Looking back on the year, it has been quite remarkable. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on people's health and caused governments to issue widespread shutdown orders.

Certainly, some businesses were affected more than others. Fortunately, there has been some positive news lately on vaccines, although the timing and distribution remain uncertain. With cases on the rise once again, and authorities reimposing restrictions, it is a good time to look for stocks that pay reliable dividends that can provide you with a steady income for a very long time.

Here are two companies worthy of a buy-and-hold strategy, providing you with peace of mind.

A woman holding a stack of dollar bills.

Image source: Getty Images.

Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) sells products like toothbrushes, toothpastes, soaps, dishwashing liquids, and deodorants. Its popular brands like Ajax and Speed Stick have strong market positions. There is also a division for pet nutrition products for cats and dogs.

The company has built a product lineup whose demand does not fluctuate with the economic cycle. This has allowed it to pay a dividend since 1895, raising it for 57 straight years.

That may not produce a lot of excitement, but the company does generate a lot of cash. For the first nine months of the year, Colgate's operating cash flow was $2.8 billion. Its capital expenditures were $249 million, leaving a nice cushion to pay $1.2 billion in dividends.

Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) is known for its diapers; feminine care products; and paper goods, like tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels. When you walk down a supermarket aisle, you'll recognize its brands, which include Huggies, Depends, and Kleenex.

The company organizes these products into its personal care and consumer tissue divisions, and they account for better than 80% of sales. That's good if you're looking to hold on to the shares for a long time, because these products have stable demand.

This produces a nice cash stream, too. For the first nine months of 2020, free cash flow was nearly $2 billion, which handily covered the $1.1 billion in dividends.

Kimberly-Clark has paid a dividend for a remarkable 86 straight years. The board of directors showed its confidence by raising the company's October dividend from $1.03 to $1.07. This made it 48 consecutive years with a payout increase.

When it comes to secure stocks that you can sock away, these two fit the bill. Their products are popular with consumers, and they are necessities. Both companies have raised their dividends annually for decades, too. The stocks may not have fast growth, but the steady approach from proven winners will allow you to build wealth over time as dividends accumulate. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.