When evaluating stocks, there are literally hundreds of different metrics you can use, ranging from the basic to the specialized. Some metrics carry more weight than others, and this is especially true when evaluating dividend stocks.
For example, if a stock's payout ratio, dividend-growth rate, and interest coverage look bad, I don't really care about metrics such as earnings per share, or the actual amount of the dividend payment. With this in mind, here are 10 of the most important metrics that all dividend investors should know and use when choosing stocks to invest in. I'll use two of my favorite long-term dividend stocks, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), to illustrate what they mean, and what they can tell you about a dividend stock's merits as an investment.
The $15,978 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. In fact, one MarketWatch reporter argues that if more Americans knew about this, the government would have to shell out an extra $10 billion annually. For example: one easy, 17-minute trick could pay you as much as $15,978 more... each year! Once you learn how to take advantage of all these loopholes, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how you can take advantage of these strategies.
- In Your 60s? 3 Stocks You Should Consider Buying
- Warren Buffett Sold These Goliath Stocks -- Should You Too?
- 3 Great Dividend Stocks for Retirees
- 3 Stocks That Could Protect You From a Stock Market Crash
- These 5 Companies Could Collectively Generate Almost $270 Billion in Profits Through 2017
Matthew Frankel has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. 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.