Investing

10 Smartest Dividend Stocks to Buy With $500 Right Now

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There are several different strategies for investing in the stock market, one of which is investing to maximize dividends. A healthy portfolio of stocks will have a balance of all kinds of investments, including dividends that pay large and regular dividends. These dividends can then be reinvested into your portfolio to increase your investment value beyond what market growth would typically yield. That being said, you can’t just start throwing money at the stocks that pay the highest dividends. As with any investment, you should do your research and invest wisely in stocks that you reasonably hope will be successful.

So, what does it mean to invest wisely in dividend stocks? Well, not all dividend stocks are the same, and every online list and financial advisor will give you different stocks based on differentcriteria. If you are looking for just the highest dividends, you might end up buying a stock for a company that has lost value consistently in the past and paid a high dividend one time. Or you might end up buyinga stock for a company that will soon go out of business.

Investing smartly means looking at more than just the high percentage dividends, it means planning and investing for the long term. For this list, we included only stocks that have increased their dividend payouts consistently, represent companies that show sustainable growth, have had no unprofitable years, are expected to grow in the future, and have significant market activity in U.S.-based markets.

Here are 10 of the smartest dividend stocks we think you can buy for under $500 right now.

Why Are We Talking About This?

Dividends are shown using a text and photo of dollars
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Dividends are a great way to slowly increase your investments.

Financial advice, both good and bad, is everywhere, especially online where it can be hard to tell what is real advice, what is junk, and what is simplycorporate propaganda posing as honest advice. Some of the worst culprits of shilling corporate talking points are television financial personalities. So, where can you go for help? Luckily, there are still some sources for honest insights into the market, and we want to help you by giving sound financial advice.

#10 Republic Services

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A Republic Services truck at work.
  • Dividend yield: 1.2%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 7.4%

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) is a waste management and recycling company. It has continued to grow and outpace the market consistently for the last few years and comes highly recommended for new investors. If Republic Services is at the bottom of this list, thenthat should only show how much better the stocks get from here.

#9 Exponent

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A man pretending to do wok in a clean office.
  • Dividend yield: 1.2%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 11.8%

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) is a scientific consulting and engineering company. It provides some of the most detailed and famous scientific and engineering reports for large corporations and incidents. It has often come under fire for censoring its ownreports and giving companies only the information that will help them, like covering up the ties between cancer cases caused by Chevron’s oil waste.

#8 Elevance Health

A Plate with abbreviation PPO preferred provider organization or health insurance plan.
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A view of a sign with a PPO insurance plan.
  • Dividend yield: 1.3%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 15.3%

Elevance Health (NYSE:ELV) is an insurance provider previously known as Anthem. It is the largest for-profit healthcare company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield group. Over 46 million people participate in Elevance Health’s healthcare plans. The company ranks highly on the Fortune 500 list and the Forbes Global 2000. What business a health insurance company has making so much money and giving so much of itto stockholders is a question for another day.

#7 Selective Insurance Group

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A view of New York City.
  • Dividend yield: 1.5%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 11.8%

Selective Insurance (NASDAQ:SIGI) is another insurancecompany primarily focusing on serving the New York area. It has grown consistently year-over-year and has a healthy future projected going forward, which means this dividend will continue to grow over time. It has consistently beaten the market on a regular basisover the last ten years.

#6 Caterpillar

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The color now known as “Caterpillar yellow” has become iconic on construction sites.
  • Dividend yield: 1.5%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 8.6%

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is a well-known manufacturer of construction, mining, and other heavy-duty equipment and vehicles. Caterpillar turns 100 years old in 2025 and continues to grow and post healthy numbers, including attractive dividends to investors. Caterpillar continuously beats the market average and has a healthy outlook for the future. Caterpillar would be a wise investment even if you’re not looking for dividends.

#5 Broadcom

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The Sign for the Broadcom location in San Jose, California.
  • Dividend yield: 1.5%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 14.7%

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) is a multinational manufacturer of semiconductors and software systems. Most of its business comes from semiconductor products

Broadcom has faced antitrust allegations in the European Union, and the company has sued smart TV manufacturers and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) because it is losing significant business to companies that don’t use its products.

#4 UnitedHealth Group

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A UnitedHealth location and offices.
  • Dividend yield: 1.6%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 10.5%

Yet another insurance company profiting from the fears and pain of others to pay healthy dividends to investors. UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) is the world’s eleventh-largest company in the world, and the largest healthcare company in the world overall, with a value of $477.4 billion in 2023.

UnitedHealth has one of the strongest-performing stocks on this list,and consistently outperformsthe market average by a large margin. At the same time, the company has faced numerous lawsuits and accusations of healthcare fraud against Medicare, underpaying doctors, influencing medical research, and lobbying against healthcare reform.

#3 Broadridge Financial Solutions

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Broadridge Financial Solutions provides much of the communication tools for investors.
  • Dividend yield: 1.6%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 10.5%

Broadridge (NYSE:BR) is a financial technology company that began as a division of ADP (also on this list). It processes financial data and provides financial insights and reports to client companies. It handles significant amounts ofinvestor communications and manages the technology for many financial institutions.

The stock performs well, along with havinga healthy dividend that is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

#2 Automatic Data Processing

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A location of Automatic Data Processing offices.
  • Dividend yield: 2.3%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 12.1%

ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) is a human resources software company. It handles payroll, employee benefits, tax services, and other employee-management solutions for companies of all sizes.

ADP has consistently outperformed the stock market and financial experts expect this success to continue, beingreflected in higher dividend payments.

#1 CubeSmart

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A photo of a simple outdoor self-storage unit.
  • Dividend yield: 5.0%
  • Five-year dividend growth: 9.8%

Despite owning over 611 self-storage locations in the United States, Cubesmart (NYSE:CUBE) isn’t actuallya self-storage company, it is a real estate investment trust that buys up self-storage locations. It is now the third-largest self-storage company in the United States even though it hasn’t opened or created any of the businesses itself.

This might be the most surprising company on this list, but itsinvestment in self-storage locations has proved successful and largely profitable, making plenty of money off of Americans’ attachment to junk and refusal to throw things away.

CubeSmart has the highest dividend on this list. This dividend is very high and comparable to some of the highest, reliable dividends on the market, but it is a much safer and smarter investment. Financial experts expect CubeSmart to continue to perform well and even outperform the market as it has done every year for the last ten years.

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