In a market filled with volatility and uncertainty like the one we are currently in, it's never a bad idea to look for strong dividend stocks that can pay reliable passive income. With the consumer price index, a measure of the prices of goods and services that Americans use every day, having risen 8.5% year over year in March, inflation is surging. The good news is that there are stocks that generate solid passive income with their dividends while also hedging inflation
Three stocks that do this are the real estate investment trust (REIT) Digital Realty Trust (DLR -2.60%); the popular food brand General Mills (GIS 0.57%); and America's second-largest bank by assets, Bank of America (BAC -2.96%).
Digital Realty has a dividend yield of 3.22%, General Mills yields 2.9%, and Bank of America is yielding just over 2%. So investing $5,000 in each of these three stocks and then waiting five years would earn a little over $2,000. Let's look at each of these three stocks.
1. Digital Realty Trust
With a market cap of roughly $41.3 billion, Digital Realty Trust buys, develops, and runs data centers all over the world and in many sectors -- including (but not limited to) the cloud and IT, communications, the financial sector, and healthcare.
Shares of Digital Realty have not gotten off to a great start this year, down roughly 16%, but this is a really solid business with a lot going for it. Since 2005, it has had a compound annual growth rate of 10% in its core funds from operation (FFO), a metric that showcases a REIT's cash flow.
The company generated record bookings in 2021 with $500 million of new global business. Last July, Digital Realty entered India through a joint venture; in January, it opened its first data center in South Korea.
Data centers aren't going anywhere anytime soon and should only increase in demand, with data being considered the new oil. As a REIT, Digital Realty must pay the majority of its income out to shareholders via dividends, and besides its strong yield, it has increased its dividend annually for 16 consecutive years.
2. General Mills
The maker of many popular food brands, like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, is another strong dividend stock that can also put up a good fight against inflation.
Inflation certainly hits food prices, driving them higher and putting a strain on food companies, but eventually those price hikes are passed on to the consumer, and then companies like General Mills benefit from rising sales and higher revenue.
Investors have bought into this theme so far, with the stock up nearly 4% this year, compared to the S&P 500, which is down about 7% this year. And General Mills recently raised its guidance on organic sales growth for the full fiscal year of 2022, which runs through the end of June.