“Dividend aristocrats” are publicly traded stocks with a rich history of rewarding shareholders with bigger and bigger payouts. These companies have increased their dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years, proving not just that they have income potential but that their payouts will continue to grow as the company profits.
In recent years, dividend investors have been burned by big-time disappointments at companies like General Electric (NYSE:GE), which slashed its payout 68% during the financial crisis, and financial stocks like Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C), which now offer a meager penny per quarter after their government bailouts and persistent lending woes.
These events make the importance of a sustainable and growing dividend very clear, and the current turmoil in the market means these investments are more important than ever.
Here are 5 such dividend aristocrats investors may want to consider adding to their portfolios in anticipation of continued volatility ahead in 2012.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.