When I was first getting started with dividend growth investing, one of the biggest authorities on dividend investing was the S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index. This list of stocks was compiled by a respectable agency and included companies which had raised dividends for at least a quarter of a century each.
The more I researched my way into the world of dividend investing however, the more companies I uncovered which were not included in this elite index of stocks. Chevron (CVX) is an example of a company which has consistently raised distributions for 25 years in a row and is not part of the index. Colgate –Palmolive (CL) is a company which has rewarded shareholders with higher distributions for 49 consecutive years, yet it was only recently added to the index. In addition, most recently a company which had only raised distributions for much less than 25 years had been added to the index – Ecolab (ECL). The company has only boosted dividends for 21 years in a row. This did not make much sense, and as a result I have paid very little attention to this index which I previously viewed as elite. The list was too exclusive and was leaving out a lot of potentially great dividend growth stocks. You can view the S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index list here.