This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

10 Dividend Stocks That Will Let You Retire (Update2)

(Story updated to add that Duke Energy and Progress Energy filed a new merger plan Wednesday with state utilities regulators.)

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- A cornerstone of any investment portfolio is low-volatility stocks, that is, those that don't react sharply to market swings and, as a result, have more reliable returns over time.

Those types of investments have proven to lose less in down markets or periods of faster inflation, helped by dividends.

"Over the past 50 years, the least-volatile stocks have performed about as well as the market, but with far less risk," Morningstar analyst Samuel Lee writes. "Low-volatility stocks have outperformed in most international stock markets studied, too."

They can be your best friends if you are risk-averse, only a few years away from retirement or in the early years of retirement and want to maintain stock-market exposure, so stuff some into your 401(k).

But investors should be cautioned that these stocks underperform in bull markets, as is evident in returns this year. The S&P 500's index is up about 8% for the year, but most of the top 25 stocks summarized below are showing losses.

Therefore, investors should buy these stocks and tuck them away for perhaps as long as a decade or through several market cycles to gain the most benefit. In that time, their hefty dividends also come into play and help offset their periodic sluggish performances.

We reviewed the stock holdings of the exchange traded fund PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility (SPLV), which consists of the 100 stocks from the S&P 500 with the lowest volatility over the past 12 months.

What follows are the top 10 stocks in the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF by portfolio weighting, and following that, a list of the next 15 holdings of the fund, to give investors additional ideas for potential buys:

Stock quotes in this article: SO, PG, KMB, K, ED, DUK, KFT, XEL, PGN, HNZ 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,501.65 -12.72 -0.08%
S&P 500 1,875.39 -4.16 -0.22%
NASDAQ 4,126.9670 -34.4910 -0.83%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs