Dividends again in the spotlight for 2012
Investors tired of all the volatility will lead an even bigger push into dividend stocks next year. Here are some picks.
We already saw investors rush into dividend stocks in 2011, seizing the benefits of stability, rising payouts and more favorable tax treatment. That should continue next year.
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Josh Brown of The Reformed Broker named income worship as one of his dominant investing themes of 2012. "I believe that the big lesson of the past year is that market timing, for most investors, was a fools game," he writes. "With almost daily 200-point swings in both directions, many investors who chose to get in and out ended up doing little more than whipsawing themselves in the end."
Dividend stocks aren't the only way in here. There are also cash distributions from master limited partnerships, which are structured to avoid paying corporate income tax. (You can read more about MLPs here.)
But let's get back to dividend stocks. A number of websites have listed the best dividend stocks around. I'll summarize them below.
DuPont (DD). TheStreet.com likes DuPont for 2012, saying a dividend hike may be on the way because profits have been steadily rising. The current yield is around 3.4%. DuPont was also getting praise for its seed division, particularly the drought-tolerant corn seed called AquaMax.
Veolia (VE). Trash and waste removal is definitely in the "can't live without" column, and Brian Stoffel of The Motley Fool thinks that's a reason to buy Veolia, which has an 11.5% yield. The French company focuses on water and sewage as well as trash removal. Even there are questions for any major company in Europe right now, Stoffel has high hopes for Veolia's sewage treatment and desalinization services.
Waste Management (WM). CNBC's Jim Cramer jumps on this waste-removal idea and picks Waste Management as one of his top dividend stocks. The company has increased its dividend by 81% over the last seven years, and Cramer thinks that could continue. The yield is 4.1%
Kraft (KFT). It's hard to find a safer stock, and TheStreet says sales are likely to rise 11% to 12% this year. But there is a question mark here. Kraft intends to separate its grocery and snack businesses next year, and that leaves the fate of its dividend a little up in the air. With that in mind, General Mills (GIS) might be a better dividend play.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY). Canadian bank stocks are all the rage because they look so good compared to their American counterparts. Canada has a strong domestic economy and a stable government, writes Lou Basenese of iStock Analyst. Royal Bank of Canada has seen shares skyrocket lately, and boasts a 4.5% yield.
Inflation, Rally, Payouts, Slump, Jump, Worries, Buy, Investors, Money, Dividends, Volatility, Pick, Spotlight, Deficit, 2012, Elections, Buffett, Profits, Occupiers, Tea Party, RoamNey.....
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