I'm going to give you the names of a handful of stocks, one of which could be the great dividend-paying stock in the years to come. And I am going to do that with knowledge that's available to everyone but that few act upon.

Buy like Graham; live like the Hiltons
When it comes to investing masters, only a few names readily come to mind: Buffett, Lynch, and my personal favorite, Benjamin Graham. These are the guys whose edicts and theorems have lasted through wars, shortages, corrections, bubbles, and scandals. And through all of these times, they have made mounds of money!

In his 1934 book, Security Analysis, Graham established five principles by which investors can not only beat the market but pummel it. Since that time, investment houses that have incorporated his philosophies have done just this. And they have done so while watching competitors flail about chasing expensive stocks in cutthroat industries.

Stock-picking firepower
So what are these little principles of magic that can nearly guarantee success in the market?

  1. Companies with low prices in relation to asset value -- you might not think it, but Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) is a perfect example.
  2. Companies with low prices in relation to earnings, or ones that offer generous dividend yields and low prices in relation to cash flow. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is a decent example in the energy industry.
  3. Companies that display a systematic and significant pattern of insider purchasing.
  4. Companies that have recently experienced a significant decline in price -- Waste Management's (NYSE:WMI) 10% slide since February, for example.
  5. Companies with small market capitalizations.

Taking home the trophy
When you match all of these qualities, you create a stock that presents a great value in terms of price, and you get a company that people in the know -- the insiders -- believe will succeed. When you can find this, studies have shown, you win.

When investment house Tweedy, Browne began to incorporate some of Graham's philosophies into studies it conducted, the results spoke for themselves. Time and time again, these factors together produced market-beating returns. To substantiate its findings, it also coupled its results with 44 other studies, half of which came from foreign markets. And the same story emerged. These principles work. And they work over the boundaries of time, country, and investing environment.

The five rules are special and don't always exist with one another, but that doesn't mean they never do. Often, they occur simultaneously as a kind of complement to one another. For example, a company that has had a bad earnings forecast and presents a low forward P/E often has also experienced a significant price decline.

Hitting the bull's-eye
For the purposes of my search, I limited the scope to companies that pay a dividend yield of greater than 2%, have experienced a considerable amount of buying from more than one insider, and experience significantly more insider buys than sells. I also have forgone the fourth principle -- a large decline in price -- because I believe good entry points into great stocks are never too far off.

So here are a couple of stocks that just might take you for a good ride:


Year-over-year change
in insider transactions


Indymac (NYSE:NDE)

$29.0 million


NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS)

$3.0 million


Data courtesy of Form4Oracle.com and MSN Money.

Make it a habit
When you take an insider track that believes in the company, match it with a great dividend yield, and figure in some of the other important principles of Graham's Security Analysis, you find winners. 

Now, readers may be skeptical about the two companies I just mentioned. But they each display some of the intriguing characteristics that Benjamin Graham and Tweedy, Brown identified when they screened for great potential. And most of all, the people who know best -- the insiders -- are buying. 

These stocks are very similar to the type of companies that have bolstered the market-beating returns of the Income Investor newsletter. While they aren't recommendations, they may become great dividend payers one day.

We'd love to introduce you to an even more promising group of dividend payers and Graham-friendly superstars via our Income Investor service, which you can try for free for 30 days. The picks are beating the market and offer an average current yield of more than 4%.

This article was originally published on Dec. 15, 2006. It has been updated.

Fool analyst Nick Kapur owns no shares of the companies mentioned above. Berkshire Hathaway is an Inside Value pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy that is Graham-wellian in its effectiveness.