Dividend are an important factor for long-term investors with respect to total return. Dividends contribute to more than one-third of long-term total return from equity investments.
Historically, dividends have contributed approximately one-third of total return for the S&P 500. The chart shows the contribution of dividends to the average monthly total return of the S&P 500 in several decades. In some decades, dividend income accounted for more than one-half of total return. In some decades, dividend income accounted for more than one-half of total return. During the 1990s, dividends accounted for as little as 14%.