by Ian Cooper

If you’re looking for safety, with yield to boot, look at the Dividend Aristocrats and the Kings.

With the Aristocrats, you’ll find the cream of the crop of stocks, which have raised dividends for more than 25 years. With the Kings, these are the heavyweights, which have been paying dividends for 50, or more years. What makes them even more special is the fact that even in times of economic disarray, inflation, booms, busts, rising interest rates, recessions, and crashes, they’ve still raised their dividends.

If a company can survive all of that – and pay dividends – it’s worth a look.

There’s just one issue. 

At the moment, you won’t find a Dividend King ETF. So, your next best bet for exposure is either to buy an individual King, or bet on an ETF, such as the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL), which carries a yield of 2.03% at the moment.

With an expense ratio of 0.35%, the ETF focuses on the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats – high-quality companies that have not just paid dividends but grown them for at least 25 consecutive years, with most doing so for 40 years or more. In fact, some of its top holdings include Caterpillar, Pentair, AbbVie, AFLAC, General Dynamics, Clorox Co., Walmart, Hormel Foods, and dozens more. All of which have a strong dividend-paying history.

Schwab U.S. Large Cap Value ETF (SCHV)

With an expense ratio of 0.04%, the Schwab U.S. Large Cap Value ETF (SCHV) holds a portfolio of large cap value stocks, including Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Exxon Mobil (XOM), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Home Depot (HD), AbbVie (ABBV), Pfizer (PFE), and Merck (MRK) to name a few. We’ve mentioned this particular ETF before. We like it even more because it just caught strong support after a brief pullback. 

Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD) There’s also the Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD). With an expense ratio of 0.06%, the ETF tracks the total return of the Dow Jones U.S. Dividend index. It has holdings in Amgen, AbbVie, Home Depot, Cisco Systems, Broadcom, Chevron, UPS, and Coca-Cola.