Dividend investing is all the rage, but as I have mentioned before, yield isn’t everything these days. There’s a lot to be said for chasing sustainability instead of paydays that won’t last.
So to that end, I poured myself a scotch and spent an evening crunching numbers for all you dividend stock investors out there. My intention was to find stocks that offer nice paydays — but also that were steadily increasing those dividends and outperforming the market.
The result is this lineup of 13 dividends stocks that I call the Ultimate Dividend list.
For starters, I screened for yield. After all, nobody wants a dividend that’s less than 1%. What’s the point? So I demanded better than 2.5%.
Then I made sure the dividends were very old (the “youngest” payment started 60 years ago) and constantly growing (the “worst” stock on this list has increased distributions annually for 29 years in a row.)
Last, I had to compare share price returns. To incorporate dividends, I used total returns with dividends vs. the S&P performance plus dividends. Any stock that didn’t at least come close to tracking the market was kicked out.
That in itself is worth noting because with dividends, the S&P 500 is up roughly 82% (as of this writing) since July 2002 — but without dividends, the index is up only up 50%. Speaks to the power of dividends in your portfolio, no?
For good measure I tried to quantify how much dividends have increased in the last 10 years as a percentage. The worst boosted payouts by only 9% in 10 years, but most doubled their distributions in the last decade — with the leader posting a whopping 271% jump in dividend payments in just 10 years.
I could bog you down with lots of words and commentary, but most investors just want to see the data. So on with the show: Here are my 13 Ultimate Dividend stocks, ordered by year they started paying out, and the results of my research: