Stock market corrections can be unnerving, but history shows these are often the best time to buy. Millionaire investors know this, so they usually choose wealth-building dividend stocks for their portfolios.
When uncertainty and volatility are rising, dividend stocks come into their own. Companies that pay investors to own them are typically profitable, have a clearly defined long-term growth story, and have often been through similar turmoil.
Several years ago, J.P. Morgan Asset Management found that companies that initiated dividends and then raised the payouts over 40 years between 1972 and 2012 provided far superior returns for investors. They averaged 9.5% annually compared to returns of just 1.6% for non-dividend-paying stocks.
Considering their overwhelming success, investors should consider the following three dividend stocks for a millionaire portfolio.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has an impressive history of success in the healthcare industry. Their profitability is primarily due to their emphasis on high-margin pharmaceutical drugs, which comprise 54% of their total revenue. In the first quarter, their adjusted sales increased by 7% to $13.4 billion. Some of their most successful drugs, such as Stelara for plaque psoriasis treatment and Darzalex for cancer therapy, each generated over $2.2 billion in revenue during this period. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson offers a variety of medical devices and healthcare services and products.
Just last month, the healthcare stock spun off its consumer products business, Kenvue (NYSE:KVUE), into a standalone, publicly traded company. J&J will own almost 91% of the company and eventually distribute to shareholders. Separating from this large but slow-growth business means Johnson & Johnson can focus more intently on its pharmaceutical and medical technology operations.
J&J produces some $16.2 billion in trailing free cash flow. It can now plow that money into new research and development and make new acquisitions. J&J can also continue to pay its dividend, which currently yields about 3% annually. It has raised the dividend for 61 consecutive years, making Johnson & Johnson a Dividend King with few equals.
Consolidated Edison (ED)
Commonly known as ConEd, Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) is the leading provider of electricity, natural gas, and steam to New York state. Having recently completed the sale of its clean energy business for $6.8 billion, ConEd is now sharply focused on its core utility businesses. And that’s good news for investors.
There is a reason utilities were long considered “widow-and-orphan” stocks. They didn’t enjoy large growth spurts but instead offered consistent and reliable income streams. That’s ConEd in a nutshell.
Now it has benefited from the increased cost of energy, with Q1 revenue rising 8% to $4.4 billion. Profits also surged 24.5% to $1.47 per share. Yet, with a narrowed portfolio of assets, the electric utility has reduced its equity needs and announced it is accelerating the buyback of $1 billion worth of stock. That will create additional value for investors who already benefit from its streak of paying dividends. ConEd has made a payout to shareholders for over 100 years and has increased the dividend for 49 consecutive years. That’s the longest streak for any utility in the S&P 500 index.
Today’s energy markets are very different than they were back in the day. There is now increased competition and renewable forms of energy to consider. Yet Consolidated Edison remains one of the nation’s largest publicly traded energy-delivery companies. It has approximately $16 billion in annual revenue and $63 billion in assets. That makes it a solid choice among top dividend stocks.
Telecom giant Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is another stock that should be on the radar of every investor eying millionaire status. This high-yield dividend stock has lost 10% of its value in 2023 and is down over 31% over the past 12 months. It trades at just seven times trailing earnings and next year’s estimates with a valuation about equal to its sales. Its dividend now yields 7.4% annually.
Much of the discount is due to the current period of inflation and rising interest rates. Because telecoms typically need to finance their purchase of spectrum and network infrastructure with debt, the current environment makes for a pricey market to do so. Paying more to service debt could eat into future cash flows and profits.
Verizon is an excellent candidate for investors seeking dividend stocks for long-term value. The telecom offers fairly predictable operating cash flows, and the rollout of 5G networks is a huge catalyst for the industry. Data usage tends to be a high-margin business for any wireless company, and this will mark the first significant increase in download speeds since 4G’s introduction in 2009. Businesses and consumers will be lining up to take advantage of this advance.
Verizon also tops the industry in generating cash, allowing it to raise its dividend 16 years in a row. With the stock priced at its lowest level in over a decade, the telecom is a top dividend stock for a millionaire’s portfolio.
On the date of publication, Rich Duprey held a LONG position in JNJ and ED stock. He anticipates receiving shares of KVUE when they are distributed. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.