Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs)


Discover the power of dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) and how they can help you enhance your investment strategy. Learn how DRIPs work, their advantages for both investors and companies and why they’re a valuable tool for long-term wealth accumulation.

A dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) is an innovative strategy that empowers investors to compound their returns by automatically reinvesting their cash dividends into additional shares or fractional shares of the underlying stock. This program offers a seamless way to accumulate more shares over time, creating a snowball effect that can significantly enhance your investment portfolio. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of DRIPs, their advantages, and how they can bolster your financial journey.

Understanding the mechanics of a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP)

A dividend reinvestment plan, or DRIP, goes beyond traditional dividend payouts. Instead of receiving dividends as cash, investors have the option to reinvest those funds into additional shares of the company’s stock. This can be particularly beneficial for long-term investors seeking to harness the power of compounding. DRIPs are usually offered by publicly traded corporations and involve automatic reinvestment arrangements. Over 650 companies and 500 closed-end funds currently provide these programs, making it an accessible strategy for many investors.

How does a DRIP work

When a company offers a DRIP, shareholders have the opportunity to reinvest their dividends into new shares directly from the company itself. These shares are typically purchased from the company’s reserve and aren’t tradable on stock exchanges. DRIPs often come with the advantage of commission-free or low-cost purchases coupled with discounts on the current share price. While DRIPs are generally tailored to existing shareholders, some companies extend this benefit to new investors, usually with a specified minimum investment requirement.

Pros and cons of DRIPs


Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.


  • Accumulate more shares without paying commissions
  • Purchase shares at a discount to current market price
  • Facilitates compounding returns over the long term


  • Dividends reinvested are still taxable income
  • Shares purchased through DRIPs may not be as liquid
  • Some DRIPs have minimum investment thresholds

Advantages for both investors and companies

DRIPs offer a range of benefits to both investors and the issuing companies. For investors, DRIPs provide a cost-effective way to accumulate additional shares while enjoying potential discounts on share prices. The compounding effect of reinvested dividends can significantly enhance long-term returns. On the other hand, companies benefit by accessing additional capital for their operations and experiencing more stable shareholder behavior, as DRIP participants are often long-term investors.

Realizing the potential: A practical example

To illustrate the power of DRIPs, consider the case of 3M Company. Through its DRIP program administered by EQ Shareowner Services, shareholders have the option to reinvest their dividends into additional shares, enjoying benefits like waived fees and commissions. By participating in a DRIP, investors can seamlessly compound their returns and align their strategy with long-term wealth accumulation.

Key takeaways

  • DRIPs enable automatic reinvestment of dividends into additional shares.
  • Investors can accumulate shares at a discount, boosting cost basis.
  • Compounded returns through DRIPs enhance long-term potential.
  • Companies benefit from additional capital and stable shareholder behavior.
View Article Sources
  1. Dividend reinvestment plan – Cornell University
  2. Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase Plan – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  3. Are Reinvested Dividends Taxable? – SuperMoney
  4. Are Dividends Considered an Expense? – SuperMoney