For a four straight year in a row, I participated in a friendly stock picking competition. The four stock picks that I selected have been chosen as if I was choosing long-term investments. As a dividend investor, my holding period is essentially forever, until one of these three events occurs. All of the stock picks I selected make great long term investments, because they represent companies that have strong brand names, strong competitive advantages and have plenty of growth opportunities ahead of them. This enables them to record increasing earnings every year, which then trickles down into dividend hikes every year for the loyal shareholders.