I've noted before that dividend investing is a tried-and-true strategy for building long-term wealth. In fact, a study by Ned Davis Research found that dividend-paying stocks have outperformed their stingier counterparts 10% vs. 4% annually from 1972 to 2006.

In other words, you can generate sizable investment returns even during times of market turmoil if you can identify dividend stocks that will set you for life.

In order to find dividend studs like Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) -- both of which have total returns of more than 13% annually over 20 years -- I used the Fool's new CAPS screening tool to look for companies that pay a strong dividend.

Below are five companies rated to outperform the market by more than 100 All-Stars, who are CAPS members whose track records rank them in the top 20th percentile of our 110,000-member investing community.

These stocks also have:

  • Market caps greater than $1 billion.
  • Dividend yields greater than 1%.
  • Five-star ratings, the highest possible, from our CAPS community.

Remember, in the first year for which we have data, five-star companies outperformed with an average gain of nearly 28%.


Share Price


Market Cap (in billions)

All-Star Outperform Calls

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)


Basic Materials



Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX)


Basic Materials



Frontline (NYSE:FRO)





PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP)


Consumer Goods



Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)


Consumer Goods



Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of July 15, 2008.

Remember, this screen is only a starting point in the research process. When selecting dividend payers, Fools know it's important to make sure a company has sufficient free cash flow to sustain and grow its dividends for years to come.

Come and join us on Motley Fool CAPS to dig into these companies further. Let our 110,000-strong (and counting) CAPS community help you make better stock selections.

For more Foolery:

Ilan Moscovitz doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He thinks the CAPS screen is the new four square. The Fool's disclosure policy calls spikes.