Investing

Rates Are Going Higher in March: 5 Safe and Secure Dividend Stocks to Jump on Now

January cannot be over soon enough for most investors, as the stock market has struggled through the worst month since March of 2020. After last week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve, any ambiguity about the direction and timing of interest rates came to an end, as Fed Chair Jay Powell indicated that the liftoff for rate increases will begin in March. Depending on who you ask, it will be the first increase of likely four during the rest of the year, and possibly six, and they will range in size from 0.25 to 0.50 basis points.

Inflation on an overall basis is at the highest level in almost 40 years. Despite assurances from the Treasury Secretary, the Federal Reserve and others that this onslaught of higher prices will cool at some point this year, with prices skyrocketing on every level, those in Washington are starting to feel the heat from their constituents back home. The time to act has long been passed, so the pressure is on policymakers at the Fed.

With market volatility skyrocketing in January, we screened the BofA Securities research universe looking for the stocks not only paying the highest secure dividends but also Buy rated at the firm. We also screened for companies that likely will feel less pressure from an increase in the federal funds rate.

It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Coca-Cola

This remains a top Buffet holding, as he owns a huge 400 million shares. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable brands, the company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the number one provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks.

Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day. Also remember that the company also owns 16.7% of Monster Beverage, which continues to deliver big numbers.

Investors receive a 2.76% dividend. The BofA Securities price target is $64, while the analysts’ consensus target is $63.84. Coca-Cola stock closed on Friday at $60.84 a share.

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