Secure 1 Check a Month Without Clocking In


For the foreseeable future, the Fed is committed to keeping interest rates at rock-bottom lows. That's great news for borrowers, but horrible for investors. To make matters worse, income investors are often stuck with cash flow schedules not on their terms. But a savvy investor can very simply kill two birds with one s tone.

Reaching for yields
Bonds are like dairy cows -- you buy them for the milk, not the beef. But the trouble is that income investors aren't getting a whole lot of milk these days. Investors often use bond income to bridge the gap between what money comes in each month and what is spent. But bonds typically pay interest semiannually, not monthly.

Of course, the upside with bonds is the relative safety in knowing that when you invest a lump sum of money, in most cases, it's fully returned to you at maturity. The downside is that you receive not a cent more.

A more sensible solution
We receive retirement income monthly and we pay bills monthly, so why shouldn't our investments pay us the same way? One easy way to achieve this is by buying a collection of rock-solid companies that pay their dividends in different months from one another. I've put together a basket of companies with competitive positions that pay strong yields and have a history of doing so.

Check them out.


Annual Dividend Yield

Dividend Payout Months

Altria Group



January, April, July, October

Darden Restaurants



February, May, August, November




March, June, September, December




March, September




March, June, September, December

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Collectively, this five-pack of stocks pays you income every month and, as a bonus, is diversified across four sectors -- consumer goods, industrials, health care, and tech. REITs and utilities are the ones typically thought of as dividend darlings, but this bundle includes neither.

Investing in these five stocks equally a decade ago would have pocketed you a 207% total return, comprised of 53% from share price appreciation and 154% from dividends. The dividends alone from these five stocks pummeled the S&P 500 during the same period. Of course, there's no predicting what this basket will do over the next decade.

Altria Group
Established tobacco producer Altria leads the domestic market with its Marlboro and Virginia Slims brands. Rising health concerns and litigation are big tobacco investing risks, and Altria has paid billions of dollars in fines over the years. So far, Altria has successfully raised cigarette prices to cover these ongoing legal payments, indicated by its stock's 20% annualized total return during the past decade.

Darden Restaurants
Darden holds in its portfolio popular restaurant chains Red Lobster and Olive Garden, as well as lesser-known but promising venues like The Capital Grille. In the competitive restaurant business, menu refreshes and makeovers are a must, and Darden is in the process of doing just that. As the economy recovers and people dine away from home more frequently, restaurant stocks typically benefit.

A trend that will aid DuPont's growth is increased food demand for the growing middle class in emerging-market nations. DuPont's agricultural seeds are credited for greater crop yields, and greater adoption of seeds will help the company's top-line growth. Also, as the U.S. auto industry feels pressure to increase vehicle fuel efficiency, it's replacing some metals for lighter-weight plastics. DuPont's huge plastics division may likely benefit from this trend.

AstraZeneca possesses a strong portfolio of prescription drugs including Crestor, Nexium, and Prilosec. The company recently experienced a decline in earnings due to drugs coming off patent, a continual challenge for big pharma companies. But recent acquisitions should help its long-term growth prospects and navigation through imminent patent losses.

Intel's semiconductors are inside practically every PC and laptop on Earth. Even though the company has been criticized for being late to the mobile-chip market, it's swiftly closing the gap. With the increased popularity of tablets and smartphones, this market holds enticing growth prospects for an already-established chip heavyweight.

Skeptics feel Intel is arriving too tardy to the mobile chip party. Our analysts have dug through piles of information and want to share their research with you. They've outlined all the risks and opportunities facing Intel in a brand-new premium report. It won't be available forever, so check it out today.

The article Secure 1 Check a Month Without Clocking In originally appeared on

Fool contributorNicole Seghettiowns shares of Intel. You can follow her on Twitter@NicoleSeghetti. The Motley Fool owns shares of Darden Restaurants and Intel.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing puts on Intel. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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