NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It makes sense for most long-term investors to put at least some of their loot into speculative positions. I invest anywhere from 10% to 20% of my portfolio in ultraspeculative stocks such as Pandora ( P) and Wendy's ( WEN) and growth plays that don't pay dividends, such as Madison Square Garden ( MSG). The core of my portfolio, however, sits firmly in growth companies paying generally stable and increasing dividends.
In this article, I discuss two dividend stocks to consider buying and one to avoid. Target ( TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) Make no mistake about it: I am bearish on roughly 95% of brick-and-mortar retailers. Unless it's an Apple ( AAPL) store or something sharp, snazzy and exclusive like Lululemon ( LULU), I want no part of it. Exceptions, however, do exist. Although I do not own either yet, I have put Target and Wal-Mart on my radar. The good news at Wal-Mart? Growth appears to have returned. I want to see how this past quarter worked out. (The company reports May 17.) But it seems like a reversal is underway, driven by Sam's Club revenue. Sales are up year over year across the board. A need will always exist for Wal-mart and Sam's Club, particularly in rural and suburban areas and among older people who are not prepared to allow Amazon.com ( AMZN) to take over all aspects of their lives. If you do not know what a tablet is -- beyond your blood pressure medication -- chances are you will not order toilet paper on a Kindle Fire anytime soon.