As an investor, you're looking for a sufficient potential return on stocks to justify the risks you take by investing. In the brief video below, Fool contributor Chuck Saletta shares three reasons why you should think about dividends as an important part of that return.

Here are three examples he'll describe:

  • Annaly Capital Management (NYSE:NLY) showcases the benefit of dividends as a direct cash reward for the risks investors take in owning a company's stock.
  • Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) illustrates how dividends can enforce discipline on a company's leadership.
  • General Electric (NYSE:GE) provides an example of how dividends often tell a clearer story of what's really going on than you'll hear from a company's management.