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10 Dividend Selected Aristocrats

Numerous studies have shown that dividends make up a big percentage of total stock returns. Estimates suggest that stocks returned about 9.4% annually between 1900 and 2010 and that dividends made up 4.4 percentage points of this return. In other words, without dividends, total stock returns were nearly cut in half.

This data suggests that buying companies with solid and stable dividends can make a big difference in overall returns over time. Finding companies with very stable dividend policies can also help as buying-and-holding keeps trading costs and taxes low. Stock index giant Standard & Poor's keeps a list of companies that have paid dividends for 25 straight years. Its most recent list contained 42 such companies. Below is a list of 10 of them that also have businesses that can stand the test of time.

Here are 10 selected Dividend Aristocrats:

1. Brown-Forman Corp - Current dividend yield: 1.7%

2. Chubb Corp - Current dividend yield: 2.6%

3. Coca-Cola Co - Current dividend yield: 2.8%

4. Ecolab Inc - Current dividend yield: 1.3%

5. McDonald's Corp - Current dividend yield: 2.9%

6. McGraw-Hill Cos Inc - Current dividend yield: 2.4%

7. PepsiCo Inc - Current dividend yield: 3.0%

8. Procter & Gamble - Current dividend yield: 3.4%

9. Sigma-Aldrich Corp - Current dividend yield: 1.0%

10. Wal-Mart Stores - Current dividend yield: 2.8%

Complete Dividend Aristocrats list:

Dividend Aristocrats

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Source: Investopedia