Editors' pick: Originally published Feb. 23.
As the market becomes increasingly volatile amid a historic drop in oil prices and uncertainty following the Fed's decision to raise interest rates last year, investors could definitely use a sure thing.
While one may be inclined to follow Robert Burns' advice that there is no such uncertainty as a sure thing, these four stocks have been so consistent in their dividend payouts over the last 25 years that they can almost be considered a sure thing.
So if you're looking for successful investment ideas -- and aren't we all -- here is an idea. You can start with a fundamental filter and maybe overlay some technical studies to produce a short list of companies that have increased their dividend payments for at least 25 consecutive years and have positive charts and indicators to warrant accumulation now. Sound good?
We used commentary from equity research analyst Brian Bollinger as well as Real Money chartist Bruce Kamich for this report. Read TheStreet's full list of the 10 best dividend stocks.