While there is no guarantee that U.S. stock prices will rise this year, dividends are almost certain to increase, according to Kiplinger’s Reiterment Report.
That makes dividend stocks a must-have investment now.
The 368 dividend-paying companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index are expected to increase their payouts by 8 percent this year from 2009, Kiplinger’s reports. That’s because companies are now rich in cash.
Kiplinger’s recommends you filter for several kinds of companies when choosing dividend stocks:
• Companies that have lifted their dividends by at least 10 percent annually for years. Some corporations fitting that bill are Cardinal Health, CSX, McDonald’s, Praxair and Yum Brands.
• Companies that have just started issuing dividends within the past few years. In this category, consider Activision Blizzard, CenturyLink, Intel, Texas Instruments and Wal-Mart Stores.
• Established non-financial companies with hefty dividends. Companies that qualify on that score include AT&T, Exelon and Kimberly Clark.
• Foreign companies. Consider British American Tobacco and Unilever.
• Dividend ETFs. Possibilities include Vanguard Dividend Appreciation, SPDR S&P Dividend, PowerShares International Dividend Achievers Portfolio and SPDR S&P International Dividend.
John Bogle, legendary founder of The Vanguard Group, thinks juicy dividend yields will help make stocks a strong investment this decade.
With dividends running at a 2.25 to 2.50 percent annual rate, and corporate earnings likely to increase 6 to 7 percent annually, stocks can return 8-9 percent a year through 2019, he told Fox News.
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