Monday Mailbag: Dividends, Price Return, and Total Return

In this post you walked through how index yield is calculated. Do you publish the AMZ index dividend amount on a daily or monthly basis?

The short answer is no, we don’t publish the AMZ index dividend. Since an index is a theoretical construction, and no shares or units are owned, there is no dividend or distribution for it to pay. In other words, the Easter Bunny might stumble upon an index dividend while riding his unicorn.

If you’re interested in finding out the dividends paid by the products linked to our indices, please visit our products page. However, keep in mind that the tracking between our indices and products will not be exact due to things like fees, leverage, and deferred tax liability.

Is there an index for the Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index (AMZI) on a total return basis? What is the AMZIX?

AMZI is the price return, and AMZIX is the total return version of the index. In fact, we have a total return version of each of our indices, all denoted by the “X” at the end. For more information, visit our indices page.

While the AMZI simply reflects changes in unit prices, the AMZIX takes into account the distributions paid by the underlying constituents. Our index calculation team uses the ex-date to determine on which date any distributions paid by the underlying are considered to be reinvested. A theoretically received distribution is reinvested proportionally across the entire index, not just in the MLP which paid it. To see the comparison of price and total returns, download the Historical Values spreadsheet found here. For further information on index calculations, download the methodology guide available here.

We greatly appreciate your questions. We often find that if one person is wondering about something, many others are too. To have your question answered and considered for our next mailbag, please email us at [email protected].

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