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5 Dividends That Survived the Depression

Depressions, bubbles, crashes be damned — these 5 stocks have paid investors through the worst of times

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It was one of the darkest days in American history, more than earning its moniker of “Black Tuesday.”

That day came 83 years ago, Oct. 29, 1929, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 12% in one day on what was then the heaviest trading volume the exchange had ever witnessed. It was even more pernicious given the Dow’s 12.8% plunge during the prior trading session. Together, these two infamous days ushered in a decade-plus-long financial nightmare better known as the Great Depression.

Of course, a resilient United States has managed to emerge stronger in the decades following the Great Depression and World War II, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t without massive challenges over that time. Yet throughout a host of calamitous events, a number of resilient companies continued to persevere in the face of adversity. Moreover, they managed to continue paying out dividends to shareholders.

And that’s what income investors want: companies that know how to keep shareholders fat with dividends no matter what challenges the country faces going forward — be it the looming “fiscal cliff” or a recession and/or collapse of the economies of Europe, or a dramatic global economic slowdown led by a limping China economy.

These five dividend stocks not only survived the Great Depression, making payouts every year since that dark chapter in history, but I also think they’re companies every dividend investor should own because they’re still well-positioned to profit for decades to come:

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