One of the cool things about Mathew Emmert's Income Investor newsletter service is that it provides a great way for patient shareholders to earn quarterly dividend checks from promising companies. It probably doesn't hurt that Mathew's average pick has produced a total return of 19% while the market has posted an average return of only 12%.

I don't consider myself an "income investor" in the traditional sense, but I'm not one to look the gift horse of a cash distribution in the mouth. In fact, one of my oldest holdings is a yield-happy company by the name of Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN).

Earlier this week, the regional amusement park operator announced a hike in its quarterly payout. It's the 13th time the company has increased its distribution over the past 10 years.

In that time, the company's distributions on its limited partnership units -- yes, they are units, not shares -- have risen by 64%. I wish nothing but the best for conservative investors who focus exclusively on fixed-income vehicles. Still, when the opportunity to buy a well-managed company with a history of growing its dividend comes around, how can one not take it under consideration over buying into a stagnant bond distribution?

Yes, it entails risk. But if a company like Cedar Fair can manage to produce steady results, even while operating in a volatile industry where the highs and lows of park rivals like Six Flags (NYSE:PKS) are widely publicized, surely there must be other attractive options.

That's where Mathew comes in. Since 2003, he has been picking out market thumpers like California Water (NYSE:CWT), Servicemaster (NYSE:SVM), and Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) for Income Investor newsletter readers.

Although Cedar Fair hasn't made the newsletter cut, it's worked out fine for me. The tax-advantaged status of the units does create a partnership issue to deal with come tax time, but the better-than-5% yield continues to reward me as an investor. The market can be a roller coaster. You might as well stake your claim in a company that can provide a smooth uphill ride.

Some more rides worth standing in line for:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't just an investor in Cedar Fair. He traveled to two of the company's amusement parks last year: Knott's Berry Farm in California and Cedar Point in Ohio. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.