Show me the money. It is good that a company takes their profits and uses them for research and development and to grow their business. But the company owners, the stockholders, should also see tangible results. Therefore, I like to invest in stocks and ETFs that pay dividends, especially if the company (or ETF) has a history of paying increasing dividends. The payout ratio matters, but it can be confusing because not all sectors are the same or should be the same. I am willing to accept a higher payout ratio for a utility than I am for a technology or banking stock. I do some of my research using the data you can download from this DIVCON web site.

Consider this web site if you are looking at dividend-paying ETF’s. You can compare ETFs like VYM and DVY to get started. Look at the data and you will learn if there is growth in the dividend.

Finally, you would be doing yourself a big favor to look at the Dividend Champion data you can download from David Fish’s site: