We all want to learn the secret to success. Many get-rich-now infomercials have preyed on this desire while making the sellers wealthy at the expense of the buyers. I have good news for you: There really is a secret to success, and what is even better news is that the secret is not hard to discover. It has been right there in front of you all this time. Your parents likely taught it to you in the form of a fable. Let's explore this secret to success a little more.
As a child most of heard (or watched) Aesop's fable "The Tortoise and the Hare." The story is about confident hare that brags about how fast he can run while poking fun at a slow-moving tortoise. The tortoise having tired of the hare's haranguing challenges him to a race. The hare jumps out to an early lead and decides to take a nap midway through the race. When he awakes, he finds that the tortoise made steady progress and beat him to the finish line.
Have you ever stopped to ponder just where are all these get-rich-now infomercial millionaires? I know several people who have purchased one or more of these get-rich-now kits, but I don't know of anyone who actually got rich from purchasing the kit. Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) and Bill Gates (Trades, Portfolio) didn't build their fortunes with a get-rich-now kit. They worked hard and built it steadily over time.
In much the same way, a disciplined approach to investing, such as dividend growth stocks, can be highly effective. Though it may seem boring to many, I find it exciting to see my income growing as the finish line approaches. Consider these slow and steady growers with 35 years or more of consecutive dividend growth:
McDonald's Corporation (MCD) is the largest fast-food restaurant company in the world, with nearly 35,000 restaurants in 119 countries.
Yield: 3.4% | Div. Growth: 8.71% | Years: 37
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), one of the world's largest independent computing services companies, provides a broad range of data processing services.
Yield: 2.4% | Div. Growth: 7.28% | Years: 37
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart operates a chain of over 10,000 discount department stores, wholesale clubs, supermarkets and supercenters.
Yield: 2.4% | Div. Growth: 13.48% | Years: 39
Kimberly Clark Corp. (KMB) is a global consumer products company's producing tissue, personal care and health care products. Its brands include Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex, Depend, Kleenex and Scott.
Yield: 3.0% | Div. Growth: 7.07% | Years: 41
PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) is a major international producer of branded beverage and snack food products.
Yield: 2.7% | Div. Growth: 5.17% | Years: 41
Target Corp. (TGT) operates nearly 1,800 Target, SuperTarget and CityTarget general merchandise stores across the U.S. and about 125 stores in Canada.
Yield: 2.7% | Div. Growth: 19.70% | Years: 46
The Coca-Cola Company (KO) is the world's largest soft drink company, KO also has a sizable fruit juice business.
Yield: 2.8% | Div. Growth: 8.02% | Years: 51
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is a leader in the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries.
Yield: 2.8% | Div. Growth: 7.29% | Years: 51
The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) is a leading consumer products company markets household and personal care products in more than 180 countries.
Yield: 2.8% | Div. Growth: 5.18% | Years: 56
Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) is a leading wholesale distributor of automotive replacement parts, industrial parts and supplies, and office products.
Yield: 2.6% | Div. Growth: 6.15% | Years: 57
There are really no shortcuts to long-term wealth. Many of those that win the lottery end up losing the money through mismanagement (or worse). Dividend Growth Stocks may be slow, but they are also steady; and slow and steady wins the race.
Full Disclosure: Long MCD, ADP, WMT, KMB, PEP, TGT, KO, JNJ, PG, GPC in my Dividend Growth Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.
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