In the next few days, I'm going to put $10,000 of my own portfolio to work in 10 income-producing stocks, which I'll reveal below. Altogether, these names offer more than triple the yield of the average S&P stock. And I'll also show you how to access 13 more high-yielding companies so that you can build your own dividend dynamo for years to come.
Fool.com readers have clamored for coverage of some of the juiciest dividend stocks out there, and I'm here to deliver what I call the world's best dividend portfolio. I'll even back up my words with some cold, hard cash. I believe so strongly in the long-term prospects of the 10 companies below that I promise not to sell them for at least the next 12 months. In fact, I expect they'll become the cornerstones of my dividend portfolio for years.
Read on to find out where my money's going, because the time to act is now.
High yield vs. high growth
Over the past year we've been having a spirited debate here at Fool headquarters about dividend stocks -- does high yield beat high growth, or vice versa? I've come down solidly on the side of high yields.
Research from investment manager Tweedy, Browne shows that a high-yield portfolio offers "attractive total returns" and lower volatility. Just as important, high-yield stocks outperformed value stocks in declining markets. So you get great dividends in good times and bad, and even when things go pear-shaped for a while you've got some downside protection, too. More money and less risk -- it's hard to imagine a better combination for dividend investors.
To see how high yields can provide superior dividends, let's take a look at the outstanding dividend stock I was buying in January -- National Grid (NYSE: NGG). The company pays out about a 6% yield and has grown that yield at 6.9% over the last five years. Compare it to another fine and fast-growing dividend stock, Colgate-Palmolive, whose 2.6% yield has been growing at 12.8% over the last half-decade.
Colgate's dividend growth is attractive, but consider how long it would take for the two companies to offer equivalent yields if they grew at their historical rates. Sixteen years! By then each stock would be offering more than 17% yield on cost.
Since I let you in on all the details on National Grid back then, the stock has returned a dividend-adjusted 16%. Pretty good for five months. So without further ado, I'll show you what I call the world's best dividend portfolio.
The world's best dividends
The companies below all offer yields that are at least double that of the average S&P stock. While two dividend growth rates are negative because of short-term factors, I expect those companies' payouts to actually start climbing in the near future.
5-Year Dividend Growth
|Southern Company (NYSE: SO)||4.7%||4.1%|
|Exelon (NYSE: EXC)||5.0%||5.6%|
|Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM)||3.6%||9.6%*|
|Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY)||13.7%||30.2%|
|Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR)||8.5%||(4.1%)|
|Plum Creek Timber (NYSE: PCL)||4.2%||1.8%|
|Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP)||5.0%||33.2%*|
|Vodafone (Nasdaq: VOD)||5.3%||5.1%|
|Seaspan (NYSE: SSW)||4.4%||(12.2%)|
Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. *2-year dividend growth, since the company was spun off in 2008.
Let's go through these names briefly to see why they comprise the world's best dividend portfolio. At the top you'll notice a strong contingent of utilities -- Southern, Exelon, and National Grid. These low-volatility names anchor the portfolio, providing mid-single-digit payouts and steady reliable increases. They make ideal choices for retirement accounts and have some broad geographic diversity. Southern and Exelon offer exposure to the U.S., while National Grid has both U.S. and U.K. operations.
Brookfield Infrastructure also offers utilities and infrastructure exposure, and was launched by one of the sharpest investment groups out there, Brookfield Asset Management. The spinoff's hard assets make it a safe haven in a troubled environment. Much the same can be said for Plum Creek, whose key product -- timber -- increases in value regardless of the economic climate. While the housing downturn has hit the company hard, it's still the largest private landowner in the United States. Plus, its dividend is treated mostly as a long-term capital gain even though this company is a real estate investment trust.
I've included two telecoms in this portfolio, Frontier and Vodafone. Again, we have geographic diversity, with Frontier operating in a wide swath of states and Vodafone calling around the world. Frontier offers a high current yield, but also the potential for increases in the payout, which it cut in 2010 in order to invest in recently acquired Verizon properties. As the company finishes making its investments, the dividend should rise. Vodafone also offers the potential for a big dividend increase, with its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, as I explain here.
Philip Morris needs no introduction, but I'll give you a brief bio. This is the world's leading tobacco company, with 27% share of the market (excluding the U.S. and China). The company behind Marlboro, one of the world's leading brands, has broad global exposure. Because the company was spun off from Altria in 2008, it doesn't have a long dividend track record, but its former parent does. So I have every confidence that this stock will continue its generous payouts in the future.
Our final two names both offer solid long-term opportunity. Seaspan is a containership company that has promised a progressive dividend policy, meaning that the company should ramp dividends quickly in the next couple of years as it completes the build-out of its fleet. As evidence, the company bumped its payout by 50% in January. And Annaly Capital should offer a great hedge on economic malaise. If the economy continues to sputter along and interest rates remain at record lows, then this mortgage REIT will continue to reward investors handsomely. Still, the company has a great long-term dividend record, too, so forward-looking investors should be richly rewarded.
I'm so confident that this portfolio will do well that I'm adding $10,000 of my own money as soon as the Fool's trading rules permit. I'll be reinvesting these fat dividends as I receive them, meaning that I aim to turn this high-yield portfolio into a true dividend dynamo over the coming years. With the high yields on offer now, I think you'll agree it's time to act.
Consider the 10 names above along with 13 more tickers from a free report from Motley Fool expert analysts called "13 High-Yielding Stocks to Buy Today," including one I've called "the dividend play of a lifetime." Hundreds of thousands have requested access to this report and today I invite you to download it at no cost to you. To get instant access to the names of these 13 high yielders, simply click here -- it's free.
Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares of National Grid, Vodafone, Exelon, Annaly, Plum Creek, Brookfield Infrastructure, Brookfield Asset, Southern, Frontier, and Philip Morris. The Motley Fool owns shares of Altria, Seaspan, Annaly Capital, Philip Morris, Plum Creek Timber, and Brookfield Infrastructure. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Vodafone, Philip Morris, National Grid, Exelon, Brookfield Infrastructure, Brookfield Asset, and Southern. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a write covered straddle position in Seaspan. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a covered strangle position in Exelon. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.