Dividend Income - Mergent and Standards and Poor's Publish Companies that Continue to Raise Dividends

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Dividend Stocks

For anyone in stock market who might be currently looking for dividend-paying stocks to help increase their dividend income -- in particular those who are relatively new to trading or haven't been doing much research on stock dividends -- please be aware that there are two disadvantages of dividend stocks that you shouldn't be overlooking. The first one is that companies can cut or cancel their dividends if they are experiencing difficulties. However, as long as these companies continue to be feasible with relatively strong balance sheets, their past history of consistent dividend payments should be a good indication of what to expect as soon as they get out of the ruts.

The second disadvantage is that dividend stocks can fall in price like any other stock, and the resulting loss could be larger than dividends you receive during that period. The bottom line is however, with only two disadvantages compared to the many advantages of dividend-paying stocks, I personally think it certainly pays in the long run if you include dividend-paying stocks in your stock portfolio.

Many income investors however, may have a different approach - they tend to buy the stocks with the highest possible yields. According to some money & stock market experts, looking solely at a stock's yield could be a big mistake. They believe a yield that is far above average is usually a indication of a financially weak company, most of the time.

It's also believed that if the stock's weakness is somewhat temporary, this could provide you with a great investment opportunity; and in a depression, like the one we are currently experiencing, there is no doubt that the market will provide many of such opportunities. However, you shouldn't disregard the possibility that the exceptional high yield is nothing but a sign of a very negative outlook.

My advice to you is that, before you invest in any company, or prior to buying any stock in general, it pays to do your homework. Suffice to say, if you are currently looking to increase your dividend income, below I have provided you with some tools that I think you will find very helpful in locating stocks with steady rising dividends.

First, Standard & Poor's and Mergent frequently publish a list of stocks with steady rising dividends (S&P's Dividend Aristocrats" and Mergent's "Dividend Achievers"). Each company uses its own criteria which are slightly different. However, overall, the theme is the same.

Mergent has a dedicated site for its lists. Although, personally, I think it's relatively easy to navigate, I will still go ahead and provide you with a quick step-by-step guide:

Step1.Go to www.dividendachievers.com

Step2. In the left-hand navigation bar, click on the tab labeled "Dividend Achievers Indices."

Step3. You will be provided with a list of various dividend - related indices, each providing a link for additional information about the index.

Steps For The S&Ps:

Step1. Go to www.Standardpoors.com.

Step2. Click on "Indices" in the top navigation bar.

Step3. On the left-hand bar, you'll be presented with an expanded list under " Browse by Index."

Step4. In that expanded list, click on S&P dividend Aristocrats Indices."

Step5. Scroll down the page to get information on each group, including "methodology" and "Constituents."

Please note that this information is based on findings from my research which I have decided to share with you. I hope you will find this useful. Please be aware that most web sites have the tendency to change their layout from time to time. However, these directions were accurate when these sites were visited. If for any reasons the sites do change, you might have to adjust the above steps accordingly.

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