Quiz time, sports fans: What did the New York Yankees of the '50s and the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Cowboys of the '90s have in common? (And exactly how can this help you with your portfolio?)

It wasn't just that they had some of the best individual players of the time -- Yogi Berra, Michael Jordan, and Emmitt Smith, respectively -- although that certainly helped. And it wasn't just that they were able to bring home world championship trophies on a regular basis. It was simply that their organizations and performances were consistently excellent.

Consistent excellence is rare anywhere, but imagine seeing it in your portfolio. Impossible? No way! Because that's what carefully chosen dividend-paying stocks can offer.

Build the next investing dynasty
Finding these long-haul outperformers can help you build your fortune, as studies from investing gurus such as Jeremy Siegel have shown time and time again. Finding them for you is precisely what we do at our Motley Fool Income Investor service.

ONEOK (NYSE:OKE), for example, is up 104% since December 2005, and it is currently rewarding investors with a 2.5% yield. Then there's JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), which has returned 52% since August 2005 on top of a current 2.6% yield. And while both stocks happen to be Income Investor recommendations, you don't need to be a subscriber to get these great gains.

Identify new talent
With that last thought in mind, I'd like to introduce you to our new community intelligence database, Motley Fool CAPS. There, savvy investors help one another identify stocks that can create consistent and substantial growth for any type of investor. That means whether you're a Buffett-esque value investor or a chart-watching technical trader, you are welcome to strut your stuff. And, just as in professional sports, the cream inevitably rises to (and stays at) the top.

So what are the best dividend-paying stocks around, according to CAPS? Here are a few dividend picks with five-star ratings:



Aircastle (NYSE:AYR)


Siliconware Precision Industries (NASDAQ:SPIL)


Thomas Group (NASDAQ:TGIS)


Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC)


Companhia Paranaense de Energia (NYSE:ELP)


Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's), Yahoo! Finance, Morningstar, and CAPS as of May 31.

Stake your claim
I encourage you to join CAPS to learn more about why investors are so bullish on these companies, and perhaps to add your own thoughts to the system. I'll get you started with some thoughts about one company here that may be worth checking out: Siliconware Precision Industries.

Don't let Siliconware's 88% run over the past 12 months scare you away. The stock looks like it is still very reasonably valued compared with many of its close competitors. Right now, you can pick up shares of Siliconware for about 13 times trailing earnings. By itself, that may not mean a hill of beans, but when you consider that the company has grown its revenue at an average annual rate of 26% over the past four years while increasing its net income margin from 1.9% to 23.7%, it starts to sound pretty attractive.

The Taiwan-based company is involved with semiconductor packaging and testing -- similar to companies like STATS ChipPAC and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering. Of the 186 CAPS players who have weighed in on the stock, 97% have given it the thumbs-up -- that includes 66 of 67 CAPS All-Stars who have an opinion on the stock.

One of those All-Stars, Patrick6k, has this to say about the company:

With a double digit percentage of inside ownership, about half a billion dollars in cash on hand, ... and very little debt, this highly profitable company is poised to grab market smashing returns for many years to come.

Siliconware's growth could easily make it comparable to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in the next 10 years or so. I can see this easily being a 10 to 15 bagger over the next decade.

You can check out more of what others have to say about Siliconware, as well as chime in with your own thoughts, by heading over to CAPS. You may also want to check out a few of the other top-rated dividend payers above while you're there.

And looping back around to conclude my (very) extended sports metaphor, allow me to suggest that dividend stocks will help you turn your portfolio into the dependable New York Yankees, rather than the flash-in-the-pan Florida Marlins. And if you hate the Yankees, it's probably because they're so darn good, so darn often.

More CAPS coverage:

Yankees fan and Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer hopes the Yanks can continue (regain?) their legendary excellence, and has his fingers crossed that the Cowboys will never get back to the top again. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is a true investing dynasty.