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Apple, Microsoft Lead Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold for 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last year about this time I suggested five dividend stocks to buy and forget. Overall, the portfolio not only made money, but outperformed a rising market. For 2014, I have the following list of dividend stocks to buy and forget that I hope you will find informative and beneficial for your investing objectives. Let's first take a quick look at last year's picks: Corning (GLW); Coca-Cola (KO); Wells Fargo (WFC); Intel (INTC) and General Electric (GE)

Five-for-five winners and all double-digit gainers (admittedly, a rising tide lifts all boats in a bull market like we've experienced in 2013). However, the five picks were superior to the benchmark index because this portfolio experienced lower volatility and a higher dividend yield. In other words, had the overall market not skyrocketed higher, the small advantage would be much greater. (The stocks and benchmark are adjusted for dividend payments.)

[Read: Jim Cramer: Ride the Four Horsemen of Biotech]

When it comes to investing, you can't simply look at the returns, disregarding vulnerabilities. If you always focus on what you can lose, the winners will take care of themselves. In short, I'm proud of the results.

This year's list marks a change from the past. For 2014, we will examine stocks that don't fit the criteria of "buy it and forget it," but rather offer compelling risk to reward possibilities. With the market at record highs, suggesting any list of stocks should be "forgotten" isn't wise. Investors should anticipate and plan on at least one sweeping correction in 2014 and significant shifts in the economy as a result of edicts from Washington.

Predicting a year in advance is no small endeavor, especially if you want any hope of getting it right. It's on par with driving using your rear view mirror. Just because you're going to miss a turn or two on the way doesn't mean we shouldn't try. After all, the market is predictable to a certain degree, and by reviewing the past, we are able to make logical bets on the future.

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