In times of uncertainty, investors look to high-dividend paying stocks for some sort of normalcy. Every investor looks for dividends to juice yields and returns, as dividends are an important source of income for many, especially retirees.
We also want to be playing the same game the "smart money" is playing. The hedge funds, the legendary investors, the institutions. They are all known as the "smart money," so why should they benefit and not us?
Here is a list of a few low-risk, high dividend stocks that will allow investors to play the same game the "smart money" is playing, and hopefully, generate the same returns.
Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) is a low-risk, large-cap stock that sports a hefty 3.7% dividend yield, in addition to strong growth from outside the U.S. Philip Morris International was spun off from Altria (MO) last decade as a way to unlock the value from the company's international presence, and not deal with the regulatory scrutiny here in the U.S. Shares trade at 13.6 times earnings, and have risen 17% this year, best among the tobacco stocks only behind Lorillard (LO). Capital Research Global Investors, Blackrock, and State Street are among Philip Morris largest investors (See which hedge funds are extremely bullish about PM here).
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is another low-risk defensive play, and sports a dividend yield of 3.9%. The company is currently in the process of divesting businesses as a way to unlock shareholder value. Shares have been stagnant for what seems like forever, but it looks as if shares are starting to perk up a bit. The company has a rock solid balance sheet, trades at less than 9 times earnings, and counts State Street, BlackRock and Vanguard among major shareholders. The stock is also a hedge fund favorite. (See the complete list of hedge funds with Pfizer holdings)
The last name to consider is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The New Brunswick-based company is the maker of things like Band-Aids, Tylenol, and other products we use everyday, but don't really think about it. Johnson & Johnson has one investor in it that will make other shareholders sleep better at night: Warren Buffett. (Check out Warren Buffett's top holdings here)
Late last year, the company issued one of the lowest yields over U.S. Treasuries on record, indicating the strong demand for its debt. Johnson & Johnson boasts a triple-A credit rating from Standard & Poor's, a distinction shared by only three other U.S. industrial firms. It trades at just 12.8 times earnings, and is one of the safest companies out there.
This article is originally published at Benzinga.