A new year is on the way. With it comes plenty of excitement... and perhaps some nervousness for investors. No one knows what the stock market will do in 2020. After the longest bull run ever and the inherent uncertainty in a presidential election year, investors can't be blamed for being at least a little apprehensive -- especially investors who rely on income generated by the stocks they own.
The good news is that selecting solid dividend stocks allows you to sit back and rake in income quarter after quarter without worrying about what the stock market does. But which stocks are smart picks? Here are 20 high-yield dividend stocks you can buy in 2020, listed in alphabetical order.
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AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) offers a dividend that yields nearly 5.3%. The big drugmaker recently increased its dividend by 10.3% and has grown the dividend by a whopping 195% since being spun off from Abbott Labs in 2013. Although AbbVie faces headwinds for its top-selling drug Humira, the rest of its lineup plus its pending acquisition of Allergan should put the company in great shape to keep the dividends flowing.
Telecommunications giant AT&T's (NYSE: T) dividend currently yields 5.4%. The company is a Dividend Aristocrat and boasts 36 consecutive years of dividend increases. AT&T's entertainment business is still under heavy pressure, but its wireless business should remain strong.
3. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP) pays a dividend with a yield just shy of 4%. The company's infrastructure assets, including cell towers, natural gas pipelines, ports, and toll roads, provide a steady revenue stream. Brookfield Infrastructure expects to grow organically by between 6% and 9% in 2020 as it adds new infrastructure assets to its portfolio.
4. Brookfield Renewable Partners
Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE: BEP) is Brookfield Infrastructure's sibling, with both companies controlled by general partner Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield Renewable, as its name indicates, focuses primarily on renewable energy assets including hydroelectric, wind, and solar power facilities. Its dividend currently yields close to 4.5%.
2019 hasn't been a great year for the energy sector. But Chevron (NYSE: CVX) has performed better than most energy stocks. The company's strong balance sheet and relatively low cash-flow break even point of $51 per barrel of oil puts the company in a position to weather a tough oil market and to perform really well in a good market. Chevron's dividend currently yields nearly 4%. Another dividend increase in 2020 seems likely.
6. Duke Energy
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) offers a dividend that yields nearly 4.2%. As a utility that provides must-have electric and gas power to customers, the company can count on steady earnings. And that translates to steady dividends, making Duke a dividend stock that's ideal for retirees in 2020 and beyond.
Enbridge (NYSE: ENB) is another company that enjoys steady earnings thanks to its oil and gas pipelines. The company's dividend yield currently stands north of 6.3%. Enbridge seems likely to be able to boost its dividend by 10% in 2020.
8. Enterprise Products Partners
Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD) ranks as one of the top players in the midstream oil and gas market. The company offers a mouthwatering dividend yield of 6.4%. Enterprise also has several new projects on the way that should boost its growth prospects over the next few years.
9. Gilead Sciences
There aren't many biotechs that have dividend programs, but Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) is a notable exception. Gilead's dividend currently yields over 3.8%. Its strong HIV franchise is the biotech's anchor, but Gilead hopes to soon expand into immunology by winning FDA approval for its rheumatoid arthritis drug filgotinib next year.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) has been a dividend investors' favorite for a long time. It still should be, with its dividend yielding nearly 4.8%. The technology company could also enjoy rising sales in 2020 thanks to its acquisition of Red Hat earlier this year and the launch of its new z15 mainframe system.
11. Innovative Industrial Properties
If you're looking for a way to profit from the cannabis boom, Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE: IIPR) should be near the top of the list. The cannabis-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) is growing like a weed (pardon the pun). It also offers a fast-growing dividend that currently yields 5.4%.
12. Medical Properties Trust
Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW) is a REIT that focuses on healthcare. The company owns and leases healthcare properties, primarily acute care hospitals. Its dividend currently yields 5.2%. Medical Properties Trust has steadily increased its dividend payout over the last five years.
ONEOK (NYSE: OKE), like Enterprise Products Partners, operates in the midstream energy market. Its stock has outperformed most of its peers in 2019. Despite the big run-up in its share price, ONEOK's dividend yield remains high at just under 5%. The company should fare well in 2020 also, with several projects coming online that could fuel earnings growth.
Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) dividend yields over 3.9% right now, but it's likely to drop soon. So why did the big pharma stock make the list of dividend stocks to buy for 2020? The reason Pfizer's dividend is going to decline is that the company is spinning off and merging its Upjohn unit with Mylan, forming a new entity to be named Viatris. The good news for Pfizer shareholders is that between their positions in Pfizer and Viatris, the overall dividend should be roughly the same. The deal also puts Pfizer on a stronger growth path by shedding its older drugs with declining sales.
15. Public Storage
One thing isn't likely to change in 2020: Americans have too much stuff and need a place to store that stuff. Public Storage (NYSE: PSA) offers a solution to that problem as the nation's largest self-storage provider. The company also offers a solution to investors looking for reliable income with its dividend yield of 3.9%.
16. Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) ranks as one of the largest utilities in the U.S. It's also one of the most attractive high-yield dividend stocks with its dividend currently yielding nearly 3.9%. Even better, Southern Company should be able to boost its dividend modestly in 2020 and in subsequent years.
17. Store Capital
Warren Buffett really likes Store Capital (NYSE: STOR), the only REIT in Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway holdings. Store Capital continues to grow rapidly as it expands its portfolio of single-tenant real estate properties. That growth could translate to even higher dividends from the company, making Store Capital's current dividend yield of nearly 3.8% even more attractive.
18. Verizon Communications
Like fellow telecom leader AT&T, Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) faces some headwinds. However, also like AT&T, Verizon offers a terrific dividend, which currently yields 4%. The company is a Dividend Aristocrat that places a high priority on dividend hikes each year. In addition, Verizon's investments in building a high-speed 5G wireless network should pay off over the long run.
19. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo's (NYSE: WFC) stock performance has lagged behind many of its peers in the financial services sector mainly because of the aftermath of the company's scandals that made headlines beginning in 2016. But those scandals didn't impact Wells Fargo's dividend program. The financial giant's dividend currently yields nearly 3.8%, and its future appears to be brighter now that a new CEO is in place.
Rounding out our 20 high-yield dividend stocks to buy in 2020 is Welltower (NYSE: WELL). The healthcare REIT offers a dividend yield of 4.5%. With its focus on private-pay senior housing properties, Welltower should be able to count on a steady revenue stream that allows it to keep the dividends flowing well into the future.
Great income, varying growth
All 20 of these stocks should provide great income for investors in 2020 and beyond. Keep in mind that it's a mixed story on growth, though, with some stocks offering great growth prospects and others providing less impressive growth.
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Keith Speights owns shares of AbbVie, Chevron, Gilead Sciences, and Pfizer. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Brookfield Asset Management, Enbridge, Gilead Sciences, and STORE Capital. The Motley Fool is short shares of IBM. The Motley Fool recommends Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Enterprise Products Partners, Innovative Industrial Properties, Mylan, ONEOK, and Verizon Communications and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long January 2020 $200 calls on IBM, short January 2020 $200 puts on IBM, short January 2020 $155 calls on IBM, and short January 2020 $220 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.