Dividend stocks were in focus big-time in 2011. Some of the top performers included utilities and tobacco companies with reliable dividends and impressive yields.
But the market has taken a decidedly different tone after the best January for the market since 1997. It seems that growth and technology are again in focus, and many investors are moving away from dividend stocks and into more “growthy” sectors. As a result, those old income favorites of 2011 have been held back this year. The broad-based Select Sector Utilities SPDR (NYSE:XLU) ETF is in the red year-to-date, as is tobacco giant Altria (NYSE:MO).
So can you rely on dividends in 2012, or should you go for growth with your IRA or brokerage account? Well, there’s certainly something to be said for looking beyond sleepy blue chips with reliable dividends — but even the most aggressive investor needs to keep a firm foundation for their retirement portfolio. You might want to get more selective with your income-oriented plays this year, but you certainly don’t want to abandon dividends altogether in your IRA or brokerage account.
To help you identify the cream of the crop, here are the top 10 Dow dividend stocks worth a look for your holdings: