The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has launched a suite of resources to help investors research closed-ended investments according to their dividend characteristics.
The trade body's Income Finder, found at theaic.co.uk/income-finder, will enable investors to create virtual portfolios of dividend payers, log their dividend dates and predicted amounts to help them smooth income payments throughout the year and help deliberately shape their income to best meet their needs.
Recognising income as a priority for investors, Ian Sayers, chief executive of the AIC, said the Income Finder was launched to help investors research income-paying investment companies, using clear graphs and images to see how much cash they would have received over the year and when dividends are paid.
The tools are split into four sections: Income Builder; Dividend Diary; My Income Portfolios; and Guides & Glossary.
Income Builder is the virtual portfolio, allowing investors to sort and select companies based on dividend frequency, yield or by month of payment, to be displayed in a 12-month interactive graph, which can show the past 12 months over any of the past three calendar years.
Dividend Diary shows the dividend distributions of every single investment company, should investors wish to select their portfolios on that basis. It is also updated as investment companies announce new dividend payment dates, plus has the option of including or exclude special dividends.
My Income Portfolios gives more detail, such as levels of dividend cover, five-year growth history and frequency. The guides and glossary section includes videos, articles and jargonbusters.
Sayers said: "Investors can tailor their income portfolio to suit their needs, whether this is making sure they receive income in time for Christmas or ensuring they get a steady stream of dividends every month."
He added: "Last year, there were a record number of visitors to our website and we hope Income Finder will be a useful tool to help inform investors' choices."