When it pertains to investing greats, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A)(NYSE: BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett is probably in a class of his own. Under Buffett’s tutelage, Berkshire has a typical yearly return of 20% since 1965 and provided an aggregate return for investors of more than 2,800,000%! What’s more, he’s done this without paying his investors a dividend.

But the important things about the Oracle of Omaha’s investing technique is that it’s very much reliant on dividends. Following Berkshire’s Kind 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-February, which revealed all of the business’s buying and selling activity from the 4th quarter, my back-of-the-hand estimation recommended that Berkshire would generate around $4.36 billion in dividend income this year.

Yet, even with majority of Buffett’s 48 holdings doling out a payout, half of Berkshire Hathaway’s 2021 dividend income ($2.16 billion, in aggregate) will be created by just three stocks.

Image source: Getty Images. Apple:$744,199,004 in dividend income By less than $1 million, tech kingpin Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)stays Warren Buffett’s many lucrative dividend stock, on a small basis. If Apple were to pay$ 0.82 a share in 2021, and Berkshire Hathaway were to retain all 907,559,761 shares, Buffett’s business would net a cool$744,199,004 in dividend earnings. Based upon the roughly 1.53 million Class A shares (BRK.A) impressive, this exercises to $486 in dividend earnings per share.

Apple has actually been affably described by the Oracle of Omaha as his company’s “third organization,” which offers us all the insight we need: Buffett’s not offering.

As many of you probably know, Apple’s success has actually long originated from riding the coattails of its innovative products. The launch of the business’s first 5G-capable iPhone late in 2015 caused tape-record iPhone sales in the financial very first quarter. In the U.S., iPhone remains the top-selling mobile phone, with the release of brand-new products routinely drawing crowds to its stores.

But for Apple CEO Tim Cook, the business’s future lies with services and wearables. While not deserting the products that made Apple the company it is today, Cook is managing a transition that’ll highlight high-margin subscriptions. Ultimately, this shift needs to level out Apple’s lumpy revenue recognition and improve the business’s operating margins.

As long as Apple continues to innovate and redeemed its own stock, the Oracle of Omaha must be a happy camper.

Image source: Getty Images. Bank of America: $743,653,444 in dividend income Nipping at Apple’s heels in the dividend income department is monetary powerhouse Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). Following an OK from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to increase his company’s stake in BofA past 10%, Buffett has seized the day to press Berkshire’s stake to more than 1.03 billion shares. Based upon a $0.72 annual payment, Bank of America ought to yield $743,653,444 in dividend earnings in 2021.

It’s clear that Warren Buffett loves bank stocks. The factor is simple: they’re moneymakers. Although economic crises are unavoidable, they typically just last a couple of months to a couple of quarters. By comparison, economic expansions frequently ins 2015, or perhaps even longer than a decade. Bank stocks simply bide their time during short periods of weakness and generate the dough during multiyear periods of economic growth.

What’s made Bank of America such a stud is the company’s cost-cutting and determination to buy digital platforms. With more of its consumers banking online or utilizing its mobile app, BofA has actually been able to combine a few of its branches. Doing so is helping to minimize noninterest expenses and enabling more income to stream to its bottom line.

Bank of America is also the most interest-sensitive of the huge banks. A steepening yield curve, which is prevalent in a recuperating economy, can portend greater yields on the horizon. When the Federal Reserve does take action and tightens financial policy, Bank of America must be the prime recipient.

Image source: Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola:

$672,000,000 in dividend earnings The third stock that makes up a substantial part of Buffett’s annual dividend income is none other than Berkshire Hathaway’s longest-tenured holding, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO). If we assume that Berkshire preserves its 400 million shares and Coke pays a base dividend of $1.68 in 2021, Buffett’s business will collect $672,000,000.

Coca-Cola might not be the growth juggernaut it once was, however it’s perhaps the best-known consumer-packaged products business on the planet. It’s selling its products in all but two nations worldwide (North Korea and Cuba). This permits the business to create highly predictable cash flow from developed countries, while creating faster natural development rates from emerging markets. In total, it has over 20 brand names bringing in a minimum of $1 billion in yearly sales.

Coke’s success would not be possible without its superior marketing, either. The company leans on point-of-sale marketing, popular brand ambassadors, increasing digital ads, and holiday season tie-ins to reach consumers and cross generational spaces.

For Buffett, Coca-Cola has been a constant holding considering that 1988. With an expense basis of $1.299 billion, the $672 million Berkshire is set to receive in 2021 exercises to a yield on expense of 52%! Put another method, Coke’s dividend alone enables the Oracle of Omaha to double his business’s initial financial investment every two years. With a return like that, it’s hard to see him ever selling this position.

This post represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “main” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis– even among our own– helps us all think seriously about investing and make decisions that assist us end up being smarter, better, and richer.