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10 best dividend stocks

These are the best dividend stocks based on YTD returns, consecutive years of growth and historical yield.

Dividends increase the rate of compound gains, which can help a portfolio grow faster. They can also provide a dependable source of income to mitigate losses that occur from a decline in share price — especially in a bear market. Below is a list of 10 US-based dividend stocks ordered by YTD performance as of October 2024.

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10 best dividend stocks of 2024

Here are the best dividends stocks based on at least 5 consecutive years of dividend growth and dividend yields of at least 3% to combat inflation.

LogoStock and tickerStock descriptionYTD return
Unum Group logoUnum Group (UNM)UNM is a prominent insurance and financial services company, specializing in providing disability, life, and other insurance products and services to individuals and businesses.19.18%
Citizens Financial Corp logoCitizens Financial Corp (CIWV)CIWV is operates as the bank holding company for Citizens Bank of West Virginia, Inc. that provides retail, secondary market, and commercial loan services to consumers and businesses in West Virginia.16.67%

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Stanley Black Decker Inc logoStanley Black & Decker Inc (SWK)SWK is is a global diversified industrial company that manufactures tools, industrial solutions, and security products.13.22%

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Union Bankshares Inc logoUnion Bankshares Inc (UNB)UNB is a bank holding company operating through Union Bank, offering banking and financial services to customers.10.70%

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Phillips 66 logoPhillips 66 (PSX)PSX is a multinational energy company involved in refining, marketing, and midstream operations in the oil and gas industry.9.60%

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Williams Companies Inc logo Williams Companies Inc (WMB)WMB is a natural gas infrastructure company involved in the transportation, processing, and storage of natural gas and natural gas liquids.4.56%

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STAG Industrial Inc logoSTAG Industrial Inc (STAG)STAG is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in the ownership and management of single-tenant industrial properties.2.82%

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IBM logoHorizon Bancorp Inc. (HBNC)International Business Machines Corp (IBM) is a multinational technology company known for computing hardware, software, and services.2.66%

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Peoples Ltd logoPeoples Ltd (PPLL)PPLL is a financial holding company operating through Peoples Bank, offering banking and financial services to customers.0.74%
Hess Midstream logoHess Midstream (HESM)SASR is a midstream energy company that provides infrastructure and services to support the oil and gas operations of its parent company, Hess Corporation.0.27%

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How to buy the best dividend stocks in 5 easy steps

  1. Choose an online stock trading platform. Choose from our Top Picks above or jump straight to the best stock trading apps of 2024.
  2. Sign up for an account. Provide your personal information and sign up.
  3. Set up a funding method to pay for the transaction. Deposit funds into your account by linking your banking information.
  4. Choose the stocks you want to buy. Search for the stock by name or ticker symbol.
  5. Place your order. Buy the stock. It’s that simple.

What to look for when choosing dividend stocks

It’s important to consider how each stock will fit into your portfolio and investment goals. Investors should select high-quality companies and weigh the following factors when choosing the best dividend stocks:

  • Dividend yield. Dividend yield is a financial ratio that measures a stock’s annual dividend payment expressed as a percentage of the stock’s current price. For example, a stock that trades at $75 and pays a dividend of $3 each year has a dividend yield of 4%.
  • The dividend yield moves inversely to the stock price. Generally speaking, if the dividend rate doesn’t change, the yield rises when the stock price falls and falls when the stock price rises. A high yield typically means more income per dollar invested. But a rise in yield may not be a good thing if the stock price is plummeting.
  • Dividend payout ratio. This tells you how much of a company’s income it’s paying out in dividends. A low payout ratio could mean a company is reinvesting most of its earnings into expanding operations, while high dividend payout ratios could represent a steady income stream. Too high a payout ratio could be unsustainable, though.
  • Dividend growth rate. Investors should look at how quickly the company has raised its dividend in the past. While it’s no guarantee, a history of strong dividend growth could mean future dividend growth is likely.

Pros and cons of investing in dividend stocks

Pros

  • Finding the best dividend stocks can provide regular income
  • Some stocks have been paying dividends for decades

Cons

  • High dividend yields can be misleading
  • Dividend payments are never guaranteed
  • Some dividend stocks see little share price growth

Frequently asked questions about dividend stocks

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