1.3 billion
  • Dividend yield: 8.6%

Broadmark Realty Capital (BRMK, $9.77) is unusual for its zero-debt balance sheet, robust loan origination volume and sizable monthly dividends. This mortgage REIT provides short to mid-term loans for commercial construction and real estate development that are less interest-rate sensitive. As such, BRMK is a solid play on America’s housing boom.  

Lending activities focus on states with favorable demographics and lending laws. Plus, 60% of its business comes from repeat customers, ensuring low loan acquisition costs.

Broadmark Realty Capital achieved record loan origination volume of $337 million during the September quarter, roughly twice prior-year levels and up 68% sequentially. The overall portfolio grew to $1.5 billion. Broadmark Realty Capital also originated its first loans in Nevada and Minnesota, with expansion into additional states planned during the December quarter. 

Despite rising revenues and distributable EPS, Broadmark Realty’s results came in slightly below analyst estimates and its share price declined in reaction. However, this price slip may present an opportunity to pick up one of the best mREITs at a discount. At present, BRMK shares trade at just 12.7 times forward earnings and 1.1 times book value – the latter of which is a 15% discount to industry peers.

The mortgage REIT cut its dividend in 2020, but continued to make monthly payments to shareholders. And in 2021, it raised its dividend 17% in early 2021. While dividend payout currently exceeds 100% of fiscal 2021 earnings, analysts are forecasting a 17% rise in fiscal 2022, which would comfortably cover the current 84 cents per share annual dividend.     

Source: kiplinger.com

5 Best Esports Stocks to Buy in 2022

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

According to Grand View Research, the esports and gaming industry is growing rapidly. By the year 2027, it will be worth around $6.82 billion after enjoying a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 24%. 

Many esports and gaming enthusiasts who are looking for ways to exploit the stock market for financial freedom are starting to make investments. These investors know which companies in the space are the top dogs. The fact that most people enjoy video games makes research far less daunting when investing in esports than in other, less sexy industries like utilities. 

But with so many esports and gaming companies out there to choose from, how do you choose the best companies in the space to invest in? Here are some top stocks to consider.

Best Esports Stocks to Buy in 2022

The esports and gaming industry is booming, with much of the growth being a side effect from the recent pandemic. When COVID-19 took hold around the world, traditional sports halted, and consumers were looking for things to do while under lockdown orders. 

During this time, esports viewership grew rapidly. According to Statista, the growth in gaming interest is likely to continue. 

During the pandemic, those who were into video games had nothing better to do, and many who wouldn’t have considered playing them in the past found themselves picking up the controls and immersing themselves in the gaming ecosystem. 

Now, with a whole new wave of consumers in gaming and a growing esports audience, it’s time for the big players in the industry to capitalize. 

What stocks give you the biggest opportunities in the industry? Below you’ll find my top five picks, all of which are great options to consider.

1. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI)

You Can’t Talk About Gaming Without Mentioning Activision Blizzard

  • Market Cap: Activision Blizzard is one of the largest gaming companies in the world, trading with a market cap of more than $54.5 billion. 
  • Earnings History: The company has a strong history of beating analyst expectations in terms of earnings, which it has done for the past four consecutive quarters. All told, the company has produced an average positive earnings surprise of over 9%. 
  • Dividend Yield: The current dividend yield on the stock is 0.67%. Over the past five years, the dividend yield on the stock has ranged from 0% to 0.88%, averaging 0.57%. 

Many who follow the esports and gaming industry closely will be surprised to see Activision Blizzard on this list, considering the wave of blues that has hit the company and the stock. To address the elephant in the room, the stock has recently seen a dramatic decline as a result of delays in the launches of Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV, leading analysts to downgrade the stock. 

On top of the delays, the company has been dealing with a PR nightmare after an employee walkout resulting from management’s tone-deaf response to allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment. Additionally, co-head Jen Oneal stepped down after a short run in the leadership role that began in August 2021. 

Nonetheless, there’s a strong probability that a significant undervaluation in the stock exists. 

The company is the owner of several esports leagues, hosting several esports events per year. Keep in mind, we’re talking about the company behind Call of Duty and Overwatch, two of the most popular video games ever made and the center of some of the most popular esports tournaments in the space.  

Although delays and discrimination are concerning, the stock has been thoroughly hammered, falling more than 32% from its highs in February. 

Keep in mind that these declines have happened even in the face of gains in revenue and earnings, and consistent earnings beats quarter after quarter. 

The bottom line is that even though the company is shrouded in bad press at the moment, general consumers and esports teams alike consider the company’s games to be legendary. 

Moreover, the biggest declines were seen shortly after the company announced delays in the launches of Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV. However, delays in game launches have become more commonplace these days, as the world’s leading producers of video games have begun focusing more on launching polished games free of glitches rather than rushing to market and patching bugs later. 

All told, there’s no question that Activision Blizzard will bounce back. The only real question is when it will happen. When it does, those who own the stock will be grinning from ear to ear. 

2. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA)

Leader in Sports Gaming With Massive Franchises 

  • Market Cap: EA is another of the world’s largest esports and gaming companies, trading with a market cap of nearly $40 billion.  
  • Earnings History: EA has produced stellar earnings over the past four consecutive quarters, beating analyst expectations each step of the way. Over the past year, the average quarterly earnings surprise has been 18.7%. 
  • Dividend Yield: Like many others in the gaming and esports space, Electronic Arts currently pays no dividend. 

While Electronic Arts had its ups and downs throughout 2021, the stock has remained relatively flat, gaining less than 2% cumulatively. However, this is yet another company that many believe to be undervalued. 

Electronic Arts, better known as EA, isn’t just any game developer. It’s the developer that has signed into partnerships with the National Football League (NFL), Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and several other massive sports franchises to develop a long line of games like Madden NFL and FIFA. The company is also the publisher behind non-sports-related hits like The Sims and Apex Legends. 

In the world of competitive gaming, there are few in the esports industry that have garnered nearly as much attention as EA. Gamers from all over the world dream of competing for six-figure prizes at some of the gaming industry’s most popular tournaments hosted by the company. 

If EA’s past is any indication, there will be plenty for investors to look forward to in the future. 

One of the biggest draws for investors has to do with the company’s coming game releases. Not only have EA’s sports-related titles done incredibly well, in November 2021 the company launched Battlefield 2042, another game in its popular Battlefield franchise. Many experts expect this to be the best-selling title from the franchise to date, setting the stage for strong Q4 revenues, as the game is likely atop many holiday shopping lists. 

All told, EA is a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry, and thanks to a lackluster year of performance in the stock in 2021, a clear undervaluation is being born, setting the stage for a strong growth opportunity. 

3. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)

Yes, Amazon is in Gaming Too

  • Market Cap: Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, currently trading with a market cap of nearly $1.8 trillion. 
  • Earnings History: Historically, the company has smashed earnings expectations, beating analyst projections in the past three out of four consecutive quarters. Even with a painful 32.75% miss in the most recent quarter, the average quarterly earnings surprise over the past year has clocked in at 38.2%. 
  • Dividend Yield: Throughout its history, Amazon hasn’t been a dividend-payer. Instead, it piles its profits back into the company in an effort to expand, and with the company being one of the largest in the world, those efforts have definitely been fruitful. 

You may be surprised to see Amazon on a list of the top gaming and esports companies, but it’s important to keep in mind that the company isn’t just an e-commerce powerhouse. It has its fingers in various areas of the tech industry as a digital conglomerate. 

The company isn’t a game publisher, although it does sell video games on its e-commerce platform. Nonetheless, the company is a key player in the gaming market even beyond its role in the retail distribution of video games.

Amazon acquired Twitch, one of the largest game-streaming platforms in the world, in August 2014. 

Twitch is a lot like YouTube. However, the big difference between the two is that while YouTube provides various types of streaming content, Twitch is a platform that focuses on streaming gameplay, giving players a way to show off their skills and esports teams a great venue for connecting with their audiences. This makes Twitch a top-pick among esports enthusiasts in terms of digital entertainment. 

However, when you purchase shares of this stock, you’re not just purchasing exposure to Twitch. You’re purchasing exposure to Amazon.com’s entire ecosystem of opportunities and enjoying the stability that comes along with investing in one of the world’s largest companies. 

At the end of the day, Amazon has grown from nothing to a dominant player in several high-value markets over the years and, by all accounts, that growth is far from over. 

4. Huya Inc. (NYSE: HUYA)

An Underdog That Could Become a Massive Winner 

  • Market Cap: Huya is the smallest company on this list by market cap, trading at an enterprise value of around $2.67 billion, and just making its way onto the large-cap playing field.  
  • Earnings History: As a smaller, newer company, Huya’s earnings have been interesting to follow. During a couple of the past four quarters, analysts didn’t even provide expectations. In the most recent quarter, analysts didn’t even expect that the company would produce a penny of profit, but it surprised investors by reporting earnings of $0.34 per share. 
  • Dividend Yield: Huya has not yet declared a dividend. 

Of all companies on this list, Huya is definitely the smallest and one of the riskiest bets. However, many argue that the stock is significantly undervalued at current levels, and I happen to agree. 

Huya was one of the pioneers in the game streaming industry in China and has quickly grown to become the largest game streaming platform in the region. As a result, many have compared it to Twitch, calling it the Twitch of China. 

As a game streaming service, the company plays an integral role in the esports industry in the region, connecting fans with teams and setting the stage for the next wave of Chinese esports stars. 

While what the company is doing from an operational perspective has been impressive, the idea behind the investment is more of a political bet than one aimed at the company’s operations. 

Over the past year, the Chinese government has been flexing its muscles, enacting a wide range of laws that have hampered businesses in several sectors, including gaming. As a result, investment interest in companies in the region have faded amongst fears that new laws may impact corporate earnings capabilities. 

Unfortunately, the selloff has been significant for some stocks, and Huya is one of those stocks. In the past year, the stock has given up more than 50% of its value, with no real negative catalyst to speak of. At the same time, the stock had no real reaction to the recent and dramatic earnings beat announced by the company. 

Over time, political fears in the region are likely to subside, and when this happens, the hardest-hit companies in the recent Chinese stock selloff will look like heavily discounted gold nuggets. I believe Huya falls into this class of stock. 

5. Take-Two Interactive Holdings, Inc. (TTWO)

A Growing Company with Significant Upside

  • Market Cap: Take-Two Interactive may not be the largest company on this list, but its market cap of more than $20 billion is nothing to shake a stick at.  
  • Earnings History: The company isn’t just known for beating earnings expectations, it’s known for smashing them. Over the past year, the average earnings surprise produced by the company was over 100%. 
  • Dividend Yield: Like many in the tech industry, TTWO does not pay dividends. 

Take-Two Interactive Holdings is a game developer that has had some pretty significant hits in the past. Its portfolio of companies includes game publishers like Rockstar Games, 2k, and Firaxis Games. Companies under its umbrella are the developers behind wildly popular franchises like Grand Theft Auto, BioShock, Borderlands, and Civilization, plus a wide range of other games that capture consumer attention and imagination like nothing else. 

Beyond its activities as a game developer, Take-Two is also a major player in the esports industry. The company currently owns a 50% stake in the NBA 2K League, one of the most popular esports leagues in the world. 

Unfortunately, however, 2021 wasn’t a great year for the stock. While the company smashed expectations in all earnings releases all year, the investing community seems to have shunned the stock, leading to declines of 12%. 

Nonetheless, many argue that the declines are an opportunity. The company has produced stellar revenue and earnings all year, and experts suggest more growth is on the horizon with positive guidance. 

Many investors, like Warren Buffett, have made massive amounts of money buying stocks when companies were down on their luck or the stocks were simply undervalued. What we’re seeing from Take-Two Interactive stock suggests it might be one of these opportunities. 

Consider Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

If you’re not interested in doing the research required to choose individual stocks — or simply don’t have the time or don’t know how — don’t worry. There’s another way to gain exposure to solid picks in the esports industry. 

One of the best ways is to buy into a themed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that’s centered around esports. A couple funds to look into in this category include the VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) and the Global X Video Games & Esports ETF (HERO). 

ETFs pool money from a large number of investors and use those funds to buy shares in esports companies. As the companies grow or pay dividends, the profits are enjoyed by all shareholders of the fund. 

Final Word

The esports industry is an exciting one. Whether you’re a gamer or esports enthusiast, or you don’t play games at all, it can be an incredibly lucrative investment opportunity. 

However, as is the case when investing in any sector, it’s important to do your research before risking your hard-earned money. After all, each company is unique, offering investors a different mix of opportunity and risks. 

Fortunately many people find researching gaming stocks to be fun. After all, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the companies behind the games you play, find out about upcoming titles, and potentially earn a return for doing so. 

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Joshua Rodriguez has worked in the finance and investing industry for more than a decade. In 2012, he decided he was ready to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race. By 2013, he became his own boss and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Joshua enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with up and comers to help enrich the financial lives of the masses rather than fuel the ongoing economic divide. When he’s not writing, helping up and comers in the freelance industry, and making his own investments and wise financial decisions, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife, son, daughter, and eight large breed dogs. See what Joshua is up to by following his Twitter or contact him through his website, CNA Finance.

Source: moneycrashers.com

The ‘Bividend’: What’s Up With BTCS’s Bitcoin Dividend?

Apparently “bividends” are going to be a thing now. 

BTCS (BTCS, $4.36), a self-proclaimed blockchain technology-focused company, on Wednesday announced the first-ever dividend payable in bitcoin by a Nasdaq-listed company. 

And while it might be contradictory in nature to the purpose of traditional cash dividends, you can probably still expect more bividends to pop up from other companies down the road.

The BTCS “Bividend”

BTCS intends to pay shareholders of record a one-time dividend of 5 cents per share in bitcoin, based on the bitcoin price on the ex-dividend date. Investors who do not elect to receive the bividend in bitcoin will receive a cash dividend of 5 cents per share. 

“We want to reward our long-time shareholders for their continued support and encourage financial freedom by providing the means to enable direct ownership of bitcoin and other digital assets,” CEO Charles Allen said in a press release.

Before you can say “make it stop,” know that plenty of crypto-commenters have already begun poking holes in the premise of paying dividends in bitcoin. 

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For one thing, above all else, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are attractive primarily as speculative assets. Traders love them for their volatility and return potential.

No one buys bitcoin for its future cash flow because bitcoin has no future cash flow. Buying bitcoin for income – that is, for the dividends, which are paid out of cash flow – makes even less sense.

And this is a one-time dividend to boot.

A Stunt? Possibly. But Bividends Might Be Here to Stay

All you really need to know, in the words of Bloomberg’s Matt Levine, is that BTCS “is a somewhat unloved micro-cap company,” but it did pull off an effective marketing trick. After all, BTCS shares popped more than 40% the day of the news drop.

“A bividend is a terrible name but an obviously good meme-y crypto stunt to increase attention,” Levine writes. “BTCS will pay about $500,000 in bividends, which bought it about $15 million of market cap. Just a good trade!”

But also be aware that BTCS stock is still off nearly 50% since its September Nasdaq debut. Its market cap, at less than $45 million, remains pitiable. And its daily average volume of 1.2 million shares reveals a distinct lack of interest among market participants on most trading days. 

Where this gets interesting – or maddening, depending upon your point of view – is that BTCS is unlikely to be the last issuer of a crypto dividend. That’s because, if nothing else, BTCS’ move worked remarkably well as an attention-getting device. Somewhat regrettably, we’re talking about BTCS in this post right now

But the firm’s one-time bitcoin (or cash) payout doesn’t change the investment thesis on BTCS stock (whatever that might be).

As for the concept of bividends more broadly, it stands to reason we’ll see copycats – and probably plenty of them – soon enough. Suffice to say that for the time being – and then some – quaint, old-fashioned common stock dividend investors would do well to tune out this noise.

Source: kiplinger.com

Stock Market Today: Health Insurers Lead Another Slide in Stocks

Investors didn’t get a full reprieve from yesterday’s heavy selling, but they were at least allowed to catch their breath in a calmer Thursday session that saw the major indexes finish modestly lower.

The first unemployment-benefits data of the new year was a tad disappointing, with the Labor Department reporting 207,000 initial claims for the week ending Jan. 1, higher than estimates for 195,000.

Treasury yields also continued to rise, with the 10-year touching 1.75% from 1.68% yesterday; that helped lift the financial sector (+1.5%), primarily regional bank companies such as Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB, +4.2%) and PNC Financial Services (PNC, +3.9%).

Heading in the other direction were health insurers, which tumbled as a group after Humana (HUM, -19.4%) drastically lowered its membership-growth expectations for Medicare Advantage products, to 150,000 to 200,000 members from 325,000 to 375,000 previously. Names including UnitedHealth Group (UNH, -4.1%), Cigna (CI, -3.8%) and Anthem (ANTM, -4.1%) fell in sympathy.

The indexes were far less rowdy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the decline, off 0.5% to 36,236, while the S&P 500 (-0.1% to 4,696) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1% to 15,080) also slipped again.

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stock chart for 010622stock chart for 010622

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 was up 0.6% to 2,206.
  • Gold futures plunged 2% to end at $1,789.20 an ounce after Wednesday’s minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting suggested the central bank could hike interest rates sooner than anticipated.
  • Bitcoin dropped yet again, by 1.8% to $43,217.10, amid unrest in Kazakhstan, which is actually the world’s second-largest source of bitcoin mining. That mining was disrupted as Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the national telecom provider to shut down internet service, taking numerous miners offline. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) stock jumped 8.0%, even after the home goods retailer reported dismal fiscal third-quarter results. Over the three-month period, BBBY recorded an adjusted per-share loss of 25 cents versus analysts’ consensus estimate for the company to breakeven on a per-share basis. On the top line, Bed Bath & Beyond brought in $1.88 billion, falling short of the $1.95 billion analysts’ were expecting. Pouring salt on the proverbial wound, same-store sales fell 10% year-over-year and the retailer lowered its full-year forecast to account for continued supply-chain headwinds.
  • MGM Resorts International (MGM) improved by 3.0% after Credit Suisse analysts Benjamin Chaiken and Sarah Murray named the casino stock a “top pick” for 2022. “We see upside to MGM based on accelerating trends in Vegas, a more simplified operating structure that should aid valuation, an attractive capital structure (net cash position), upside to 2023 estimates and improving investor sentiment,” they wrote in a note. With today’s pop, MGM stock is now up more than 46% on a 12-month basis.

A Big Year for Energy Ahead?

Tops today, though, were energy stocks (+2.2%), which were the best S&P sector in 2021 with 53% total returns (price plus dividends) and are again leading the way with a 9.0% gain this year.

Thursday’s gains came on the back of crude oil futures’ 2.1% gain to $79.46 per barrel amid the aforementioned turmoil in major oil producer Kazakhstan, where protests over fuel prices have turned into broader anti-government riots.

It’s a temporary tailwind for a sector most of Wall Street was bullish about heading into 2022 – though the pros had their own, longer-term reason. Specifically, an eventual full reopening of the global economy whenever COVID finally fades is expected to bolster energy demand, which should keep prices on the upward trajectory they traveled throughout 2021.

Today, we provide the last of our 11 annual sector look-aheads – our best energy stocks to buy for 2022. The energy sector often moves in unified fashion, with a rising tide of high commodity prices typically lifting most boats. But a few stocks seem better positioned than others to leverage those prices into shareholder gains in 2022.

Source: kiplinger.com

Dogs of the Dow 2022: 10 Dividend Stocks to Watch

The start of the new year means a fresh chance for yield-seeking investors to get in on one of the easiest market strategies in the book:

The Dogs of the Dow.

Investment manager Michael B. O’Higgins popularized the idea in his 1991 book Beating the Dow. And it doesn’t get much simpler: At the beginning of the year, buy the 10 highest-yielding Dow Jones Industrial Average components in equal amounts. Hold them until the end of the year. Rinse. Repeat.

While the Dogs of the Dow sounds like a dividend strategy, it has its roots in value. O’Higgins’ proposed that firms with high dividends relative to their stock price in the index would be near the bottom of their business cycle and represent bargains compared to components with lower dividend yields.

And why the DJIA? The Dow Jones has long been considered one of the leading stock-market gauges of America’s economy. While the S&P 500 has more components and is more diversified, the Dow still covers most sectors. Not to mention, its components are extremely liquid and there are reams of research available on all 30.

But buyer beware. While the Dogs of the Dow have posted a respectable 8.7% annual total return since 2000, the Dogs have trailed the DJIA in each of the past four years. Analysts have proposed that the shift to growth investing has hurt the strategy’s performance; but with value stocks predicted to regain their mojo, the Dogs could again have their day.

Without further ado, here are the 2022 Dogs of the Dow.

Data is as of Dec. 31, 2021, the date on which the Dogs of the Dow are identified. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price. Stocks listed in reverse order of yield.

1 of 10


Intel building signIntel building sign
  • Sector: Technology
  • Market value: $209.5 billion
  • Dividend yield: 2.7%

Oh, how the tables have turned.

A decade ago, Intel (INTC, $51.50) was the leading name in chips, while Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) were promising yet still relatively minor players – combined, the two were worth less than a tenth of Intel by market capitalization.

But Nvidia is now several times Nvidia’s size, and AMD isn’t too far behind Intel’s $210 billion market value. That’s because in recent years, Intel has missed the boat on a variety of fronts. From mobile computing and productions capabilities for faster/smaller chipsets, Intel has stumbled … and its rivals have eaten its lunch.

But while Intel might be down, it’s hardly not out.

Intel’s Alder Lake 12th-generation core processor chips have started to eat away from AMD’s high-end processors, and Intel recently announced the latest line of Alder Lake chips that include what the company says is “the fastest mobile processor. Ever.” The next two years should see its 13th-gen (Raptor Lake) and 14th-gen (Meteor Lake) chips come live.

Intel also could squeeze some value out of Mobileye, the autonomous vehicle-chip stock that it acquired back in 2017. INTC in December announced its intent to spin the company off in an initial public offering (IPO) while maintaining controlling interest – allowing Intel to enjoy both an immediate windfall while still realizing gains as Mobileye grows.

In keeping with the Dogs of the Dow’s value bent, Intel trades at just 14 times the coming year’s earnings estimates, significantly less than both the S&P 500 (21) and technology sector (28). INTC’s 2.7% yield is also much better than what you typically get out of tech shares.

2 of 10


Coca-Cola With Coffee can sitting in a pocket of snowCoca-Cola With Coffee can sitting in a pocket of snow
  • Sector: Consumer staples
  • Market value: $255.8 billion
  • Dividend yield: 2.8%

In today’s low-carb and keto-friendly world, sugary soft drinks and sodas are practically verboten. And in recent years, that has largely muted the returns of giant Coca-Cola (KO, $59.21), which has produced roughly half the total returns (price plus dividends) of the S&P 500 over the past half-decade.

But KO is doing a better job of ensuring it has the goods to shift with consumer tastes.

Coca-Cola has spent a few years moving its portfolio into healthier options. That includes teas, milk and sparkling water, among others. It also unveiled new zero-sugar versions of soda brands such as Sprite and Coca-Cola, which fueled about 25% of the Coca-Cola brand’s growth in the third quarter.

KO is also looking toward athletics and fitness fanatics for growth. Back in November, Coca-Cola purchased sports beverage group BodyArmor – which it already had a 15% stake in – for $5.6 billion. This instantly gives it a meaningful presence in the industry. “BodyArmor is currently the #2 sports drink in the category in measured retail channels, growing at about 50% to drive more than $1.4 billion in retail sales,” the company says.

And you don’t get more dependable than Coca-Cola’s dividend, which has been growing uninterrupted for 59 consecutive years. That easily puts it among the longest-tenured Dividend Aristocrats.

3 of 10


Scotch tapeScotch tape
  • Sector: Industrials
  • Market value: 102.4 billion
  • Dividend yield: 3.3%

Unlike most of Wall Street, 3M (MMM, $177.63) was already getting crushed by the time the COVID bear market came around. The U.S.-China trade war and other difficulties were already weighing on the industrial name when COVID cramped demand for many of the company’s products (except its N95 masks and filtering division, of course).

But 2022 could be another year of recovery for 3M.

3M makes more than 60,000 products, from consumer products such as sponges and packing tape to industrial diamond-coated grinding disks and orthodontic supplies. In normal times, this wide product portfolio provides insulation from specific shocks to its various businesses. And it allows 3M to enjoy in numerous facets of a broad economic recovery.

The company grew third-quarter revenues 7.1% year-over-year and generated more than $1.5 billion in free cash flow. 3M is benefiting from continued cost cutting and development programs, as well as from selling chronically underperforming business lines.

3M’s forward P/E of 16 makes it one of the more expensive 2022 Dogs of the Dow, and yet it still trades for much cheaper than the S&P 500 and industrial sector (20) alike.

4 of 10


Amgen needleAmgen needle
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Market value: $126.7 billion
  • Dividend yield: 3.5%

Patent expirations are a hurdle most pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have to face, and that’s no different for established biotech Amgen (AMGN, $224.97). Top drugs such as Enbrel, Neulasta and Otezla will fall off the patent cliff in coming years.

The good news? The earliest drug in that cohort to fall off patent won’t do so until 2025. And often, U.S. drug manufacturers can kick the can down the road by making minor changes to drugs or adding more indications for the therapy. Not to mention, expirations go both ways – AbbVie’s (ABBV) blockbuster drug Humira is set to lose patent protection in the U.S. in 2023, and Amgen has already gained approval to sell Amjevita, a biosimilar form of the drug.

Another big reason AMGN shareholders shouldn’t panic is its potential-packed pipeline. The biotechnology firm has more than 20 drugs in Phase 2 or 3 trials. And recently, the FDA approved Amgen severe-asthma medication Tezspire, a potential blockbuster drug.

Nearer-term, another reason to like Amgen is its dividend. Namely, it’ll be 10% bigger in 2022, at $1.94 per share quarterly, the company announced in December.

5 of 10


Merck buildingMerck building
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Market value: $193.6 billion
  • Dividend yield: 3.6%

Merck (MRK, $76.64) has been doing a lot of evolving in recent years. It has gone on an impressive pipeline-buying spree, which continued in late November with its $11.5 billion buy of Acceleron. And Merck also recently spun off its legacy generic drug and off-patent medicines into a separate company, Organon (OGN).

The resulting Merck is one of the top growth-oriented drug producers in the world.

Sales of oncology blockbuster drug Keytruda jumped 22% year-over-year during Q3, to $4.5 billion. Some analysts believe Keytruda will soon be the world’s best-selling drug, overtaking AbbVie’s Humira. That’s in part because Merck intends to seek approval for other indications of the drug. But Merck has other major drugs in the tank, including Gardasil, whose sales grew 68% to $2 billion in Q3. And its pipeline includes dozens of products in Phase 2 and 3 trials.

A low forward P/E of around 10, and a yield well above 3%, make MRK a model example of the income and value found in the Dogs of the Dow.

6 of 10

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens pharmacyWalgreens pharmacy
  • Sector: Consumer staples
  • Market value: $45.2 billion
  • Dividend yield: 3.7%

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA, $52.16) wasn’t the COVID winner you might have thought. COVID prompted a shift in the company’s sales mix to lower-margin items, and it dragged heavily on foot traffic in the company’s Boots U.K. stores.

So, like many other retailers, an escape from the pandemic should help Walgreens, which used COVID as an opportunity to cut nearly $2 billion in costs from its operations.

Partnerships will be essential too. For instance, Walgreens has been opening branded primary-care clinics with VillageMD, who staffs these locations with physicians, allowing them to cater to more than ear infections and sniffles. Walgreens plans to open 1,000 of these clinics at its stores by 2027.

Also in play is the potential divestiture of its Boots business; several reports in December said Walgreens was mulling the move.

With foot traffic on the rebound and new avenues for growth opening up, WBA could be a productive Dow Dog. A forward P/E of around 10 doesn’t hurt, either.

7 of 10


A Chevron gas stationA Chevron gas station
  • Sector: Energy
  • Market value: $226.2 billion
  • Dividend yield: 4.6%

COVID was downright miserable for the energy sector – even integrated oil-and-gas giants such as Chevron (CVX, $117.35).

However, while numerous companies closed, and many more were forced to cut jobs, slash capital expenditures and pull back on their dividends, Chevron managed to keep its dividend running and even used an all-stock deal to acquire Noble Energy.

Chevron’s acquisition of Noble at fire-sale prices boosted its overall presence in low-cost fields in the Permian Basin, allowing the company to better leverage a rebound in energy prices, which came in spades in 2021.

Energy stocks of all sorts went bananas in 2021, making it the S&P 500’s top sector. Chevron returned 46% amid a complete rebound in its operations. For instance, its third quarter saw Chevron earn $6.1 billion versus the $207 million it lost in the year-ago quarter.

However, despite its massive 2021 move, CVX stock yet again finds itself among the Dogs of the Dow.

Chevron’s 4.6% current yield isn’t as generous as the 6% or so it offered at this same time last year, but it’s still one of the top yields in the Dow. Meanwhile, it’s value-priced at just 12 times earnings estimates.

8 of 10

International Business Machines

IBM buildingIBM building
  • Sector: Technology
  • Market value: $119.9 billion
  • Dividend yield: 4.9%

International Business Machines (IBM, $133.66) has been nothing short of a disappointment in recent years.

Big Blue has struggled to remain relevant in the age of cloud computing while rivals chipped away market share. At one point, the firm recorded 22 consecutive quarters of declining revenue, then restarted that streak shortly after breaking it. Even including dividends, IBM shares returned just 1% between 2017 and 2021.

But IBM might finally be getting itself together.

Its 2019 purchases of open-source software firm Red Hat boosted the company’s operations. Fast-forward to 2021, and the company cut loose some dead weight, spinning off its legacy IT infrastructure services as Kyndryl (KD).

A now leaner, meaner IBM is focused once again on growth.

We saw signs of this in the company’s third quarter, where overall cloud revenues grew 14% year-over-year. It’ll still be a while before IBM can report its post-separation numbers, but analysts are generally expecting IBM to start heading in the right direction once again.

Better still: IBM didn’t give away any of the dividend game with Kyndryl. International Business Machines remains a Dividend Aristocrat whose 4.9% yield is among the best of 2022’s Dogs of the Dow.

9 of 10

Verizon Communications

Verizon storeVerizon store
  • Sector: Communication services
  • Market value: $215.1 billion
  • Dividend yield: 4.9%

Verizon (VZ, $51.96) spent the last few years trying to build out a communications and media empire. Wireless communication has become a commodity; there isn’t much difference between carriers, plans or offerings at this point. The U.S. market is saturated. The major carriers can’t rely on their legacy businesses for growth.

But Verizon’s ventures, which included buying Yahoo! And other media properties, simply didn’t pan out. Several write-offs later, and VZ is just getting back to basics: improving its giant network and providing services that utilize said network.

The 5G transformation is a major tailwind for Verizon. It’s not just consumer devices; smart vehicles, the Internet of Things and other applications will be a big driver for its network. Also, Verizon has started to transition toward more enterprise customers, which includes fleet management software and applications to data security. These should also provide a runway for growth.

A forward P/E under 10 and a nearly 5% dividend, meanwhile, provide some of the best features of the Dogs of the Dow.

10 of 10


Dow buildingDow building
  • Sector: Materials
  • Market value: $42.0 billion
  • Dividend yield: 4.9%

Dow has had a wild and transformative few years that saw it spin off assets before merging with rival DuPont (DD), then the chemical giant split into three separate firms. The remaining Dow contains the materials sciences chemicals, including adhesives, polyurethanes, silicones, resins and waxes, among others.

Like most other materials stocks, Dow struggled right alongside the broader economy during the COVID recession. For instance, during Q3 2020, the company lost 4 cents per share on $9.7 billion in sales. By Q3 2021, Dow had recovered considerably, posting $2.23 per share in earnings on $14.8 billion in revenues.

The omicron and future variants could throw more hurdles at the Dow recovery, but in general, a growing global economy should mean continued growth in demand for Dow’s products.

You can buy into that recovery on the cheap through Dow. Shares trade at a svelte nine times future earnings and yield nearly 5% at today’s prices. That’s roughly four times the income you’ll pull from the broader market, and at a much better valuation. A fair dividend payout ratio of 45% of earnings leaves Dow ample room to raise that payout further.

Aaron Levitt was long AMGN and MRK as of this writing.

Source: kiplinger.com

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Guide

Discounted cash flow is an income-based approach for valuing an asset. The discounted cash flow formula calculates what an asset is worth today using future cash flows as the basis.

In business settings, analysts may apply the DCF model to determine the value of another business. For example, a company that’s interested in an acquisition or merger may look at the discounted cash flows of comparable companies. But it’s also possible to use discounted cash flow analysis when making investment decisions inside a personal portfolio.

What is DCF?

Discounted cash flow is one of several valuation methods investors use to determine an asset’s value. The technical DCF model definition is: future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values.

In simpler terms, discounted cash flow allows investors to estimate the value of something today based on its ability to generate cash flow in the future. This ties into the concept of the time value of money, which assumes that money is worth more now than it would be at some future date. This assumption reflects the possibility of increasing inflation rates or interest rate changes diminishing the value of money over time.

Here’s another way to think of discounted cash flow: It’s a way to predict or estimate future returns on a current investment, whether it’s a stock, a business purchase or something else. In other words, you can use the discounted cash flow formula to figure out if what you get out of an investment might equal or exceed what you put in.

How DCF Works and What It’s Used For

Discounted cash flow analysis provides an estimated value of an investment or asset, based on forecast cash flows to evaluate potential investment opportunities. Investors use DCF to calculate a rate of return and answer the question of how much money an investment can potentially generate, when adjusted for the time value of money.

DCF analysis can have several applications. Some of the scenarios where analysts use discounted as a predictive tool include when evaluating the potential returns on an investment:

•   Calculating the value of a business

•   Estimating the potential return on investment associated with the purchase of business assets

•   Calculating the value of investments in stocks, bonds or other financial securities

Company’s often use DCF valuation when they are contemplating the acquisition of another company. In this scenario, discounted cash flow can give the acquiring company an idea of the value of the company they want to purchase.

Businesses can also use discounted cash flow analysis as a guide for making investments in equipment or other assets. If the investment requires the use of loans or financing to purchase the equipment, the DCF model can factor the interest rate into its calculations to estimate an accurate ROI.

DCF Formula

Discounted cash flow uses a specific formula for determining value. The formula looks like this:

(Cash flow for year 1/(1+r)1) + (Cash flow for year 2/(1+r)2) + (Cash flow for N year/(1+r)N) + (Cash flow for final year/(1+r)

You may also see it simplified like this: DCF = CF1 / (1 + r) 1 + CF2 / (1 + r) 2 + CFN / (1 + r)N + CFF/ (1+r)

Breaking down each element of the discounted cash flow formula can help with understanding how to use it.

Cash Flow

In the DCF valuation model, cash flow simply represents the flow of cash in and out of a business or investment. For example, a business’ incoming cash flow may revolve around sales of its products or services.

Outgoing cash flow would include expenses paid by the business, including payments to suppliers, utility bills, loan payments and taxes. Positive cash flow means the business has more money coming in than going out while negative cash flow means the opposite. A cash flow statement is a standard part of a company’s financial statements.

For a stock, the cash flow might be dividends paid, and for a bond it could be coupon payments.

Discount Rate

In the discounted cash flow formula, “r” represents the discount rate. The discount rate is the interest rate used to determine present value. When using the DCF model to determine business valuations, the discount rate can be applied as the weighted average cost of capital.

The discount rate is important because when used in discounted cash flow analysis calculations, it can tell you if the expected return from an investment is likely to be positive or negative.

Period Number

The final piece of the puzzle in discounted cash flow analysis is the period number, represented by N in the DCF formula. The period number simply means the period of time that you’re using for discounted cash flow analysis. So this might be five years, 10 years, 20 years, or longer, depending on the type of investment or asset you’re trying to find a valuation for.

When calculating discounted cash flow, you can also determine terminal value. This makes it possible to measure the growth rate or return on an investment for projected cash flows beyond the timeframe you’re using for your calculations. So to find this number, you’d multiply cash flow for the final year by (1+ long-term growth rate) and divided by (discount rate – minus long-term growth rate).

DCF Example

Having an example to follow can make it easier to understand discounted cash flow and how it works. So, assume an investor is considering a private equity investment. They plan to purchase a 10% stake in a private company growing at a rate of 5% each year.

Using the discounted cash flow formula, assume that the business generated $5 million in cash flow the previous year. A 10% investment stake would be worth $500,000. Using a 5% growth rate, the stake would generate $25,000 in cash flow the first year, $26,250 in the second year and $27,562.50 in the third year.

Now, say your target rate of return is 10%. Using the discounted cash flow formula with a discount rate of 0.10%, here’s how the numbers would align:

Year Cash Flow Discounted Cash Flow
1 $525,000 $477,273
2 $551,250 $501,136
3 $578,812.50 $526,193
Total $1,655,062.50 $1,004,103

Looking at this chart, you can see what an investment would be worth to you today, based on anticipated cash flows. This can help you decide how much to invest and if the investment is worth it, based on the expected rate of return you might get from putting the money to work elsewhere.

Discounted Cash Flow vs Net Present Value

Discounted cash flow is one of several valuation methods used to determine value of a business or investment. Net present value or NPV is another. The net present value represents the present value of cash flows at the required rate of return relative to the initial investment. Net present value can be used to decide if an investment is worth making, based on the expected rate of return as measured by the value of money today.

So how is this different from discounted cash flow? With discounted cash flow analysis, you’re trying to determine how much projected cash flows are worth using the time value of money. When using DCF analysis, the internal rate of return represents a discount rate that makes the NPV of cash flows equal to zero.

Net present value, on the other hand, can help you determine the net return on an investment after factoring in the initial cost of that investment. To calculate net present value, you’d use the initial investment amount, the discount rate or target rate of return, and the time period for the investment.

Both DCF and NPV can help when making investment decisions. But net present value takes valuation calculations one step further by subtracting the cost of the investment from the discounted cash flow.

Limitations of DCF

Discounted cash flow modeling is not an exact science. DCF analysis requires you to estimate cash flows and the discount rate, so if you estimate either one inaccurately you could end up with valuation calculations that are too high or too low. This can make it difficult to realistically judge the viability of an investment.

It’s also important to remember that valuations can be very sensitive to external factors, such as changing market volatility. It’s difficult to precisely forecast how an investment or business will react to increased volatility or other changes to market conditions. For that reason, discounted cash flow works best as a guide for estimating potential returns, rather than an absolute predictor of outcomes.

How Can DCF Help Investors?

DCF can tell investors if an investment is worth making, based on the anticipated returns.

So, say you want to buy a stock that looks promising. If you have all the appropriate numbers to plug into the discounted cash flow formula, you could reasonably estimate how much of a return you’re likely to see on your investment. Or if you’re considering purchasing a home to use as a rental property, discounted cash flow could tell you what level of returns you’re likely to see on your investment.

Again, it’s important to remember that discounted cash flow is not a 100% accurate way to measure estimated return on investment. But it can be a useful guide for determining whether an investment makes sense for your portfolio, based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

The Takeaway

Investing is central to growing wealth over the long term and getting started can be easier than you might think. Understanding the basics of discounted cash flow is important when choosing stocks, bonds, or other securities for your portfolio. If you’re investing via a brokerage account or an Individal Retirement Account (IRA), where you choose to invest also matters.

By opening an online brokerage account on the SoFi Invest trading platform, you can start investing with as little as $5. It’s easy and convenient to begin building a portfolio from scratch. If you prefer a hands-off approach, automated portfolios offer diversification.

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SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).

2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.

Source: sofi.com