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I'm looking at BlackRock ETFs and for those that "Use of income" is set to "distributing" I can look into the Factsheet and find the dividend. For example: https://www.blackrock.com/lu/individual/products/309035/ishares-core-msci-world-ucits-etf states "Distribution yield: 1.67%". Seems strange this info is not directly on the fund's web page, but you have to open the Factsheet pdf.

However, for those which "Use of income" is "accumulating" I fail to find any info about the fund dividend history.

For example the same fund but "accumulating": https://www.blackrock.com/lu/individual/products/251882/ishares-msci-world-ucits-etf-acc-fund, what's the dividend for 2022.?

Note, both funds performed the same in 2022: -18.1%.

2 Answers 2

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It's not that surprising that the dividend yield is not on the main webpage, which highlights the short and long-term performance of the fund.

Dividends are not return, just cash flow. If I own a fund that's worth $100, and it pays a $5 dividend, that dividends comes from the assets of the fund, which then goes down by $5. So I now have a $95 fund and $5 in cash, so my wealth has not changed.

The web page lists the total return which accounts for this drop in price when dividends are distributed. If you just took the beginning and ending price of the fund, and did not account for dividends, your return would be less because it does not account for the dividends.

Total Return is more relevant for investors in general; dividends are only relevant for investors that desire to get some cash flow without having to sell investments periodically.

So for an accumulating fund, the amount that's reinvested is irrelevant. When stocks within the fund pay a dividend, those funds are reinvested, and thus the value of the fund does not change.

both funds performed the same in 2022: -18.1%.

That's the total return, which is the return from the unit price of the fund changing plus the dividends (assuming you reinvest them). If you look at the price return of each, you'd see that the dividend-paying one has a lower price return than the accumulating one because of the dividends it paid out.

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  • Thanks, it's now much clearer. One surprising point is that the -18.1 includes the dividends. This would mean that the price of the fund droped a few % more than -18.1 (for the dividend "distributing" one).
    – Danijel
    Feb 16, 2023 at 7:41
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There plainly is no dividend, because that's the very point of an accumulating ETF: it doesn't distribute its yields to the investors, but invests them back into the holdings of the ETF.

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  • Sure, understand that; but shouldn't the information about how much was reinvested be visible in the fund info?
    – Danijel
    Feb 15, 2023 at 12:49
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    It doesn't matter how much is reinvested - dividends are not income since the price of a stock is reduced by the amount of the dividend, so reinvesting the dividends does not change the overall value of a stock, and thus the fund.
    – D Stanley
    Feb 15, 2023 at 14:37
  • @DStanley: Tax authorities of course consider dividends to be income. Even if there was no growth and the distribution is returning capital (in which case you'll realize an offsetting loss when selling, but the government got to use your income tax money in the meantime)
    – Ben Voigt
    Feb 16, 2023 at 22:11
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    My point is that when a stock pays dividends it does not change the value of the fund - the received cash is offset by a drop in the stock price. So maybe "income" isn't the right term to illustrate that - I should say that they are not "return"
    – D Stanley
    Feb 16, 2023 at 22:25

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