How much should I invest in income stocks to aim for £1,000 a month in dividends

By targeting income stocks, our writer takes a closer look at what it takes to build a portfolio big enough to provide a robust passive income.

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Earning passive income brings with it a bucket load of advantages. It provides financial stability and flexibility, and can be used to help achieve long-term financial objectives alongside retirement planning. As such, it represents a goal for many people around the world.

The advantages of earning dividend income

When it comes to earning passive income in the form of dividends, I believe there are some unique perks. For example, dividend income is practically effortless to receive. Once an investor holds some dividend-paying stocks, the income flows in without the need for much active involvement.

Additionally, holding income stocks can offer a sense of stability as a handful of companies boast a history of reliable and generous shareholder payouts.

With that in mind, how much would I need to invest in dividend stocks to earn a passive income worth, say, £1,000 every month?

Building a sizeable investment portfolio

The first thing for me to note is that it’ll largely depend on the average dividend yield I could achieve on my portfolio. To illustrate, taking the FTSE 100‘s average historic yield of 4%, I’d need a pot worth £300,000. However, if I somehow doubled that yield, I’d only need one worth £150,000.

Something more realistic to aim for would be an average yield of around 6%. In my view, that’s fairly achievable without taking on too much additional risk. At this average yield, I’d be looking at building a portfolio worth £200,000.

Clearly, that’s not a meagre sum. But by embracing a long-term mindset to leverage the power of compounding, reaching such a milestone isn’t as difficult as some may think.

After all, even if I was starting out from scratch, I could build a portfolio worth over £200,000 after 19 years, provided I invested £500 each month and achieved an average annual return of 7%.

Investing in high-quality businesses

Having amassed the required amount, I’d then make sure my portfolio consisted of a diversified selection of high-yield income stocks. That said, a high yield alone wouldn’t be enough to convince me. I’d also want to make sure the payout was well-covered by the company’s earnings.

After all, if a high yield isn’t supported by robust earnings, it’s usually a major red flag. By focusing not only on the yield but also on its sustainability thorough analysis of earnings and payout ratios, I could better strike the balance between attractive income and manageable risk. This will ultimately serve to ensure a more secure passive income stream.

Moreover, diversification would be key in my investment approach. Spreading my investments across different sectors and industries would further mitigate risks associated with economic fluctuations.

That said, dividends are never guaranteed as there is always the risk of cuts or suspensions to shareholder payouts. Companies may reduce or even scrap dividends altogether during economic downturns, financial crises, or when facing operational challenges.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Matthew Dumigan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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