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50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2018

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The Dividend Aristocrats are companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that have hiked their dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years. And they exemplify a winning formula for investing in dividend stocks.

Companies with a long track record of consistent dividend payments are attractive, but dividend growth matters, too. Steady dividend hikes not only make a stock more alluring to new income investors, but also reward existing investors with increasingly higher yields on shares purchased at lower prices in the past.

Dividend stocks that raise their payouts have appeal in an aging bull market, when the pace of shareholder-friendly stock buybacks and mergers can slow, according to Heidi Richardson, an investment strategist for BlackRock. Dividend growers, she adds, also can offer an edge when interest rates are going up: "Stocks with a history of consistently growing their dividends have historically tended to perform well and exhibit less volatility in a rising rate environment." Kiplinger’s expects at least two Federal Reserve rate hikes in 2018.

Because size, longevity and familiarity can provide comfort amid market uncertainty, here are the Dividend Aristocrats. Dominated by household names, this list of 50 dividend stocks is a good starting point for investors seeking out high-quality companies to add to their long-term portfolios in 2018.

SEE ALSO: 30 Great Stocks of All Time

(Dividend yields and other figures are as of Nov. 10, 2017. Analyst ratings are from Zacks Investment Research. Companies are listed alphabetically.)

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