Distribution Yield


When it comes to investing, one of the key factors that investors consider is the potential return on their investment. While there are various metrics used to evaluate investment opportunities, one that stands out is the distribution yield. Distribution yield is a measure that helps investors understand the income generated by an investment, such as a mutual fund or a real estate investment trust (REIT). In this article, we will explore what distribution yield is, how it is calculated, and why it is important for investors.

What is Distribution Yield?

Distribution yield, also known as dividend yield, is a financial ratio that indicates the income generated by an investment relative to its price. It is expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the annual income distribution by the investment's current market price.

For example, let's say you are considering investing in a mutual fund that has an annual income distribution of $2 per share and a current market price of $50 per share. The distribution yield would be calculated as follows:

Distribution Yield = (Annual Income Distribution / Current Market Price) x 100

Distribution Yield = ($2 / $50) x 100 = 4%

This means that the distribution yield of the mutual fund is 4%. In other words, for every $100 you invest in the fund, you can expect to receive $4 in income distributions annually.

How is Distribution Yield Calculated?

The calculation of distribution yield is relatively straightforward. To calculate the distribution yield, you need to know the annual income distribution and the current market price of the investment.

Here is the formula for calculating distribution yield:

Distribution Yield = (Annual Income Distribution / Current Market Price) x 100

It is important to note that the annual income distribution used in the calculation may vary depending on the investment. For example, in the case of a mutual fund, the annual income distribution may include dividends, interest, and capital gains. In the case of a REIT, the annual income distribution may include rental income from properties.

Why is Distribution Yield Important?

Distribution yield is an important metric for investors for several reasons:

  • Income Generation: Distribution yield provides investors with an indication of the income generated by an investment. This is particularly important for income-focused investors who rely on regular income distributions to meet their financial needs.
  • Comparison: Distribution yield allows investors to compare the income-generating potential of different investments. By comparing the distribution yields of various investments, investors can make informed decisions about where to allocate their capital.
  • Risk Assessment: Distribution yield can also be used as a measure of risk. Generally, investments with higher distribution yields are considered riskier because they may be more volatile or have a higher chance of defaulting on income distributions.

Case Study: Mutual Fund A vs. Mutual Fund B

To illustrate the importance of distribution yield, let's consider a case study comparing two hypothetical mutual funds: Mutual Fund A and Mutual Fund B.

Mutual Fund A has a distribution yield of 3% and Mutual Fund B has a distribution yield of 5%. Both funds have similar investment objectives and track the same benchmark index.

At first glance, Mutual Fund B may seem like the better investment option because it has a higher distribution yield. However, it is important to dig deeper and consider other factors such as the fund's performance, expense ratio, and risk profile.

Upon further analysis, you discover that Mutual Fund A has consistently outperformed Mutual Fund B over the past five years and has a lower expense ratio. Additionally, Mutual Fund B has a higher risk profile due to its higher exposure to volatile sectors.

While Mutual Fund B may offer a higher distribution yield, the overall performance and risk profile of Mutual Fund A make it a more attractive investment option for long-term investors.


Distribution yield is a valuable metric for investors as it provides insights into the income generated by an investment relative to its price. By understanding the distribution yield of an investment, investors can assess its income generation potential, compare it to other investment options, and evaluate its risk profile.

However, it is important to note that distribution yield should not be the sole factor in making investment decisions. Other factors such as performance, expense ratio, and risk profile should also be considered.

Ultimately, distribution yield serves as a useful tool for investors to make informed decisions and build a well-diversified portfolio that aligns with their investment goals and risk tolerance.

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