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Reader Question – What stocks have paid dividends for generations?

In the My Own Advisor inbox recently, I got an email from a reader wondering the following:

“Hi,

I would like to invest in dividend paying stocks.  Do you know where I can find a good list of companies that have been paying stocks for 20 years or more?  I really don’t know where to start other than looking for companies individually.”

Thanks for your question and you’re luck.  I’ve selected a list of U.S. and Canadian companies that have been paying dividends for generations.  Here they are:

U.S. Stocks

These U.S. companies have been paying dividends for well over 100 years.

  • Stanley Works (SWK:US) – paid dividends since 1877.
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM:US) – paid dividends since 1882.
  • Consolidated Edision (ED:US) – paid dividends since 1885, increased for 38 years.
  • Proctor & Gamble (PG:US) – paid dividends since 1890.
  • Coca-Cola (KO:US) – paid dividends since 1893 and a quarterly dividend since 1920.
  • Colgate-Palmolive (CL:US) – paid dividends since 1895.
  • Dupont (DD:US) – paid dividends since 1904.

If you want the oldest of old, you’ll have to buy York Water.  They made history last year when it comes to dividends; they are the oldest investor owned utility in the U.S.

Other selected U.S. companies that have paid increasing dividends for decades include:

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ:US)
  • Diebold (DBD:US)
  • Emerson Electric (EMR:US)
  • 3M (MMM:US)
  • Target (TGT:US)
  • Kimberly Clark (KMB:US)
  • Pepsi (PEP:US)
  • McDonald’s (MCD:US)
  • Clorox (CLX:US)
  • Walmart (WMT:US)
  • Becton Dickinson (BDX:US)

The list is longer than this.  You can find a list of U.S. dividend aristocrats here.  The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index measures the performance of large cap, blue chip companies within the S&P 500 that have followed a policy of increasing dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years.

Canadian Stocks

These Canadian companies have been paying dividends for well over 100 years.

  • Bank of Montreal (BMO) – paid dividends since 1829.
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) – paid dividends since 1832.
  • TD (TD) – paid dividends since 1857.
  • CIBC (CM) – paid dividends since 1868.
  • Royal Bank (RY) – paid dividends since 1870.

Other selected Canadian companies that have paid dividends for decades include:

  • Enbridge (ENB)
  • Fortis (FTS)
  • Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE)

As you can see, dividend histories are not as established for many Canadian stocks when compared to U.S. stocks.

You can find a list of Canadian dividend aristocrats here.  Alternatively, you can visit the iShares website.  Look up CDZ.  CDZ is the iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index Fund aims to track the S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index, less fees and expenses.  For holdings to quality, securities must: “a) be common stock or income trust listed on the TSX and in the S&P Canada Broad Market Index (BMI); b) have increased ordinary cash dividends every year for 5 years, but can maintain the same dividend for a maximum of 2 consecutive years within that 5-year period; c) have a minimum C$ 300 million float-adjusted market cap.”

I hope this information helped, providing you with a starting point for further research.

Got a question for My Own Advisor?   Ask away in a comment or contact me.

Filed in: Dividends, Reader Questions, Stocks

15 Responses to "Reader Question – What stocks have paid dividends for generations?"

  1. I just bought Bank Of Nova Scotia last week and the price dropped the next day. I am a stock holder not a flipper so I will wait a few years and hope for the best.

  2. Echo says:

    Canadian Utilities has raised its dividend for 40 consecutive years. We’re starting to build some decent aristocrats here in Canada.

  3. A dividend history alone should not be the only consideration for stocks. Pennsylvania Railroad was once the biggest corporation in the world that paid dividends for over 100 years and had 250,000 employees. It declared bankruptcy suddenly in 1970 due to too much debt and high operating expenses. This is why other investing principles like diversification are also important – any stock can go to zero at any time.

    • Good point and thanks for that example. Looking at just dividend histories, could be short-sighted but they do provide a very important indicator.

      Stocks will always have risks which is why it is critical to diversify. I would however, gladly diversify my portfolio owning most if not all of these stocks above, buying them at reasonable prices of course :)

  4. Also check out the Dividend champions, contenders and challengers list published by David Fish. He lists stocks that have a history of paying and raising dividends.

  5. Bet Crooks says:

    @My Own Advisor
    There will probably be a split of CU later this year. Rather than wait for a pullback, you may want to buy immediately before the split to catch the rise. (of course it could be a fall, too, since I own some. Always a bad sign if I own a company….)

    • Ha. Your comment made me laugh… “always a bad sign…”. I think CU is a great organization and CDN stock to own. I will be looking at the metrics on this one and make a decision to buy soon.

      Did you get the recent Telus split?

      Mark

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