NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Many investors find buying stocks while the market is near all-time highs daunting to say the least. Obvious bargains are harder to come by. However, we can use the momentum to our advantage. I don't suggest finding stocks that will continue higher is a task to be taken lightly, but with the right approach, and well thought out risk control, outsized profit potential is available for those able to see through the fog and move forward.Most would also agree that finding the time to scan and filter thousands of stocks to discover investments worth your attention is far from easy. There's a fine line between hero and zero; a line we all desperately want to stay on the correct side of. I try to make your search easier by researching companies that I want to own in my longer term accounts. Historically, dividend paying stocks outperform nondividend payers, so that's where my focus is. Companies cited in my
Applied Materials Background: Applied Materials provides equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic and related industries worldwide. The company's Silicon Systems Group segment makes equipment to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits. 52 Week Range: $9.95 to $13.99 Book Value: $5.95 Price To Book: 2.3 Earnings Payout Percentage: 75% Applied Materials currently has an annualized dividend of 40 cents, yielding 3%. The payout rate is higher than I would normally allow, but next year's average earnings estimate of $1.06 brings the payout rate less than 40%. I consider a payout rate under 50% forward earnings to be relatively safe.
GE Dividend Yield data by YCharts
General Electric ( GE) Background: General Electric is one of the largest and most diversified industrial corporations in the world. GE develops, makes and markets electricity generation, transmission, distribution, control and utilization products. 52 Week Range: $18.02 to $23.90 Book Value: $11.82 Earnings Payout Percentage: 2%
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @RobertWeinstein This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.