For a couple reasons, I have never bought any stock in Total SA:
-The French government is a taxing nightmare. Last year, Total SA had a 55% income tax rate, and there is pending bills in the French legislature aimed at increasing Total SA’s tax burden even more.
-The foreign withholding tax on Total SA dividends is obnoxious to deal with, and is especially burdensome if you own your Total SA shares in a retirement account since you won’t be able to recoup the taxes that the French government chooses to levy upon your dividend checks.
-The company does not give you smooth dividend growth. In 1993, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2010, and 2011, the company put fewer dollars in your pocket (if you are an American investor) than it did the year before.
Life is hard enough, and you don’t want to deal with socialist governments (this is not me … Read the rest of this article!