Dividend Aristocrats List -The Best Dividend Paying Stocks

If you’re looking for a list of the best dividend paying stocks to invest in, you’ve found it.

The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats list is monitored closely by investors who prefer stocks that pay dividends. Each of the companies on the list has demonstrated a consistent and long term policy of dividend growth.

In order to be included on the Dividend Aristocrats list, a company must be a member of the S&P 500, have a market capitalization of $3 billion, and an average trading volume of $5 million.  Most importantly, they must have increased dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years.

It should be noted that even though these companies have all demonstrated a commitment to dividend growth, there is no guarantee they won’t freeze or eliminate their dividend in the future.  Companies are occasionally dropped from the list if they fail to increase dividends or if they are delisted from the S&P 500 index due to a merger or to make room for other stocks to join the index.dividend paying stocks

In recent years, companies like General Electric (GE) and CenturyLink (CTL) were removed from the list.  But other dividend paying companies were added to the list as they met the indexing criteria.

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The good news is that the companies who remain managed to continue increasing dividends despite the recession and difficult economic times we have faced.  In my opinion that strength makes them some of the best dividend paying stocks you can choose from.

Current Dividend Aristocrats List

This list is current for 2013.  We’ll update it whenever a company is dropped from the list or when new dividend companies are added.

Company Name Stock Symbol
3M Co MMM
AFLAC Inc AFL
AT&T Inc T
AbbVie Inc. ABBV
Abbott Laboratories ABT
Air Products & Chemicals Inc APD
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co ADM
Automatic Data Processing ADP
Bard C.R. Inc BCR
Becton Dickinson & Co BDX
Bemis Co Inc BMS
Brown-Forman Corp B BF/B
Chubb Corp CB
Cincinnati Financial Corp CINF
Cintas Corp CTAS
Clorox Co CLX
Coca-Cola Co KO
Colgate-Palmolive Co CL
Consolidated Edison Inc ED
Dover Corp DOV
Ecolab Inc ECL
Emerson Electric Co EMR
Exxon Mobil Corp XOM
Family Dollar Stores Inc FDO
Franklin Resources Inc BEN
Genuine Parts Co GPC
Grainger W.W. Inc GWW
HCP Inc HCP
Hormel Foods Corp HRL
Illinois Tool Works Inc ITW
Johnson & Johnson JNJ
Kimberly-Clark KMB
Leggett & Platt LEG
Lowe’s Cos Inc LOW
McCormick & Co MKC
McDonald’s Corp MCD
McGraw-Hill Cos Inc MHP
Medtronic Inc MDT
Nucor Corp NUE
PPG Industries Inc PPG
PepsiCo Inc PEP
Pitney Bowes Inc PBI
Procter & Gamble PG
Sherwin-Williams Co SHW
Sigma-Aldrich Corp SIAL
Stanley Black & Decker SWK
Sysco Corp SYY
T Rowe Price Group Inc TROW
Target Corp TGT
VF Corp VFC
Wal-Mart Stores WMT
Walgreen Co WAG

Some people look at the Dividend Aristocrats and say “Wow, what a boring bunch of companies.”

While you may not get the same growth potential that you would out of a fast-paced tech stock, these companies have stood the test of time and most are protected by wide moats.  Their longevity and commitment to growth makes them some of the best dividend paying stocks you can find.

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Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in finance and parenting topics. He is a dedicated husband and father of three who is obsessed with creating multiple streams of income and building wealth so he can achieve true financial freedom for his family. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our free RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.

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