What will you buy with your share of this $24 Billion?

Australian investors are renowned for their love of dividends, so they’re bound to enjoy the $24 billion windfall that is about to hit their wallets (or brokerage accounts).

A number of companies across the ASX increased their dividends during the recent reporting period and are set to distribute that cash to investors in the not-too-distant future. According to The Australian Financial Review and CommSec, $16.3 billion of that amount will be paid out in the three weeks from 19 September!

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shareholders, for instance, will receive a payment of 15.5 cents per share, fully franked, on Friday 23 September. That amounts to a total of $1,893 million, with investors who were on the register as at 25 August eligible for the payout.

Unlike Telstra, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) left its final dividend unchanged compared to the prior year. However, eligible shareholders of Australia’s biggest bank will receive a share of the $3,808 million being paid out by the bank, amounting to $2.22 per share. The dividend will be paid on 29 September.

Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) increased its own full-year dividend by 102% as well, to a total of $4.10. Of that, $2.10 will be payable on 21 September for each share owned by investors on the register as at 7 September 2016.

Indeed, there are plenty of other companies that will also contribute to the dividend bonanza! On 5 October, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) will pay out 95 cents per share, fully franked, which amounts to $1,070 million. Elsewhere Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) will pay out $165.2 million, with various others also distributing generous amounts.

Dividends have historically accounted for a large bulk of investors’ overall returns. That is particularly the case in Australia, where companies tend to reinvest less into their own businesses than companies domiciled in countries such as the United States generally would.

Although there may be the temptation to go and splash your dividends as soon as they hit your pockets, reinvesting the cash is typically the best thing to do with your dividends. And not necessarily in the same business that paid the dividend in the first place!

Indeed, although the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is sitting around 5,350 points, there are still a number of great opportunities that are presenting themselves to long-term investors. Put your cash back to work in those businesses and your future self will likely thank you.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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