BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Yesterday's surprise event-driven selloff in stocks was an important reminder not to rely exclusively on capital gains in 2014, especially with stocks sitting on the high end of their historic price range. Put simply, with chances of a meaningful correction on the horizon, dividends still matter for your portfolio this summer.
The good news is that now's a better time than ever to be a dividend investor.
As I write, U.S. corporations are paying out record dividends thanks to a record pile of cash on corporate balance sheets -- and the dividend yield of the S&P 500 is hovering in a range higher than we've seen in any sustained period since the mid-1990s. Adjusting for the incredibly low yields on treasuries, dividend payouts are massive right now.
But to find the biggest gains, it's not enough to simply buy names with big payouts today -- you've got to think about what they'll be paying tomorrow too.
So instead of chasing yield, we'll try to step in front of the next round of stock payout hikes.
For our purposes, that "crystal ball" is composed of a few factors: namely a solid balance sheet, low payout ratio and a history of dividend hikes. While those items don't guarantee dividend announcements in the next month or three, they do dramatically increase the odds that management will hike their cash payouts to shareholders.
Without further ado, here's a look at five stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments in the next quarter.