The Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index is a quarterly long-term study that analyses dividends paid by the 1,200 largest firms by market capitalisation. In this video, Investment Director Jane Shoemake discusses the surprising resilience of dividends last year during the COVID-19 pandemic and outlines best- and worst-case scenarios for 2021 dividends.

Key Takeaways

  • Our original expectation was that global dividends would fall by around 20% in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic; in reality, the drop was just over 10%.
  • Dividends varied widely by geography and sector. US dividends proved especially resilient, increasing 2.6% year-over-year to a record high of US$503.1 billion in 2020.
  • Despite numerous headlines around dividend cuts, two-thirds of the companies in our index paid or grew their dividends in 2020.
  • Given the continued uncertainty of the economic outlook, our best-case scenario is that global dividends will rise by 2-3% this year.

Unless otherwise stated all data is sourced by Janus Henderson Investors as of 31 December 2020.