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Dividend Achievers

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A dividend aristocrat is a stock that has increased its annual regular dividend every year for twenty five years. A dividend champion is a stock that has paid out its dividend every year for twenty five years, not necessarily increasing it each year. The idea behind both lists is that a lot has happened in the last 25 years and if a company has kept its dividend obligation, chances are it will continue to do so (but no guarantees!). Aristocrats are kept to a higher standard, the company must increase its dividend each year to stay on the list.

What if you want to find an “almost” dividend champion or aristocrat? That’s when you have to look at Mergent’s list of Dividend Achievers (Indxis is a subsidiary of Mergent). Dividend Achievers are companies that have paid out a dividend for ten years or more (and include aristocrats and champions) and unlike the other two lists, achievers aren’t pulled entirely out of the S&P.

The current list of Dividend Achievers has 212 companies spread out across a variety of industries. Some familiar names, from the other lists, includes 3M, Abbott Labs, AFLAC and Wal-Mart. These types of lists are fun because they give you a good starting point if you want to find a few good dividend stocks (I own shares of Abbott Labs and AFLAC, but not 3M or Wal-Mart), but don’t stop your research there because history isn’t a good indicator of the future (plenty of banks fell off the aristocrat list these last two years).

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12 Responses to “Dividend Achievers”

  1. I like 3M. They are a strong company, and I have made a few bucks investing in them over the years. Wish I would have bought a ton of their stock when it took a big drop along with the rest of the market.

  2. Scott says:

    I have the following with gains (including dividends paid) since I bought them back in August:

    Intel Corporation INTC 370 +14.86%
    current dividend 2.9%

    CenturyLink, Inc. CTL 200 +31.42%
    current dividend 6.5%

    Annaly Capital Managemen… NLY 18.22 +8.03%
    current dividend 15%

    I look for opportunities on dips & not afraid to sell when there are crazy up periods. I’ve also traded TOT twice at making around 15% each time and got a dividend payment too…they pay out appx. 5.2%.

  3. Courtney says:

    We have shares in two ETFs that track these – SDY tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index, and FDL tracks the Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index. Yields average 3.4% between the two.

    • zapeta says:

      I have SDY and PFM. PFM tracks the Broad Dividend Achiever Index which is designed to identify dividend paying companies that have increased their annual dividend for ten or more consecutive fiscal years. I also hold the stock for some individual aristocrats/achievers. As I am able, I will invest in a diverse number of actual dividend stocks and sell off my ETF holdings.

      • Courtney says:

        Isn’t one of the qualities of an ETF that you can eventually exchange the ETF shares for equivalent shares in the underlying ‘basket’ of companies?

        • zapeta says:

          Not that I’m aware of. Right now I’m just using the ETFs to stay diversified while I build an individual dividend stock portfolio.

          • Courtney says:

            I thought I had read it somewhere on a list of pros and cons of ETFs versus mutual funds. The best I could find now is from an article about ETFs that says “An ETF shareholder that wants to redeem their shares can either sell them on the open market or if they have enough shares (usually in the case of large institutions) of the ETF, those shares can be exchange for a creation unit. The creation unit is exchanged for the underlying shares. Because the exchange of the creation unit for the underlying shares is a like-kind exchange, there isn’t any tax implications.” It sounds like you would have to amass a lot of shares to do this though.

        • govenar says:

          The fund manager who runs the ETF may sell a block of thousands of ETF shares in exchange for a basket of the underlying stocks from some large institutional investors; it’s not something that individual investors do though.

  4. elloo says:

    Eli Lilly (LLY). solid dividends for many years.

  5. Mike says:

    My stocks pay way higher dividends than that. (No they are not reits.)

  6. nickel says:

    Mike: That may be true, but if they’re not on the list, then the dividend isn’t anywhere near as stable or predictable as those that are.

    • Mike says:

      Most of the stocks I’m talking about have kept their dividends throughout the recession. Even some that reduced it still have a higher yield than what these achievers are paying out today. These stocks may be predictable. But not very appealing to me.


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