Dividend stocks give investors the powerful combination of current income and growth potential. Even as the stock market soared in 2013, strength in dividends was responsible for much of the market's overall gains.
In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at how dividends helped send stocks rocketing higher. Dan notes that in 2013, almost 2,900 stocks raised their dividends, compared with just 300 dividend cuts. He notes how companies that haven't paid dividends in years have started rewarding shareholders, with General Motors (NYSE: GM ) becoming the latest example by implementing a $0.30 per share quarterly dividend that yields 3%. Other companies are making big increases to their existing dividends, with 3M (NYSE: MMM ) having implemented a 35% dividend increase and Boeing (NYSE: BA ) boosting its payout by 50% recently. Dan concludes that as long as dividends can keep growing, the stock market could follow suit with continued gains.
Why dividend stocks are so successful for investors
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend-paying brethren. But knowing this is true is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.