One of the best arguments for investing in dividend-paying stocks is that they provide income that you're free to spend anywhere you want. These regular checks can help cover the regular expenses of life. But most dividend stocks pay their dividends quarterly.
If you're an investor who would prefer to receive a more steady stream of income, there is a solution available to you. By digging deeper into companies' dividend payment schedules, it's possible to find a small group of dividend stocks that pay their investors in different months. With these stocks, you can scatter dividend payments throughout the year. That way, your portfolio will generate a more consistent income stream.
For example, if you invest $25,000 in a portfolio yielding 4%, you will generate $1,000 in annual income. If your dividends are received quarterly, you'll get $250 every three months. Instead, you could receive about $83 every month.
Even better, dividend growth stocks increase their dividends regularly, and that will significantly increase your income potential over time. For example, if you invest in companies that raise their dividends by 8% per year, your $83 monthly income will rise to $122 per month in just five years.
Here are several dividend stocks you can invest in that will collectively pay you a dividend each and every month out of the year.
January, April, July, and October
For a company that pays its first quarterly dividend in the first month of the year, I recommend one of the most well-known dividend stocks of them all: tobacco giant Altria Group (NYSE:MO). Altria has increased its dividend 48 times in the past 45 years, including a recent 8% dividend bump. Its success owes to its industry leadership with its Marlboro brand and its interests in smokeless tobacco, cigars, wine, and a voting stake in brewing company SABMiller.
Altria pays a solid 4.5% yield, and its payout is well-supported by its profits.
February, May, August, and November
For each of these four months, investors can look to a company with a long track record of paying, and raising, its dividend. That would be consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). P&G holds a stable of popular brands that are used in millions of households across the country every day. In fact, P&G has 25 "Billion-Dollar Brands" that each bring in at least $1 billion in annual sales. These include Crest, Tide, and Gillette, for example.
This portfolio of must-have products allowed P&G to raise its dividend again this year, bringing the current yield to 3.2%. P&G has paid dividends for 124 consecutive years, since its incorporation in 1890. This year marked the 58th in a row in which the company raised its dividend, and its payout ratio remains comfortable at 61%.
March, June, September, December
A good pick for these months would be oil and gas company Chevron (NYSE:CVX) for its diversification and strong dividend. Chevron is the second-largest oil company in the United States. It currently yields 3.3% and has a long track record of raising its dividend.
Chevron has upped its payout for 27 years in a row, and there should be future increases in store, given that the company distributes just 39% of its earnings.
The Foolish bottom line
These three stocks provide yields that are higher than what you'll get from the broader stock market -- and way higher than the current rates on bank certificates of deposit and savings accounts. Altria, Procter & Gamble, and Chevron are large, stable businesses that are putting up solid growth.
Even better, these stocks have long track records of raising their dividends each and every year, meaning your income potential will grow with time. And because these businesses are strongly profitable, their dividend payments are well-protected by underlying profits.
If generating monthly income is your goal, it's entirely possible to receive a dividend check in every month of the year.
Bob Ciura owns shares of Altria Group. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron and Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.