25 Dividend Stocks You Can Buy and Hold Forever

Finding a company with a long track record of consistent dividend payments is only part of the winning formula for investing in dividend stocks.

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Finding a company with a long track record of consistent dividend payments is only part of the winning formula for investing in dividend stocks. Dividend growth matters, too. Rising dividends not only make a stock more attractive to new income investors, but steady dividend hikes also reward existing investors with increasingly higher yields on shares purchased at lower prices in the past.

It’s an opportune time to target dividend growers, according to Heidi Richardson, an investment strategist for BlackRock. Companies raising dividends are attractive in an aging bull market, when the pace of shareholder-friendly stock buybacks and mergers can slow. Dividend growers, she adds, can also offer an edge when interest rates are going up: "Stocks with a history of consistently growing their dividends have historically tended to perform well and exhibit less volatility in a rising-rate environment." Kiplinger expects at least two Federal Reserve rate hikes in 2017.

Identify reliable dividend stocks by concentrating on the Dividend Aristocrats, 50 companies in Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that have hiked their dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years. Since size, longevity and familiarity can provide comfort amid market uncertainty, here are the 25 biggest Dividend Aristocrats by market capitalization. Dominated by household names, the list is a good starting point to find high-quality companies for your long-term portfolio.

(Dividend yields and other figures are as of February 8, 2017, unless otherwise indicated. Companies are listed in order of market cap—share price times total shares outstanding—starting with the highest. Analysts’ ratings provided by Zacks Investment Research. The list of 50 Dividend Aristocrats is maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices (opens in new tab).)

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.


A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.


Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.


In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics and more.


Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.


Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.