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5 Top Dividend Stocks for December

Plus "dead" dividend stocks to avoid

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#1 – Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy

3 Hidden Takeover Targets to Double Your Money

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) is a utility stock, and like many companies in this sector, it has a solid dividend — a yield of about 4.3% at current valuations. But unlike some of its competitors, in the past 12 months Xcel has outperformed the broader market. Specifically, while S&P 500 is up around 9% this year, XEL stock is up almost 12%.

I have recommended Xcel consistently in 2010 because the power of its compounding interest should be a vital part of your portfolio. For this same reason, I think it’s a great buy for December.

The fact that it has paid dividends since 1910 also means that the plump payouts are here to stay — even if 2011 gets a bit rocky.

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