Wall St. Bonus Record of $135 Billion in 2010
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  Wall Street bankers are back to old habits with nearly $135 billion in compensation last year. But this time regular investors are poised for a payout, too.

Even after Wall Street's greed nearly collapsed the banking system and forced hundred of billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, bankers are still finding ways to line their own pockets.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that bonuses at publicly traded banks hit $135 billion in 2010. That's a record high for compensation on Wall Street. It works out to about $141,000 per employee.

This $135 billion represents a 5.7 percent increase in combined compensation for the same group of companies in 2009.

Unlike before the market crash of 2008, Wall Street is taking measures to at least look like it's reformed. The bulk of the increase in compensation is in two areas: increased base salaries and deferred compensation. Both are an attempt to blunt previous criticism of traders taking a "short term" mentality and unwise risk-taking.

But what many investors may not realize is that cash dividend payments to shareholders are on the rise, too.

In 2010, 1,729 companies increased their dividend payments. And with corporate cash levels at record highs, more companies will be increasing their cash payments to shareholders in 2011.

Indeed, in just the first two days of February household names like Mattel, Time Warner, and Broadcom announced they are raising dividend payouts. Even beleaguered BP has announced it will again start paying dividends.

To learn how you can double -- or triple -- the compensation you receive for being a shareholder, click HERE.

Posted 02-02-2011 4:16 PM by Ian Wyatt
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