BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- While no one was paying attention, dividend stocks hit a major milestone earlier this month.
For most of this year, investors have been transfixed on stock prices -- and whether the venerable S&P 500 can possible surpass its 2007 all-time highs at 1565. But while scores of investors have been watching the S&P, they've missed the record-setting performance that dividends have contributed to the mix.
Stocks have never paid out more money in dividends than they're paying right now. Those record payouts have helped the S&P 500 Total Return Index (a version of the more familiar S&P index with dividends factored in) push through its record highs at the start of April, a milestone that investors should be paying attention to; clearly, it pays to be a dividend investor.
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