It is a cautionary tale for dividend growth investors. One of the key tenants of the strategy is that you must stay the course and not sell even following a major decline in the value of your investment, as the steady growing dividend payouts will more than compensate you for your wait until the price recovers. Of course, some stocks fall into correction for good reason and are forced to cut their dividend along the way. But even for those high quality companies that have proven the mettle to weather most any storm and maintain their dividend growth, history has shown they can still leave their investors waiting for decades before they recover their principal value. And even when factoring in the dividends paid all along the way, they can still find themselves underwater for a decade or more before finally crawling back to breakeven. So while the dividend growth investing strategy sounds ideal in theory, many have never had to carry it out in practice over an extended period of difficult market times. And Coca-Cola provides us with an ongoing example of this phenomenon still taking place today for stricken investors from many years ago.
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