BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- As months like August remind us, in the land of falling stocks, cash is still king.
All told, the S&P 500 Index shed 6.8% last month, bringing the broad market's total performance for 2011 to -4.23%. That's a catastrophic turnaround considering the fact that we entered the summer months almost 10% in the green.
It was a different story for dividends, though.
The S&P 500 High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index, which is made up of 60 consistent income-paying stocks, has actually delivered positive returns of 0.45% this year. That may not be a return to write home about, but it at least beats the yield on three-year Treasury Notes right now. Don't be surprised that dividends generate better returns; income stock outperformance is nothing new.Related: 5 Speculative High-Income Stocks Historically, dividend-payers have made a whole lot more money for investors than their nonpaying peers. Over the last 36 years, dividend stocks outperformed the rest of the S&P 500 by 2.5% annually, and they outperformed nonpayers by nearly 8% every year, all while paying out cash to their shareholders, according to a study from NDR. The numbers are even more compelling when looking at companies that consistently increase their payouts.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV