5 Dividends That Survived the Depression

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

By Jim Woods, Editor-in-Chief, Successful ETF Investing, Stock Investor's Blueprint


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:


Paid Dividends Since: 1893
Current Dividend Yield: 2.8%

It’s one of the most iconic brand names ever, and it can be found in more countries than just about any other product.

That brand is Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), and it has been paying shareholders dividends since 1893.

Just think about how impressive it is for a company to thrive like this for the past 119 years. What’s even more impressive is that over the past 49 years, KO shareholders have seen their payout increase each and every year — more than enough to qualify as a Dependable Dividend Stock.

Now I ask you: Is there any reason to believe Coca-Cola won’t be a stalwart dividend payer for the next 50 years? With a current dividend yield of 2.8%, Coke should be a part of your dividend table.

Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil XOMPaid Dividends Since: 1882
Current Dividend Yield: 2.5%

Oil is often referred to as the lifeblood of modern society. Since 1882, one company has been supplying uninterrupted dividends to shareholders by getting that oil out of the ground and converting it to a product that literally fuels the global economy. That company is Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM).

The oil giant is a profit powerhouse, and it isn’t shy about spreading the wealth to shareholders. Each year for the past 29 years, XOM owners have seen their dividend increase, and that’s a trend not likely to cease, no matter what happens with the global economy.

And despite the faddish push toward alternative energy, the need for petroleum products is going to be with us for a long time, which is why you need to put XOM shares into your portfolio. The current dividend yield of 2.5% is another great reason to do just that.

PPG Industries

PPG IndustriesPaid Dividends Since: 1899
Current Dividend Yield: 2%

When it comes to companies paying dividends come hell or high water, one company has managed to put a shiny new coat of paint on their payout for the past 113 years: paint and specialty coatings maker PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG).

PPG also has managed to boost its payout to shareholders each year for the past 39 consecutive years. That’s quite impressive, especially given the tribulations in the housing market and other industries over the past decade.

Still, PPG Industries has managed to prevail, and it’s doing so today to the tune of a 2% dividend yield. Smart income investors need to paint this stock into their portfolio, as this dividend coating never runs dry.

Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)Paid Dividends Since: 1891
Current Dividend Yield: 3.2%

It’s the premier consumer goods company in the world, and its iconic brands include Ivory Soap, Crest toothpaste and Head & Shoulders shampoo. The company is, of course, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), and its bevy of household brand names allows it to thrive throughout the world, and regardless of economic conditions.

P&G has proved its resilience by paying dividends each year for the past 121 years. Moreover, the company has boosted its dividend payout each year for the past 55 years. At a current dividend yield of 3.2%, I can’t think of one sound reason why you wouldn’t want to own PG in your dividend portfolio.

Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK)Paid Dividends Since: 1877
Current Dividend Yield: 2.9%

To build a world suitable for man, you need tools that men can build with. Supplying those tools is the wheelhouse of Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK). The diversified global tool and industrial giant has built a deserved reputation as a dividend powerhouse, paying out profits to shareholders since 1877.

That incredible 130-year track record is even more impressive when you consider that the company has increased its payout to shareholders every year for the past 44 years.

At a current dividend yield of 2.9%, every income seeker needs to put this dividend tool into their portfolio.

As of this writing, Jim Woods did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2012/10/5-dividends-that-survived-the-depression/.

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