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Four Dividend Stocks Immune to the Election Outcome

Posted
10/16/2012 9:25:00 AM
By: Wyatt Investment Research
Referenced Stocks:JNJ;MCD;PG

Income investors shouldn't fret over who's in the White House next January.

Dividend stocks are on fire right now, and there are plenty of companies that will continue to kick money back to shareholders regardless of whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is in office the next four years.

With certificates of deposit, money-market accounts and U.S. Treasuries basically worthless thanks to the Federal Reserve's steadfast insistence on keeping interest rates near zero, investors are flocking to dividend stocks like never before. And dividend payers are rewarding the burgeoning masses with more generous payouts than ever before.

Dividend payouts are up 16% in 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal . In fact, the recently completed third quarter set a new record for dividend payouts. This comes on the heels of 2011, when companies listed on the S&P 500 paid a combined $240.6 billion in dividends - the highest total since 2008.

Some dividend payers will have a longer shelf life than others, of course. If Romney wins the election, Fed chief Ben Bernanke's days are almost certainly numbered - Romney said so himself. No Bernanke could mean doing away with near-zero interest rates, which may convince some income investors to drop their dividend stocks and dive back into CDs and MMAs.

But some dividend stocks are evergreen. Their payouts have been growing annually for decades - regardless of election results, recessions, inflation rates, fiscal cliffs, European debt problems, Federal Reserve chairmen, the Boogeyman, the Grim Reaper and other real or imagined market drivers. 

To certain companies, all these headline-making events fall under the category of "just noise" - as my colleague Andy Crowder likes to call it.

Here are four companies able to tune out all the noise and grow their dividends regardless of which party is in office:

Next month's election is important. Whether Romney or Obama wins, the outcome will have far-reaching implications for many investors.

But for those of you who want to limit your exposure to the whims of the American voter, it's not a bad idea to play it safe by investing in blue-chip dividend stocks with a long history of returning money to their shareholders.

These four companies are a good place to start.