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"So it is very important to compare the potential additional growth in dividends of a stock compared to this risk-free benchmark. It is foolish to be proud of your investment acumen for picking a stock with consistently increasing dividends if the growth rate of those dividends is close to what you would have gotten with risk-free bonds."

This indicates to me that you completely miss the point on how dividends can grow.

No, *you* are missing the point. The "dividend" from the risk-free bonds would also grow as you re-invested the excess interest income. This is no different from a company reinvesting excess earnings (i.e. earnings not paid out as dividends).
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