One other stock that should be on the list is Altria Group Altria ( MO). It frequently does not show up on charts like this because the 2008 spinoff 2008 spinoff of Philip Morris ( PM) distorts the picture, requiring a little more analysis. Basically, if you owned the stock in 2002 and you still hold it, you've done very well in income as well as capital appreciation.

With respect to income, when the spinoff of Philip Morris International was completed in March 2008, MO shareholders received one new share of PMI for every MO share they had. In 2002, MO was paying a dividend of $2.44 annually. Today the two companies combined are paying $5.16, for a picture perfect double.

Although there is no way to guarantee these companies will continue to raise their dividends. There are good reasons to believe that they will. Given all of the companies shown above have plenty of cash on their balance sheet, there are no fiscal hurdles to prevent them from raising dividends in the near term. Moreover, even during the financial crisis, the companies above continued to pay and increase their dividends.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Oliver Pursche is President of Gary Goldberg Financial Services, a boutique money management firm located in Suffern, NY. Additionally, Mr. Pursche is the Co-Portfolio Manager for the GMG Defensive Beta Fund, and a Founding Partner of Montebello Partners, llc. In his role as President of GGFS, and as a member of the GGFS Investment Committee, Mr. Pursche helps oversee the investment portfolio of over 2000 clients with over $500 million dollars in assets. Mr. Pursche frequently provides market and economic commentary on CNBC and Fox Business News, as well as often being interviewed by The Financial Times, US News and World Report, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Associated Press regarding his and the firms views on the latest market news and events. Mr. Pursche's views on the market and investment strategies have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Smart Money, USA Today and other national business publications. In addition to writing for, he is also a weekly contributor on and His daily market commentary can be read at or you can listen to him on weekdays at 10:00 AM.

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