9 Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

Don’t sweat short-term volatility in these income stocks.

In 2022, it’s easy to get caught up in all the frantic headlines about the stock market. However, mountains of investment research show that the best way for you to profit on Wall Street is to take a long-term approach that involves buying and holding — not churning your positions and giving yourself heartburn in the process. In the very long term, stocks are all but certain to go up; research shows that if you pick any day since the Great Depression and then add 20 years, the market is always higher. For those investors out there who aren’t anywhere near retirement, consider these sure-fire stocks that are worth buying and holding forever.

AbbVie Inc. (ticker: ABBV)

This pharmaceutical stock is one of the rare companies sitting on a gain year to date in 2022 despite an otherwise rough year on Wall Street. But on top of that, it offers a reliable and generous dividend yield. In fact, when you trace back beyond AbbVie’s 2013 spinoff to its roots as part of Abbott Laboratories (ABT), it features at least 25 consecutive years of dividend increases. Health care is an incredibly reliable industry, as people will continue to spend on care regardless of the broader economic environment. And with blockbuster anti-inflammatory drug Humira and a robust research pipeline, ABBV has a lot to offer long-term income investors.

Dividend yield: 3.8%

Altria Group Inc. (MO)

You may think that one of the biggest tobacco operations in the world isn’t a particularly wise long-term bet, given the obvious risks of smoking. But MO has been producing brands like Marlboro cigarettes, Black & Mild pipe and cigar products, and smokeless tobacco such as Copenhagen and Skoal for decades, and it has made its investors plenty of cash despite those well-known health risks. Tracing its roots back almost 200 years, this Virginia company is incredibly well-run and has an enviable history of more than 50 dividend increases over the last 50 years, proving its commitment to shareholders and its long-term income potential. And looking forward, the company is moving beyond tobacco with investments in legal marijuana operations as well as Juul vaping products to ensure continued success for years to come.

Dividend yield: 6.6%

AT&T Inc. (T)

Telecommunications icon AT&T has had a bit of an odd year, thanks to the recent spinoff of Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. (WBD) that reduced both the market value of parent AT&T along with its dividend payout. Some investors were either confused or put off by this news, but long term it’s a sign that this company is focusing on what it does best: data connectivity, not media and content. With a new quarterly dividend of about 28 cents per share, that annualizes to a yield that is more than four times the typical S&P 500 component. With a payout like that and an entrenched domestic telecom network, the wide moat around AT&T makes it all but certain those dividends will keep rolling in for many years to come.

Dividend yield: 5.2%

Cardinal Health Inc. (CAH)

Cardinal is an integrated health care company that isn’t your typical mega-cap insurer or pharmaceuticals player. Instead, CAH offers products and services to facilities including nursing homes, medical offices and surgery centers. This includes the distribution of lab products, protective equipment, bandages and other necessities that may not have massive margins but certainly have massive demand. The result is a consistent revenue stream that has powered 35 consecutive dividend increases for this $15 billion health care player. With deep relationships with health care facilities and a business model that doesn’t risk disruption from next-generation cures or technology, CAH is a stock worth buying and holding forever.

Dividend yield: 3.4%

Dominion Energy Inc. (D)

Dominion is one of the largest of the utility stocks out there, with a market capitalization of more than $69 billion at present. The firm produces and distributes energy to about 7 million customers across Virginia and North Carolina. Like most utility stocks, it’s incredibly stable thanks to a legalized monopoly in many of the regions it serves. However, Dominion is also growing, with projections of 14% revenue expansion this fiscal year and a $37 billion capital expenditures plan over the next five years to ensure it’s moving into sustainable sources like solar and wind. With a nice dividend and an incredibly stable business model, this is a dividend stock to depend on for the long haul.

Dividend yield: 3.1%

Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC)

A few years ago, Kraft Heinz was left for dead after a bloated mega-merger was quickly followed by an accounting scandal. But now that the dust has settled, with management focused on the financials as they pay down debt and rebuild Wall Street’s confidence, this consumer brand giant is worth buying and holding on to. With grocery-aisle mainstays like Heinz ketchup and Kraft macaroni and cheese, this company has a loyal following among shoppers and the kind of quality consumer staples in its brand portfolio that will sell regardless of broader spending trends. Including dividends, the packaged foods giant is up more than 7% in 2022 as of May 27 as proof of its stability in tough times, and that makes it a powerful stock to hold in long-term portfolios.

Dividend yield: 4.2%

Morgan Stanley (MS)

Morgan Stanley is in the sweet spot of the financial sector, offering a big-time yield of more than 3% but also offering a massive scale that can’t be matched by niche companies or regional banks. MS is one of the most iconic asset managers in the world at a market value of $150 billion and with projections for $10 trillion in total assets under management in the near future. This nearly 100-year-old bank has navigated all manner of political and economic crises, and definitely has the staying power to be worth considering as a long-term holding in the financial sector.

Dividend yield: 3.2%

Oneok Inc. (OKE)

It’s hard to have a lot of faith in energy stocks amid the long-term challenges of climate change as well as the short-term volatility we’re seeing in commodity prices. But Oneok is about as sure of a thing that you’ll find in this sector because it’s a play on the “midstream” portion of the energy business. This segment involves transportation and storage and is not exposed to the risks of commodity price volatility. Oneok helps move natural gas around the U.S. and charges fees for that service, then passes a portion of that cash on to shareholders. Income investors will take comfort in this stable model, which supports strong cash flows regardless of the price of oil over the next year or even the next decade.

Dividend yield: 5.6%

Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)

Though perhaps not as well-known as some of the other stocks on this list, office real estate operator Vornado is worth a look because every long-term portfolio should have some element of real estate in it for diversification as well as income potential. VNO properties are concentrated in the nation’s key metropolitan markets, including prime properties in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. Vornado is also the leading firm when it comes to sustainable building design, with over 23 million square feet of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified buildings. While the pandemic did cause some workplace disruption and spur growth in the work-from-home trend, VNO’s attractive locations and best-in-class properties make it less at risk of disruption than other players in the years ahead.

Dividend yield: 6%

9 dividend stocks to buy and hold forever:

— AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)

— Altria Group Inc. (MO)

— AT&T Inc. (T)

— Cardinal Health Inc. (CAH)

— Dominion Energy Inc. (D)

— Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC)

— Morgan Stanley (MS)

— Oneok Inc. (OKE)

— Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)

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9 Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 05/31/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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