5 Dividend Aristocrats to Buy Now for Safety and Dependable Income

Essex Property Trust

This is an outstanding way for investors looking to add a real estate position to growth and income portfolios. Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESS), an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops and manages apartment communities primarily located in the southern and northern California markets and Seattle. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Essex had ownership interests in 250 apartment communities with an additional six properties in various stages of active development.

The company announced last week that its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $2.09 per common share, payable October 15, 2021, to shareholders of record as of September 30, 2021. So, there is plenty of time to buy shares before the ex-dividend date.

Shareholders receive a 2.55% dividend. Piper Sandler’s $340 recently was raised to $390. The consensus target for Essex Property Trust stock is $342.68, and Thursday’s closing share price was $327.71.


This consumer staples leader is a safe bet for nervous investors. Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) is a manufacturer of tissue, personal care, and health care products. Global brands include Huggies, Kotex, Kleenex, Cottonelle, Viva, Scott, Depend and Poise, as well as Andrex in the United Kingdom.

Recently, the company announced that it is notifying U.S. and Canadian customers about plans to increase net selling prices for most of its North American consumer products business. The percentage increase in prices will be in mid-to-high single digits. Almost all the price increases came into effect by the end of June via changes in list prices. In addition, Kimberly-Clark’s baby and child care, adult care and Scott bathroom tissue businesses are affected by this move.

The company also raised its dividend in March by 6.5% to $1.14 per share. Investors now receive a 3.35% dividend. Jefferies has set a $155 price objective. The consensus figure is just $139.18, and Kimberly-Clark stock closed on Thursday at $135.94 per share.

Keep in mind that just because they are on this list now doesn’t mean in the future one or more of these companies may be forced to reduce their dividend, as evidenced by AT&T’s drop from the list. With that caveat in place, there is a very good chance that they all will be on the list again in 2022. These top stocks are great ideas for growth and income investors with a lower risk tolerance to move to with rates still at generational lows.