The World's Best Dividend Portfolio

In June 2011, I invested my money equally in a selection of 10 high-yield dividend stocks. Those names offer triple the yield of the average S&P 500 stock. You can read all the details. Now let's check out the results so far.


Cost Basis



Total Value


Southern (NYS: SO)












National Grid (NYS: NGG)






Philip Morris International (NYS: PM)






Annaly Capital (NYS: NLY)






Frontier Communications






Plum Creek Timber






Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYS: BIP)




















Dividends Receivable


Original Investment


Total Portfolio



Investment in SPY (Including Dividends)


Relative Performance (Percentage Points)


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Our portfolio outperformed again this week and saw performance grow to an 8.5% cumulative return, up from 8.2% last week. And did you see the rocky performance of the S&P? The S&P index declined to 5.2%, meaning we're up by 3.3 percentage points on our benchmark. So after nearly a year, we're beating the index and have a substantially better blended yield -- 5.9% -- than the index, at 1.9%. The past few weeks show, in miniature, how dividend stocks outperform in stagnant markets. And there looks to be plenty of pain on the horizon yet, both in China and Europe.

Investors in Annaly got some good news and bad news. First, the bad news. The Federal Reserve said it will continue Operation Twist, in which it buys longer-term debt to flatten the yield curve. That makes Annaly -- which borrows short term to lend long term -- less profitable. And now the good news. Annaly maintained its upcoming dividend at $0.55 per share, the same rate as the prior quarter. Annaly's dividend has slipped sequentially for several quarters, and it's good to see a respite from that trend.

Philip Morris lowered its dividend for the second time this year. It took down its EPS forecast by $0.10 to a range of $5.10 to $5.20. The company expects exchange rates to hurt earnings by about $0.25 per share this share, compared with a benefit of $0.19 last year.

Southern has had a nice run of late. In our portfolio, it's up 17% since our purchase a year ago, and it has risen 35% over the past five years, beating one of our other stocks, Exelon. Given that strong run, I'm not as sanguine about the future, though Southern is now benefiting from much lower natural gas prices. And compared with some other peers, Southern does look pricy, as fellow Fool Sean Williams explains.

Dividends and other announcements
We're between earnings seasons, and we have mainly dividend news for the moment.

Dividend news:

  • National Grid went ex-dividend on May 30 and pays out $2.017 per share on Aug. 15.

  • Vodafone went ex-dividend on June 6 and pays out $1.015 per share on Aug. 1.

  • Frontier went ex-dividend on June 6 and pays out $0.10 per share on June 28.

  • Brookfield Infrastructure went ex-dividend on May 31 and pays out $0.375 per share on June 29.

All that, of course, means more money coming into our pockets.

It's fun to sit back and get paid, and with the market volatility, we might have a good chance to reinvest those dividends at good prices. Europe continues to be an absolute mess, and continued bad news will probably have stocks plunging again. If they do, I'll be inclined to pick more shares up.

Foolish bottom line
I've been a fan of big dividends for a while, and I think this portfolio will outperform the market over time through the power of dividends. As I promised in the original article, I'll be holding these stocks for at least a year and will continue to track the portfolio over the course of that year, including news on these companies.

If you're craving more dividend payers, I invite you to read the free report from the Motley Fool titled "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World." Get instant access to the names of these dominant dividend stocks -- it's free.

The article The World's Best Dividend Portfolio originally appeared on

Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares of the 10 portfolio stocks mentioned in the table. The Motley Fool owns shares of Annaly, Seaspan, Plum Creek, and Brookfield Infrastructure and has created a covered strangle position in Plum Creek.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Exelon, Philip Morris, Annaly, Southern, National Grid, Vodafone, and Brookfield Infrastructure, as well as writing a covered strangle position in Exelon and a covered straddle position in Seaspan. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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