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The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats - the best Dividend Paying Stocks in the Market

(June 26, 2010)

The S&P 500's Dividend Aristocrats is the most prestigious list of dividend paying stocks in the world that are tracked by S&P 500 Index. The Dividend Aristocrats Index is a list of companies that have consistently grown their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. The index is so strict that if a company misses even 1 year of growing its dividend, it is eliminated from the Dividend Aristocrats Index. This means the index composes of some of the finest Blue chip stocks in America that have consistent earnings and cash flows. For instance, the dividend aristocrats includes some companies in America who have been around for decades; examples are given below.
Note: The number of years indicated in the list below is the number of years that the company has increased its dividends consecutively.

* Exxon (XOM) – 27 years
* Clorox Co (CLX) – 32 years
* McDonald’s Corp (MCD) – 33 years
* Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) -35 years
* Coca-Cola Co (KO) – 47 years
* Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – 47 years
* Procter & Gamble (PG) – 53 years

I bet every one has ate at McDonalds during some point in their lives and everyone drinks Coke as a soft drink. And who doesn't fill up their tank from an Exxon Mobil gas station? Thus, you can be sure that when you invest in these companies, you will be getting your dividend cash payments. Warren Buffet, the world's greatest value investor made a large portion of his wealth by investing in these famous & reputable brands such as Coca Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), McDonalds (MCD) & Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). These recognizable names have consistently increased their dividends even during times of severe economic downturns, oil & energy shocks and series of asset troubles.

What does Performance of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Look Like?

As you can see from this diagram, the S&P500 dividend aristocrats have returned an annualized return of 27.81% in 1 year, with performance measured as of 31-May-2010. However if you look at the 5 year return, it is a mediocre 3.85%. However, if you add the annual dividend payments you get to this return, it should almost double; this is why investing in dividend paying stocks is worth it.

Who are the Dividend Aristocrats for 2009?

Here is the list of 2009 dividend aristocrats as published by the S&P500 Index report, sorted alphabetically.

3M Company (MMM)
Abbott Labs (ABT)
Air Products & Chemicals (APD)
Anheuser Busch (BUD) – Acquired
Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM)
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP)
Avery Dennison Corp. (AVY)
Bank of America (BAC)
Bard (C.R.) Inc. (BCR)
BB&T Corporation (BBT)
Becton, Dickinson (BDX)
Bemis Co. (BMS)*
Century Telephone (CTL)
Chubb Corp. (CB)
Cincinnati Financial (CINF)
Clorox Co. (CLX)
Coca Cola Co. (KO)
Comerica (CMA)
Consolidated Edison (ED)
Dover Corp. (DOV)
Emerson Electric (EMR)
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)
Family Dollar Stores (FDO)
Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)
Gannett Co. (GCI)
General Electric (GE)
Grainger (W.W.) Inc. (GWW)
Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (TEG)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Johnson Controls (JCI)
KeyCorp (KEY)
Kimberly-Clark (KMB)
Legg Mason (LM)
Leggett & Platt (LEG)*
Lilly (Eli) & Co. (LLY)
Lowe’s Cos. (LOW)
M&T Bank Corp. (MTB)
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)
McGraw-Hill (MHP)
Nucor Corp. (NUE)
PepsiCo Inc. (PEP)
Pfizer, Inc. (PFE)
Pitney-Bowes (PBI)
PPG Industries (PPG)
Procter & Gamble (PG)
Progressive Corp. (PGR)
Questar Corp. (STR)
Regions Financial (RF)
Rohm & Haas (ROH)
Sherwin-Williams (SHW)
Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL)
Stanley Works (SWK)
State Street Corp. (STT)
Supervalu Inc. (SVU)
Synovus (SNV)
Target Corp. (TGT)
U.S. Bancorp (USB)
V.F. Corp. (VFC)
Walgreen Co. (WAG)
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)
Wm. Wrigley – Aquired by Mars (privately held)