Having a low budget doesn't necessarily mean you have to go with low quality. This is true for nearly anything you buy -- including dividend stocks.
The highest-quality dividend stocks have excellent track records of growing their dividends over time. Dividend Aristocrats rank as the cream of the crop. These are S&P 500 members that have increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years.
You don't have to have a lot of money to invest in these great dividend stocks. A few hundred dollars is all you need to pick up shares of several longtime winners. Here are the best Dividend Aristocrats to buy with $500 right now.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT 0.64%) has increased its dividend for an impressive 49 years in a row. The healthcare giant has paid a dividend every quarter since 1924. Its dividend yield currently tops 1.5%.
You can buy one share of Abbott right now for a little under $120. And you won't just get a dependable dividend for that amount. Abbott has also delivered fantastic share appreciation, with the stock more than tripling over the last five years.
Much of Abbott's recent growth has been fueled by its COVID-19 tests. The sizzling growth over the last few quarters is likely to taper off somewhat as worries about the pandemic fade. However, Abbott still has several long-term growth drivers, notably including its FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system.
If you like Abbott's dividend track record, you're going to like AbbVie (ABBV 2.81%) as well. The big drugmaker was spun off from Abbott in 2013. AbbVie has raised its dividend by 225% since then, with its streak of dividend hikes extending to 49 years just like Abbott. However, AbbVie claims a much juicier dividend yield of over 4.4%.
Coincidentally, AbbVie's share price is very close to Abbott's. You'll need less than $120 to scoop up a share of the large biotech. While AbbVie hasn't delivered as great of a return as its parent company has over the last five years, it's still performed pretty well, with the stock nearly doubling.
AbbVie's top-selling drug Humira faces biosimilar competition in the U.S. beginning in 2023. That will temporarily cause its revenue to dip. However, the company expects to quickly bounce back with strong revenue growth throughout the second half of this decade.
Lowe's (LOW -0.55%) isn't just a Dividend Aristocrat; it's also a Dividend King. This even more elite group consists of S&P 500 members with 50 or more years of consecutive dividend increases. Lowe's has increased its dividend for 58 consecutive years and has paid a dividend every quarter since the company went public in 1961. The home improvement retailer's dividend yield currently stands at a little over 1.2%.
You'll have to shell out nearly $200 to buy one share of Lowe's. The relatively higher share price should be worth it: Lowe's has delivered a return of more than 140% over the last five years. Its stock is up 65% over the last 12 months.
The pandemic has driven much of that recent growth. But can Lowe's keep the momentum going? Probably so. Even if its growth slows a little as COVID-19 becomes less of an issue, the home improvement trend is one that is likely to continue for years to come.
After buying Abbott, AbbVie, and Lowe's, you'll have less than $70 remaining from your initial $500. While there aren't many Dividend Aristocrats you can buy for that amount, there's one that especially stands out: Coca-Cola (KO 1.16%). One share of the giant beverage maker costs only around $55 right now.
Like Lowe's, Coca-Cola reigns as both a Dividend Aristocrat and a Dividend King. The company has increased its dividend payout for 59 consecutive years. Coke's dividend yields nearly 3.1%.
Coca-Cola hasn't been a huge winner for investors recently, with its stock rising by only 25% over the last five years. Things are looking up for the company now, though. Coke reported surprisingly good first-quarter results. As more people return to dining in restaurants, the company's beverage sales should grow.
This stock still probably won't generate the strong returns that the others on our list will. However, Coca-Cola continues to be a great long-term pick for income-seeking investors.