Now trading around $48.50 a share, BP is right around its 52-week high of $49.20. When it was at its low of $38.51, the dividend yield was much higher. While it is impossible to time the market so as to buy at the lowest price, investors can put in purchase orders to execute at certain dividend yields.

As an example, if a 5% dividend yield is desired, more than 250% higher than the S&P 500's average, BP would need to be selling around 5% lower. A buy order for that target price, under $46, could have been transacted in any month in 2013. In addition, BP has raised its dividend every year since 2011, so the yield should rise even more based on the actions of the management of the company in the past.

The same can be done with ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell. Through this, the stock is bought at a lower price with a higher yield. For investors willing to wait to purchase shares at a target dividend rate, the total return can be much more rewarding when the share price recovers and the dividend grows over the long term.

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

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Jonathan Yates has written for numerous publications including Newsweek and The Washington Post. He is a former general counsel for a publicly traded corporation. Much of his career was spent working on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress in both the House and Senate. He has degrees from Harvard University, Georgetown University Law Center and The Johns Hopkins University.

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