Many of the world's smartest investors will tell you that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend-paying counterparts. And few are better examples of this than AFLAC (NYSE:AFL), the popular provider of supplement insurance.

While there are any number of metrics that support this, there's little doubt that three rise above the rest. First, AFLAC's quarterly payout has increased consistently since at least the mid-1980s. Second, it's paid uninterrupted dividends for 31 consecutive years, ranking it among the most consistent dividend stocks in the market today. Finally, with a dividend yield of 2.3%, it handily beats the broader market, which, according to the S&P 500, yields an average of 1.9%.

It's for these reasons, in turn, that Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield concludes in the video below that, according to these three measures at least, AFLAC's stock would make a worthy addition to any income investor's portfolio.