Tired of keeping a close eye on financial news and popping in and out of positions in an effort to get the most out of an increasingly volatile market?
If so, you’re not alone. There is a solution, however, for investors who’ve become mentally exhausted thanks to a bull market that has now persisted for a stunning nine years — just buy some dividend stocks and stop watching the market every day. Go find a new hobby instead. With some stocks, you really are better off just leaving them alone and letting time do the hard work for you.
With that as the backdrop, if you don’t know how or where to start a hunt for new income-oriented holdings, here’s a look at ten great dividend stocks that would at home in almost any investor’s portfolio. They’re all more reliable than average, and represent companies that can weather almost any storm.
In no certain order…
Editor’s Note: This article originally ran January 9, 2018. It has since been republished to reflect changes in dividend yield.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: AT&T (T)
Dividend Yield: 5.7%
Telecom giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is an oldie but a goodie, and with uncharacteristic weakness from the stock since the middle of 2016, the dividend yield has been pumped up to an impressive 5.7%. That’s a dividend that has been paid every quarter for the past few decades, by the way, and raised like clockwork every year since 1984.
Sure, AT&T has got headaches right now, even beyond its usual competition. The deal to pair up with Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. Industry insiders are relatively certain it’s going to happen despite the DOJ’s interference though, and in that AT&T is leading the race to make 5G connectivity a reality, it should be able to keep its wireless competitors in check at the same time it ramps up enrollments in its streaming cable service DirecTV Now.
AT&T looks to be firing on all cylinders.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Blackstone Group (BX)
Dividend Yield: 8.77%
Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) isn’t a traditional company. In fact, it’s not a company at all. It’s an organization that owns and financially supports a variety of other companies, and in some cases gets involved in the management of them. It’s a private equity firm, but it’s so much more than just that.
Additionally, it’s good at what it does, and that’s good for income-seeking investors. While the dividend payout can vary unpredictably from one quarter to the next, broadly speaking it has been on the rise for quite some time, and a dividend of some sort has always been dished out. And if the economy heats and up in interest rates rise, much like a bank, that’s very good for Blackstone’s bottom line as it will eventually makes its way back into the pocket of shareholders.
The dividend yield of 8.7%, in the meantime, isn’t too shabby either.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI)
Dividend Yield: 5.43%
There aren’t any kinds of insurance AmTrust Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ:AFSI) doesn’t offer. In fact, life and health insurance are the only two major insurance markets AmTrust doesn’t dabble in.
That’s a two-edged sword, mind you. While the company has sidestepped the debacle of the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act and now the (more or less) end of it, Amtrust’s heavy reliance on catastrophic insurance policies meant it took a big hit when hurricanes Harvey and Irma took aim at the United States during the fall of last year. All told, the insurer swung from a profit of 61 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago to a loss of 4-cents-per-share in Q3 of 2017.
The resulting beat-down wasn’t necessary though, as it founded on a catastrophe the likes of which are rarely seen. The strong selloff from AFSI, however, has cranked its dividend yield up to a still-sustainable 5.43%.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: UBS Group (UBS)
Dividend Yield: 3.86%
When investors go on the hunt for dividend stocks within the financial sector, Zurich-based UBS Group AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS) usually isn’t a top-of-mind name. It should be though, now more than ever … it not only had a 3.86% yield, but also a 26-cent special dividend paid out in the past year.
There’s room for dividend growth too. Analysts are looking for 2017 earnings of $1.28 per share, up from 2016’s $1.17, which is projected to grow to $1.50 in 2018. And, only about 57% of its profits are currently being passed along to shareholders as dividends.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Two Harbors (TWO)
Dividend Yield: 12.11%
Two Harbors Investment Corp (NYSE:TWO) is anything but a household name. It’s not even a company. It’s an investment company, organized as a REIT, and is an obscure one at that. Don’t let the obscurity fool you though. There’s a lot of reliability packed into this obscure mortgage REIT package too, all the way back to 2010.
More important, things could heat up for this outfit sooner than most people are expecting. As Chief Investment Officer Bill Roth commented within the last quarterly report, “We are very excited about the opportunities we see emerging for our business. With the Fed reducing their reinvestments in Agency RMBS and mortgage spreads likely to widen, owning MSR is a significant benefit to our portfolio. Yet, at wider spreads, we believe there could be a tremendous investment opportunity to add Agencies.”
It’s currently yielding 12.11%.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Iron Mountain (IRM)
Dividend Yield: 7.06%
In a world that’s increasingly centered on the digital cloud, one would think the printed documents and literal signatures on forms would be a thing of the past. And to a large degree, things are moving in that direction. If you think paper is a thing of the past though, think again. The world is still printing like crazy, and organizations still need to store it all for a myriad of reasons.
Enter Iron Mountain Incorporated (Delaware) REIT (NYSE:IRM), which as its name implies, offers secure storage of physical files for organizations that are legally required to retain them. Iron Mountain helps companies make the move from physical to digital document management, helping them solve tricky compliance problems along the way.
It even offers document shredding solutions. In all cases though, it’s a wonderful recurring revenue business, easily supporting the dividend yield of 7.06%. That dividend grows pretty regularly too.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: BP (BP)
Dividend Yield: 5.6%
The future of BP Plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) has more to do with the price of oil than how well the company itself is managed. But, both bode well for the company. Oil prices have rallied from less than $30 per barrel in early 2016 to a current price near $60 now, and though a little profit-taking is in the cards, the broad undertow remains a bullish one.
Crude’s rebound couldn’t have come at a better time for BP either. As of October, the dividend was and was expected to remain above per-share earnings. With crude well above BP’s breakeven price of around $47 as of August though, margins should start to widen quite nicely and leave decent-sized profit cushion for that dividend yield of 5.6%.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Southern (SO)
Dividend Yield: 5.26%
No list of dividend stocks to buy would be complete without a utility stock, and no list of ownership-worthy utility stocks would omit Southern Co (NYSE:SO).
As to the former, utility stocks are cash-flow machines. In good economic times as well as bad, at a very minimum consumers keep their lights on by forking money over to their power supplier every month. As to the latter, Southern serves a total of 9 million customers peppered all across the nation, with plenty of exposure in the south and along the east coast. That kind of scale means a lot in the utility business.
It also smooths out any bumps and rough patches that could otherwise jeopardize its yield of 5.26%. It’s been reliably paid and steadily rising since 1948.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Park Hotels & Resorts (PK)
Dividend Yield: 6.2%
The name Park Hotels & Resorts Inc (NYSE:PK) may not ring a bell, but some of the hotels owned by this REIT will. It owns and operates, among others, several Hiltons, boasting 67 locales and 35,000 rooms… most aimed at the upper-scale traveler.
It doesn’t necessarily seem like the steadiest market to be in, but it’s more stable than one might imagine. A huge chunk of its hotels are in important business districts, and if the economy takes off the way it looks like it’s going to take off, that will keep Park Hotels & Resorts plenty busy for some time. Even if the economy doesn’t quite turn red-hot though, the yield of 6.2% is relatively well protected.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Pfizer (PFE)
Dividend Yield: 3.75%
Last but not least, the 3.75% yield Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) currently offers doesn’t necessarily put it in the top echelon of dividend stocks, but what it lacks in income-producing potential it balances out with lots of growth potential.
One of those growth engines is Eucrisa. As Chris Lau pointed out last month, 60% of eczema patients using the treatment are repeat buyers. It could be a $2 billion drug at its peak pace. Meanwhile, arthritis drug Xeljanz is slated for an approval decision in March. Both offer new revenue stream potential.
In the meantime, its existing portfolio of products will continue to drive cash flow that funds what it pays back out to shareholders. This is the same company that owns staples like Advil as well as Lyrica, for the treatment of diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia.
Pfizer’s going to be fine.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.