And here's something underappreciated: Dividend payers actually tend to perform really well, too.
Dividend-paying stocks averaged an annual gain of 9.3% from 1972 through 2014, while non-dividend payers averaged just 2.6%. Want more? According to Fidelity data, from 1993 through 2014, dividends accounted for about 40% of the 10.3% average annual return of the S&P 500.
Attached I've compiled those dividend growers with the longest dividend growth history. Only a couple of stocks managed to grow their dividends over decades without running them flat a year or even reduce them.
17 stocks joined the exclusive club of Dividend Kings. Those stocks managed to raise dividends over a half century without an interruption.
That's a great success if you keep in mind how many recessions come and go over that period of time.
Here is the latest overview of the Dividend Kings List...
|17 Dividend Kings (click to enlarge)|