3 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Hold Forever

Investing in these three dividend stocks can give you a steady, reliable source of passive income for years (or even decades).

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Updated May 13, 2024
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Dividend stocks are a key part of any investment portfolio. While long-term investments that pay off decades down the road are crucial for retirement, dividend stocks give you a steady, reliable source of passive income. Depending on how frequently the company pays dividends, you’ll get a consistent boost to your finances.

While these three investments don’t have the highest dividend yields on the market, they’re among the stablest companies money can buy. The companies we list below have been around for decades (or even centuries), and it’s a good bet that these stalwarts will keep paying dividends into the foreseeable future.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM)

JPMorgan Chase traces its foundations to 1799, when the Manhattan Company first opened its doors. As the oldest financial institution that eventually became part of JPMorgan Chase, the Manhattan Company’s American roots go quite deep: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were both founding members of the company, which the newly minted state of New York commissioned to develop a (relatively) safe drinking water system.

Today’s JPMorgan Chase is made up of the Manhattan Company, J.P. Morgan & Co., and 1,200 other financial groups. It’s no wonder, then, that JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in America by assets. What counts as a “large bank” in modern-day America, you ask? Well, in 2018, the company’s assets totaled $2.5 trillion — and that’s without taking into account the $24 trillion it manages on behalf of its clients.

JPMorgan Chase owes a lot to its investors, and it pays them back in kind via dividends. The company has consistently raised quarterly dividends to shareholders year over year since 2011. And now, with a quarterly dividend of $1 per share, JPMorgan Chase’s current dividend yield is around 3.5%. That’s right in the middle of the typical dividend yield of stocks on the S&P; 500 (most dividend stocks average between 2% and 5%).

Realty Income (NYSE: O)

Realty Income has been around for a much shorter period than JPMorgan Chase. (Of course, most companies have existed for less time than JPMorgan Chase has.) Since its founding in 1969, Realty Income has invested in thousands of individual commercial properties, typically occupied by single tenants, in the U.S., U.K., and Spain.

For the fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2022, Realty Income’s total assets were valued at $44.95 billion. The company invests in properties across a wide spectrum of industries, ranging from gorgeous vineyards in Napa Valley to more than 100 7-Eleven convenience stores.

With a portfolio that diverse, it’s no wonder Realty Income is one of the few companies that pays monthly — not quarterly or yearly — dividends. It’s done so for more than 620 consecutive months, and ever since the company went public in the mid ‘90s, it has increased that yield 117 times.

The most recent increase upped shareholders’ dividends to $0.248 per share to be paid out on October 14. Annually, based on the new increase, shareholders should see $2.976 a share — bringing Realty Income’s dividend yield to nearly 4.5%. That’s on the higher end of the average yield you’ll see from most S&P; 500 dividend stocks, and it’s also the highest dividend yield of the three stocks on our list.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG)

Younger than JPMorgan Chase but older than Realty Income, Procter & Gamble has been around since 1837. Two brothers-in-law created P&G; to sell soap and candles in Cincinnati. Over time, the in-laws’ company started to sell more hygiene, beauty, and personal care products.

Nearly 200 years down the line, P&G; owns some of the most widely recognized hygiene product brands in the world: Charmin, Febreze, Crest, Oral-B, Tide, Gillette, Ivory, Olay, Tampax, Always, Cascade, Mr. Clean — the list goes on and on. (It’s nice to see P&G; sticking to its roots, as several of those brands sell both candles and soap.)

Honestly, open any bathroom cabinet in America and you’re likely to see at least one P&G-owned; brand. It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that the company gives back to its shareholders via dividends and has done so for 132 years.

The company has increased dividends 66 times out of those 132 years of payments. In April 2022, for instance, it increased dividends by 5%. P&G;’s newest quarterly is $0.91 per share, which spells a dividend yield of 2.64%.

Bottom line

These three dividend stocks likely won’t bring you million-dollar windfalls overnight. (At the very least, the prospect seems unlikely.) Instead, they’ll do something better: help eliminate money stress and provide you with a reliable source of income on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis for as far into the future as you can imagine.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.