Advisors tend to really like dividend stocks, and it makes sense why: clients need good income as they head into retirement. However, this desire leads some (especially retail investors) to overreach, choosing high paying, but ultimately fragile or unsustainable stocks. Right now is a good time to be looking for quality dividend payers, as their valuations relative to the market are the lowest in about 20 years. Some high quality names to look at include Macy’s (6.2%), General Motors (4.1%), Kellogg (4.1%), and Verizon (4.2%).
FINSUM: One of the best ways to judge the quality of dividend stocks is through focusing on free cash flow as that measure shows whether companies can really afford what they are paying out without hurting their underlying business.