Warren Buffett Is Earning $6,731 in Dividend Income Per Minute This Quarter

Did you know Berkshire Hathaway’s dividend stocks are generating nearly $1 billion per quarter?

Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B), in addition to its dozens of businesses, also owns a portfolio of 47 different common stocks, many of which were hand-selected by Buffett himself. And many of these stocks pay dividends. In fact, from all of the stocks in Berkshire’s portfolio, the company is generating more than $6,700 in dividend income every minute.

Berkshire Hathaway’s dividend income

During the second quarter, Berkshire’s holdings will pay out a combined total of $882,004,712 in expected dividend income. There are 91 days in the quarter, so this translates to $9,692,359 per day, or just under $6,731 per minute in dividend income.

To be fair, this makes two big assumptions. First, it assumes Berkshire’s portfolio holdings won’t change at all before or during the second quarter. And it assumes none of the dividend stocks will change their payouts, which some likely will. In reality, the dividend income received by Berkshire is likely to be even higher than these figures, since most of his stocks have great records of increasing dividends.

It’s also important to point out that Berkshire’s portfolio is rather top heavy — that is, there are a handful of big holdings and a bunch of smaller ones. The same is true for the dividends. Most come from these six stocks:

Company Expected Dividends — Second Quarter 2017
Kraft Heinz $195,380,981
Wells Fargo $182,287,623
Coca-Cola $148,000,000
IBM $113,723,224
Phillips 66 $50,834,632
American Express $48,515,424


Why does Warren Buffett love dividend stocks so much?

To be clear, there are plenty of reasons to like dividend stocks, both as a group and Buffett’s choices individually. For example, you can read complete discussions of why Buffett likes Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo.

In a broad sense, Buffett loves dividend stocks for the same reason he loves most of the businesses that he and his team have acquired over the years. Dividend stocks generate a steady, and hopefully growing, stream of cash. And because Berkshire owns dozens of businesses, regularly acquires companies, and buys individual stocks, he can use this cash in whichever way suits Berkshire best at the time.

As an example, if one of Berkshire’s subsidiaries needs a new factory, this dividend income can help finance it. This is actually Buffett’s number one priority for cash generated by Berkshire — making sure its existing businesses have their capital requirements met.

As an alternative, if Berkshire’s capital needs are met and management perceives Berkshire’s stock as cheap, the dividends can be used to buy back shares — or they can be used to buy shares of any stock that looks attractive to Buffett and his stock-pickers. And if nothing looks attractive, this dividend income can be added to the company’s stockpile of cash to help fund the next big acquisitions.

The importance of dividend growth

You might notice by the stocks mentioned here, as well as some of the other dividend stocks in Buffett’s portfolio, Berkshire especially loves to invest in stocks that raise their dividends consistently. Coca-Cola is an excellent example, and has increased its payout for 54 consecutive years without fail — one of the best dividend track records in the market.

This is important to Buffett for the same reason it’s important to everyday investors like you and me. Consistent income streams are important, especially when you rely on the income from your investments to finance other expenses. And when your income stream grows every year, it not only helps you keep up with inflation, but increases your long-term compounding power.

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Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool recommends American Express. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.