The clientele effect is the idea that the set of investors attracted to a particular kind of security will affect the price of the security when policies or circumstances change. For instance, some investors want a company that doesn't pay dividends but instead invests that money in growing the business, whereas other investors prefer a stock that pays a high dividend, and still others want one that balances payout and reinvestment. If a company changes its dividend policy substantially, it is said to be subject to a clientele effect as some of its investors (its established clientele) decide to sell the security due to the change. Although commonly used in reference to dividend or coupon (interest) rates, it can also be used in the context of leverage (debt levels), changes in line of business, taxes, and other aspects of the company.
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