The rules of dividend investing are changing. This is the first time I can recall, for example, when you can earn more in dividends for holding the entire S&P 500 than you can earn not only on a 10-year note, but also on a long-term 30-year government bond.
But with the promise of higher returns comes added risk. I’m concerned that too many well-meaning U.S. investors may be disappointed as a result of the shifting market environment.
The risk is even more acute in low-return markets like this, when investors are tempted to "chase" yield. After all, in most cases, dividend yields are tantalizingly high for a reason (the stocks are cheap and rightly so)—and are simply not supported by the fundamental earning power of the business.
Investors who pile into these "over-paying" stocks thinking their dividends (and their hard-earned capital) are safe can be in for a rude awakening. This is why I won’t recommend that you buy any dividend payer unless it …
- Satisfies my strict qualitative and fundamental criteria
- Is rated highly by my proprietary earnings-quality model, AND
- Passes my hands-on review of the financial statements and underlying business fundamentals…
But please don’t misunderstand—if you choose your dividend stocks correctly, you can set yourself up very nicely. Both as your invested capital appreciates over the years—and as the quarterly dividend grows. This kind of income is simply not possible with bonds.
So today I’d like to share with you some of my top-rated dividend payers. All are household names—think General Mills (GIS) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). All yield over 3%—a very generous yield relative to what you can earn on a 10-year Treasury or corporate bond. All also score high on my proprietary 8-point earnings quality and growth model—and stand up nicely to my rigorous hands-on analysis. And best of all, all are trading at attractive rates right now thanks to the overall market anxiety.
Without further ado, here are the 15 stocks that I consider to be some of the best high-yield bets in this uncertain market:
|Ticker||Company Name||Quantitative Grade||Fundamental Grade||Total Grade||Dividend Yield|
|GIS||General Mills Inc.||A||B||A||3.22%|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||A||B||A||3.15%|
|LLY||Eli Lilly & Co.||A||B||A||3.78%|
|LMT||Lockheed Martin Corp.||B||B||B||4.44%|
|NVS||Novartis AG ADS||A||C||A||3.56%|
|PG||Procter & Gamble Co.||A||B||B||3.14%|
|RY||Royal Bank of Canada||B||B||B||4.20%|
|UL||Unilever PLC ADS||A||C||A||3.38%|
|WBK||Westpac Banking Corp. ADS||A||B||A||7.43%|
|WM||Waste Management Inc.||A||C||B||3.56%|