Money Matters - Simplified

10 Dividend Stocks for the Next Decade and Beyond

 Following two roller-coaster markets over the past decade, it's natural for investors to seek more stable and less stressful stock strategies. Dividend-paying stocks provide you with an opportunity to achieve both.

 

 Among other things, dividend-paying stocks:

  • Are less volatile as a group than their non-dividend-paying counterparts.
  • Provide you with a real return right away; with non-dividend-paying stocks, returns aren't realized until you sell.
  • Allow you to choose what to do with the cash payouts -- reinvest in the stock, put them into savings, or buy groceries ... it's up to you.
  • Offer you an inflation hedge when companies increase their payouts.

With this in mind, I've set out to find 10 of the most promising dividend-paying stocks for the next decade and beyond. Five of them will be focused on dividend growth, while the other five will be focused on higher dividend yields. You want to have a helping of both types in your portfolio to promote both payout growth and payout stability.

Dividend growth
High dividend yields are always nice right away, but smart long-term income investors will also plant the seeds for future dividend growth. These stocks may not have the juiciest yields on the market, but they generate more than enough free cash flow to boost their payouts and reinvest in the business for years to come.

Company

Dividend
Yield

5-Year-Trailing
Dividend Growth Rate

Free Cash Flow
Payout Ratio

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)

2.9%

17%

34%

Target (NYSE: TGT)

1.8%

18%

13%

Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM)

2.0%

33%

40%

Lowe's (NYSE: LOW)

2.0%

33%

23%

Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG)

2.9%

12%

51%


Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard and Poor's.

High yield
Super-high dividend yields can be very tempting -- all a stock yielding 10% has to do is not lose value, and you've made 10% in one year! In more cases than not, however, a stratospheric yield is a bad sign for the stock.

Because dividend yields and stock prices move in opposite directions, a high yield usually means a depressed stock price based on market concerns about the underlying business. Remember: Dividends are not guaranteed, so you need to make sure the business is generating enough cash to pay the dividend, or else your investment loses its luster.

The yields on the following five stocks are more than double the S&P average yield of 1.8%. They may not grow as fast as the previous five stocks, but they have enough free cash to fully fund their higher yields.

Company

Dividend Yield

Free Cash Flow
Payout Ratio

CenturyLink

6.9%

75%

Exelon

5.1%

64%

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY)

4.9%

61%

H.J. Heinz

3.7%

50%

Lorillard (NYSE: LO)

5.1%

58%


Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard and Poor's.

Reach for the sky, but diversify
With stock prices still down from their 2007 peak and a number of quality companies trading with attractive dividend yields, now is the perfect time to double down on dividends and build a lower-cost, lower-stress stock portfolio worthy of holding for the next decade and beyond.

There are plenty of great businesses with rich dividend histories trading with yields we haven't seen in years, but in addition to owning a few "dividend growth" and "high-yield" stocks, please remember to diversify your picks across various sectors. As we learned with the implosion of the financial sector, no matter how nice the dividends are, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.

© 2010 UCLICK L.L.C.