I am one of many finance wonks who has studied dividends for years and have come to conclude that dividends are "sticky" because companies that start paying dividends usually continue to do so. And decreasing dividends, or stopping dividends once they've started them, can be tricky for corporations for many reasons. One big reason: expectations. In financial analysis and planning, we look at past or prior performance to help form our beliefs and outlook for the future. McCormick & Company, the multinational food and spice corporation headquartered 15 miles north of the main campus where I teach, has paid regular dividends since before I was born. Why would they stop paying dividends now or next year after more than three decades of regular dividend payments? They have operated in booms and recessions, yet religiously paid (and grown) their dividends largely to meet or exceed the expectations of each and every one of their investors. Yes, stock prices fluctuate, but as long as an investor has the risk appetite to invest in equities, dividends can be one of many rewards for being an owner of a corporation.