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Duke Energy Stock: Why Shareholders Don’t Get Rich

In 2001, the price of Duke Energy stock was $81. In 2019, it is $90. A generation of one’s investing life has come and gone, and Duke Energy shareholders have almost no capital appreciation to show for it. They have lived almost exclusively on a 3.88% dividend that they have averaged over this time frame, with total annual returns of 4.85% over the past eighteen years. Granted, for one who reinvested, the results were nearly 6%, which speaks to the power of pouring cash dividends into a cash-generating asset over long periods of time even if the asset itself has some mediocre characteristics.

On the surface, Duke Energy looks like the kind of dream stock you would want to buy, collect cash dividends to support your life, and have it serve as a “base” for you in life whether you decide to use the ongoing dividends to support your lifestyle or make other investments that provide similar value as Duke does.
After all, it provides electricity to 7.4 million Americans in the Carolinas, F…

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