Best Dividend Stocks

The Best Dividend Stocks to Watch

The following “Best Dividend Stocks” list features Income Investors’ favorite dividend ideas, thoroughly vetted and highly rated by our research team.

The stocks below have been hand-picked by our editors. Our five-point investment criteria identifies companies with safe payouts, growing earnings, and a long-term track record. The list is geared toward conservative buy-and-hold investors looking to put new money to work right now.

To be clear, every stock on this list is not appropriate for all investors. Our best dividend stocks list does not represent a complete portfolio. We recommend readers do their own research and consult a professional financial adviser before making any investment decision.

What We Look For

Timeless Business: We look for businesses that have stood the test of time. In some cases, the products that they make have remained almost unchanged for decades. Many of these stocks have been paying out dividends to shareholders for over 100 years.

Competitive Advantage: We look for companies with sustainable advantages. They have patents, powerful brands, irreplaceable assets, a low-cost advantage, or de facto monopolies. By sheltering their profits from competition, these firms can generate oversized margins decade after decade.

Management: We look for great executives who think beyond the next quarter. We want to own companies run by honest managers with above-average skill for allocating capital. We want people with unquestionable integrity, a frank communication style, and a long-term outlook.

Distribution Growth: We look for firms with a commitment to rewarding shareholders. Our best dividend stocks have raised their regular distributions for at least 25 consecutive years. Steady dividend increases signal that the company has a bright future and forces management to be careful when allocating capital.

Dividend Yield: We look for stocks with above-average dividend yields. A high payout suggests that a company might be temporarily out of favor with investors. Studies show that companies with the highest dividend yields tend to outperform the broader market over time.

Best Dividend Stock List

Company Name Symbol Sector Industry Years of Dividend Increases Yield
Archer Daniels Midland ADM Consumer Staples Food Products 45 3.22%
AFLAC Inc. AFL Financials Insurance 38 3.08%
Arrow Financial Corp. AROW Financials Banks 26 3.63%
Franklin Resources BEN Financials Capital Markets 40 5.13%
Black Hills Corp. BKH Utilities Multi-Utilities 49 3.82%
Cullen/Frost Bankers CFR Financials Banks 26 4.09%
Cincinnati Financial CINF Financials Insurance 60 3.02%
Community Trust Banc. CTBI Financials Banks 40 4.77%
Chevron Corp. CVX Energy Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels 33 6.15%
Enterprise Bancorp Inc. EBTC Financials Banks 28 3.22%
Consolidated Edison ED Utilities Multi-Utilities 46 4.29%
Eagle Financial Services EFSI Financials Banks 33 3.98%
Essex Property Trust ESS Real Estate Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 26 3.84%
Eaton Vance Corp. EV Financials Capital Markets 39 3.66%
Federal Realty Inv. Trust FRT Real Estate Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 53 5.35%
Genuine Parts Co. GPC Consumer Discretionary Distributors 64 3.35%
International Business Machines IBM Information Technology IT Services 25 5.29%
John Wiley & Sons Inc. JW-A Communication Services Media 27 4.33%
Coca-Cola Company KO Consumer Staples Beverages 58 3.31%
Leggett & Platt Inc. LEG Consumer Discretionary Household Durables 48 3.90%
Matthews International MATW Industrials Commercial Services & Supplies 25 3.84%
Mercury General Corp. MCY Financials Insurance 33 5.63%
MDU Resources MDU Utilities Multi-Utilities 28 3.51%
3M Company MMM Industrials Industrial Conglomerates 62 3.61%
Altria Group Inc. MO Consumer Staples Tobacco 51 7.86%
NACCO Industries NC Energy Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels 35 3.76%
National Fuel Gas NFG Utilities Gas Utilities 50 3.90%
Northeast Indiana Bancorp NIDB Financials Thrifts & Mortgage Finance 25 3.46%
National Retail Properties NNN Real Estate Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 31 5.87%
Nucor Corp. NUE Materials Metals & Mining 47 3.54%
Northwest Natural Gas NWN Utilities Gas Utilities 64 3.74%
Realty Income Corp. O Real Estate Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 27 4.52%
Old Republic International ORI Financials Insurance 39 5.21%
People’s United Financial PBCT Financials Banks 28 6.81%
Raytheon Technologies RTX Industrials Aerospace & Defense 26 3.11%
Southside Bancshares SBSI Financials Banks 25 4.50%
Sonoco Products Co. SON Materials Containers & Packaging 37 3.24%
1st Source Corp. SRCE Financials Banks 32 3.25%
AT&T Inc. T Communication Services Diversified Telecommunication Services 36 6.98%
First Financial Corp. THFF Financials Banks 31 3.02%
Tompkins Financial Corp. TMP Financials Banks 33 3.14%
United Bankshares Inc. UBSI Financials Banks 45 5.36%
UGI Corp. UGI Utilities Gas Utilities 33 3.82%
Universal Health Realty Trust UHT Real Estate Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 35 4.14%
Universal Corp. UVV Consumer Staples Tobacco 49 7.10%
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA Consumer Staples Food & Staples Retailing 45 4.92%
Weyco Group Inc. WEYS Consumer Discretionary Distributors 38 5.33%
ExxonMobil Corp. XOM Energy Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels 37 8.71%

(Source: Various Corporate Filings, last accessed August 15, 2020.)

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