It seems that most investors have started adding income or dividend reinvestment plans to their portfolios by using dividend stocks. With the yields of the 10-Year Treasury close to 2% and the 30-Year Treasury close to 3%, investors are looking elsewhere for investment income. 24/7 Wall St. has compiled its own 2012 Model Dividend Portfolio. It has some new names and some deletions from prior dividend lists due to price appreciation or fundamental changes.
It turns out that many stocks with high dividend yields are now more attractive than sovereign debt in the U.S. and abroad. Part of the allure, besides income or reinvestment, is that dividend stocks often hold up better than other investments during jittery markets. It is hard to imagine, but the high-yield utility sector was one of the top performers of the S&P in 2011. In some cases, half of an investor’s total return through time may come from dividends. Warren Buffett generally picks dividend-paying companies for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) after following some of the principles of Benjamin Graham.
The 24/7 Wall St. 2012 Model Dividend Portfolio includes the following stocks: American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE: AEP); American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK); AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T); General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE); Government Properties Income Trust (NYSE: GOV); Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB); Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE: SNH); and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
While exchange-traded products have been avoided in the past, recent trends merit a look at the open-end or closed-end mutual funds and ETF products as follows: SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond (NYSE: JNK); JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSE: AMJ); ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSE: AMLP); and PowerShares Financial Preferred (NYSE: PGF).
Lastly, there have been some exits due to upside price performance: Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO); Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR); Enterprise Products Partners LP (NYSE: EPD); and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP).
We have described the features and outlook for each component of our Model Dividend Portfolio.