Some people like the excitement of buying and selling frequently. They're always looking for the next hot growth stock in the latest arena generating the most buzz. But that's not every investor's cup of tea.
There are a lot of investors who simply want to find stocks that pay great dividends quarter in and quarter out. They want to invest in the kinds of stocks that you can leave alone for years -- decades even -- while they steadily make money. If you're this kind of investor, here are three rock-solid dividend stocks that you can buy and hold practically forever.
1. Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories (ABT 0.20%) pretty much has it all. For starters, the healthcare giant is a Dividend Aristocrat with 48 consecutive years of dividend increases. Abbott has paid a dividend every quarter since 1924. Its dividend yield currently stands at 1.4%. That's not a spectacular level, but you can feel pretty good about the prospects of the dividend payments continuing to grow over time.
One big plus for Abbott is its diversification. The company is a market leader in branded generic medications, cardiovascular care, diabetes care, diagnostics, neuromodulation care, and nutritional products. This wide range of product offerings generated nearly $32 billion in revenue last year and profits of close to $3.7 billion.
Don't think for a second that Abbott is a boring, low-growth kind of dividend stock, though. Wall Street analysts project the company will deliver average annual earnings growth of nearly 15% over the next five years. Abbott's wildly successful Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system and its new COVID-19 diagnostics tests are just two of the company's major growth drivers.
2. Brookfield Renewable
Brookfield Renewable (BEP -1.22%) (BEPC -0.40%) told its investors in 2019, "We are one of the few future-proof stocks today." That statement was defensible then and still is now. The company owns over 5,300 renewable energy assets that should enjoy sustained and increasing demand.
You can own part of Brookfield Renewable in two ways -- Brookfield Renewable Partners (a limited partnership) and Brookfield Renewable Corporation (a traditional corporate structure). Their underlying business is the same, and both entities pay the same dividend amount (referred to as a distribution because of the company's roots as a limited partnership). However, because of share price differences, Brookfield Renewable Partners' distribution yields 3.9% while Brookfield Renewable Corporation's distribution yields nearly 3.5%.
The good news is that the dividends for both Brookfield Renewable stocks should continue to grow. The company targets long-term distribution growth between 5% and 9% per year. Its average distribution increase since 2000 is 6%.
3. Duke Energy
Duke Energy (DUK -0.50%) is another utility stock that's a great pick to buy and hold. It also offers an attractive dividend yield of nearly 4.8%. Duke's dividend program has a fantastic track record, with the company paying a dividend for 94 consecutive years.
Granted, Duke Energy won't deliver the kind of growth that some stocks will. But CEO Lynn Good reiterated in the company's Q2 conference call that Duke should achieve its goal of generating long-term earnings-per-share growth between 4% and 6%. That's not too shabby for a major utility company.
More importantly, Duke Energy should provide the kind of stability that income-seeking investors like. That's the benefit of investing in a company that enjoys monopolies in its target markets and derives 95% of its earnings from those regulated markets.