NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In 2013, 366 companies in the S&P 500 raised dividends versus 12 that decreased the payout. 

Todd Rosenbluth, senior analyst at S&P Capital IQ, told TheStreet's Gregg Greenberg he is impressed  the dividend increases came among all the sectors, not just from some.

He suggested investors look at the Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD) exchange-traded fund because it has good exposure to several sectors and was the best-performing U.S. dividend ETF in 2013. 

Rosenbluth also suggested the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), which is comprised of companies that have increased dividend payouts for 10 consecutive years. He said if the companies were able to raise their dividends during hard times, it shouldn't be a problem for them to raise dividends in 2014. 

Finally, he suggested the iShares High Dividend ETF (HDV). The fund is a good play for investors who are defensive, or less optimistic on the economy in the coming year. The fund has solid exposure to quality companies in the consumer staples and utility sectors. 

Rosenbluth concluded that 2014 may not be as good of a year as 2013 in terms of performance, but he expects dividend payouts to continue increasing.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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