3 Dividend Stocks Giving More Money to Investors

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Dividends may appear to be boring, but their significance in a portfolio should not be underestimated. They account for a large portion of equity returns on a historical basis and can provide a stable source of cash flow that exceeds the rate on bonds or savings accounts. Many companies are also increasing their dividend payments.

A new milestone for dividends was reached last year. In 2013, the world’s largest publicly traded companies paid out more than $1 trillion in dividends for the first time in history, according to Henderson Global Investors. Overall payouts rose $310 billion since 2009 to reach $1.03 trillion. The United Kingdom accounted for 11 percent of the dividends, while the rest of Europe returned nearly $200 billion to investors. The United States was the largest source of dividend income by far — payouts surged 49 percent over five years to reach $301.9 billion.

Despite the record high in outlays, dividend payments actually contracted on a year-over-year basis in the final three months of 2013. This was due to special payments paid in the prior year and a stronger U.S. dollar that reduced the translated value of dividends in 2013. However, there are some companies that are starting 2014 on a strong note. Let’s take a look at three American dividend payers that recently raised their cash returns to investors.

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