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Bird In Hand

Bird In Hand

What Is Bird in Hand?

The bird close by is a theory that says investors favor dividends from stock investing to potential capital gains due to the inherent uncertainty associated with capital gains. In light of the proverb, "try to be content and thankful," the bird close by theory states that investors favor the certainty of dividend payments to the possibility of substantially higher future capital gains.

Figuring out Bird in Hand

Myron Gordon and John Lintner developed the bird close by theory as a contradiction to the Modigliani-Miller dividend irrelevance theory. The dividend irrelevance theory keeps up with that investors are not interested in whether their returns from holding stock emerge from dividends or capital gains. Under the bird close by theory, stocks with high dividend payouts are looked for by investors and, thusly, command a higher market price.

Investors who buy into the bird close by theory accept that dividends are more certain than capital gains.

Bird in Hand versus Capital Gains Investing

Investing in capital gains is for the most part predicated on guess. An investor might gain an advantage in capital gains by leading broad company, market, and macroeconomic research. Nonetheless, at last, the performance of a stock relies on a large group of factors that are beyond the investor's control.

Consequently, capital gains investing addresses the "two in the bush" side of the maxim. Investors pursue capital gains since there is a possibility that those gains might be large, however it is similarly conceivable that capital gains might be nonexistent or, more terrible, negative.

Broad stock market indices, for example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500 have averaged annual returns of up to 10% over the long-term. Finding dividends that high is troublesome. Even stocks in famously high-dividend industries, like utilities and telecommunications, will more often than not top out at 5%. Nonetheless, assuming that a company has been paying a dividend yield of, for instance, 5% for a long time, getting that return in a given year is more probable than earning 10% in capital gains.

During years, for example, 2001 and 2008, the broad stock market indices posted big losses, regardless of trending vertically over the long term. In comparative years, dividend income is more dependable and secure; subsequently, these more stable years are associated with the bird close by theory.

Disadvantages of the Bird in Hand

Amazing investor Warren Buffett once believed that where investing is concerned, what is agreeable is rarely productive. Dividend investing at 5% each year gives close ensured returns and security. Be that as it may, over the long term, the pure dividend investor brings in undeniably less cash than the pure capital gains investor. Additionally, during certain years, for example, the late 1970s, dividend income, while secure and agreeable, has been lacking even to keep pace with inflation.

Illustration of Bird in Hand

As a dividend-paying stock, Coca-Cola (KO) would be a stock that finds a place with a bird close by theory-based investing strategy. As per Coca-Cola, the company started paying customary quarterly dividends starting during the 1920s. Further, the company has increased these payments consistently beginning around 1964.


  • Capital gains investing addresses the "two in the bush" side of the maxim "try to be content and thankful."
  • The theory was developed as a contradiction to the Modigliani-Miller dividend irrelevance theory, which keeps up with that investors don't care where their returns come from.
  • The bird close by theory says investors favor stock dividends to expected capital gains due to the uncertainty of capital gains.