And while it’s real easy to find losers, the dividend winners are much harder to find.
Seven that Money Magazine looked at include 3M (NYSE:MMM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), Nucor (NYSE:NUE), Dover (NYSE:DOV) and Clorox (NYSE:CLX)
These dividend stocks all have something interesting in common - in addition to the fact they’re each raised dividends for at least 25 years. It’s their yield.
The yields on these companies range from 3.1% to 3.8%. Consider it the “golden ratio” of dividends. It laymen’s terms, it’s the amount a company can comfortably pay out while still keeping enough for reinvestment and growth.
Looking at the growth rate of their stocks, the worst performer, 3M, has only returned a 447.1% return over the last 25 years. It’s annualized return of 17.88% still beats the S&P’s (.INX) 16.36%. The best performer from that group, Nucor, has an annualized return of 100.25%.
It should give investors pause about investing only in the highest yielding stocks.