The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.By Lisa Springer NEW YORK ( StreetAuthority) -- Investors who need a reminder of why dividends are desirable should be getting it in spades this year, thanks to extreme market volatility. The price of the S&P 500 Index is barely at breakeven year-to-date, while income from dividends is at roughly $25 per share. Most of us buy stocks expecting prices to go up, which doesn't always happen. But the one aspect of stock investing that's actually predictable is dividends. In addition to providing a reliable source of income, dividends can be reinvested to build wealth over time. With a little research, you can find dividend-paying stocks that offer attractive yields and dividend increases for many years in a row. Here are five consistent high-yielding stocks that raised dividend rates this month. If you buy these stocks now, then you can take advantage of higher dividend rates in January.