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5 cheap UK dividend shares to buy in May 2021

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Armed with £5,000, I don’t think I’d find it hard to generate passive income from the stock market. Here are some cheap UK shares I think offer a great mix of value, clout and dividends going into May.

Cheap UK dividend shares

Plus 500 has been raking in the cash over the last year as more traders have sought to benefit from market volatility and the frenzy surrounding Bitcoin. While this purple patch may well be coming to an end as life gets back to normal, Plus 500 still trades on just eight times forecast earnings. The 3.8% dividend yield also looks secure to me. 

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Another cheap UK share from the FTSE 250 is food ingredients firm Tate and Lyle. It can be picked up for 14 times earnings and boasts a healthy forecast dividend yield of 3.9%. For comparison, the index average is 3%. 

The impact of multiple lockdowns has been a blessing and a curse for our listed supermarkets. Higher online sales have been offset by higher costs. Even so, I still think shares in Tesco are worth picking up for 10 times earnings, especially as some of latter are unlikely to repeat going forward. The company remains the clear market leader and yields a forecast 4.7% at present. 

Elsewhere in the FTSE 100, I continue to think that BAE Systems offers great value. The defence giant trades on just 10 times earnings. Sure, it can’t compete on growth with your typical glitzy tech share but that’s not the point here. On the dividend front, BAE remains a winner. Right now, the shares yield 5% and are covered twice by profits. So, there’s a very low chance of this payout being cut.

A final income stock I think is worthy of closer inspection is insurance firm Aviva. The blue-chip company has returned to investors’ good books lately following solid financial performance under its relatively new CEO Amanda Blanc. Notwithstanding this, the shares still change hands for less than eight times forecast earnings. That could prove a very good price if the UK economy continues to steadily recover from the pandemic.  Based on analyst projections, the shares currently yield 5.8%. 

Buyer beware

As mentioned previously, I think the above shares offer good mix of value, clout and — most importantly — dividends.  However, there are a few things to be aware of. 

Although these companies operate in different sectors, I don’t believe this constitutes a sufficiently diversified portfolio just yet. The ‘right’ amount of stocks to hold will vary from investor to investor, of course. However, I’d personally feel more comfortable with at least 10 positions if I were an income investor.

The higher risks involved in investing for income also need to be highlighted. Rates offered by Cash ISAs may be derisory but at least my money is safe. If I deposit £5,000 today, I can be very confident it will still be £5,000 tomorrow. Cheap UK shares, however, can get even cheaper. And none of the above shares are risk-free, with both the economy and company/sector-specific issues that could affect them.

When it comes to income stocks, there’s also a possibility of dividend policies being altered. That’s particularly important to remember when looking at Aviva (highlighted above). It’s reviewing its payouts going forward. That doesn’t mean a new policy will be a bad deal. However, it does stress the need to go in with one’s eyes wide open.  

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Paul Summers has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Tesco. 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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