In brief:

  • The Dividend Aristocrats are companies of the S&P 500 that have paid steadily increasing dividends for at least 25 years have outperformed the broader market over time.
  • These 65 are large, US companies that have historically provided (slightly) better performance and (slightly) lower volatility than the S&P 500 as a whole.
  • Full-year 2020 performance Dividend Aristocrats 8.68%, versus the S&P 500 index 18.40%.

In this article:

  • Changes to the Dividend Aristocrats Index
  • Downloadable excel of all 65 dividend aristocrats
  • Dividend Aristocrats Historical Performance
  • Constituents of the Dividend Aristocrats by sector
  • no-fee DRIP Dividend Aristocrats

 

The Dividend Aristocrats Index

The Dividend Aristocrats are a select group of currently 65 S&P 500 stocks with 25+ years of consecutive dividend increases. These 65 are large, US companies that have historically provided (slightly) better performance and (slightly) lower volatility than the S&P 500 as a whole. They are the ‘upper class’ dividend growth stocks and a great source for dividend growth investors.

S&P 500 applies the following criteria to construct the Dividend Aristocrats list:

  • must be members of the S&P 500
  • must have increased dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years
  • Market Cap at least USD 3 billion
  • Liquidity at least USD 5 million (average daily value traded)
  • Diversification, at least 40 constituents and no sector allocation above 30%
2021 Changes to the Dividend Aristocrats Index

End of January 2021, S&P Dow Jones Indices has announce the annual rebalancing results for the S&P 500 Aristocrats. Also, by when these changes will take effect. See the changes below

On March 31st, 2020, United Technologies merged with Raytheon to Raytheon Technologies, changed its ticker to RTX, and spun off Carrier Global (CARR) and Otis Worldwide (OTIS). On February 1st, 2021, all three companies were deleted from the dividend aristocrats index. At the same time IBM, West Pharmaceutical (WST), and NextEra Energy (NEE) were added to this index which kept the total number of Dividend Aristocrats at 65.

new-dividend-aristocrats-2021

 

2020 Changes to the Dividend Aristocrats Index

Early 2020, Amcor (AMCR), Atmos Energy (ATO), Realty Income (O), Essex Property Trust (ESS), Ross Stores (ROST), Albemarle (ALB), and Expeditors International (EXPD) were added to the Dividend Aristocrats Index which brought the total number of Dividend Aristocrats to 64 (from 57).

On March 31st, 2020, United Technologies merged with Raytheon to Raytheon Technologies, changed its ticker to RTX, and spun off Carrier Global (CARR) and Otis Worldwide (OTIS) to bring the total Dividend Aristocrat to 66.

Ross Stores (ROST), added in January announced it is suspending its dividend on May 21st, 2020, and has been removed from The Dividend Aristocrats Index prior to the market open on July 1st, bringing the total members down to 65.

End of January 2021, S&P Dow Jones Indices will again announce the annual rebalancing results for the S&P 500 Aristocrats. Also, by when these changes will take effect.

See also an overview of all changes since 2009

 

Download Dividend Aristocrats List (excel)

There are currently 65 Dividend Aristocrats. You can download an Excel spreadsheet of all 65 (with metrics) by clicking the link below:

The Dividend Aristocrats Excel spreadsheet contains the following fundamental and stock price performance metrics for each stock in the index.

Fundamental metrics:

  • Dividend & earnings per share
  • Dividend Yield
  • Price-to-earnings ratio
  • Pay-out ratio
  • Beta

Stock price performance metric (Members only):

  • 1 yr price target
  • 10 year weighted compound annual growth rate (WCAGR / GEOPAK10)
  • Win factor
  • Loss ratio
  • Total return

You can see a detailed analysis of all 65 Dividend Aristocrats on the page per stock as listed in the sections below. The analysis includes valuation, growth, and historical dividends, and more.

Dividend Aristocrats Performance 2020

The Dividend Aristocrats have historically shown smaller draw-downs during recessions versus the S&P 500. For example in 2008 the Dividend Aristocrats Index declined 21.9%, compared to the S&P 500 declined by 37%. In 2018 the Dividend Aristocrats (-2.73%) also outperformed the S&P500 (-4.38%) by 1.65%.

In 2020, the Dividend Aristocrats (+8.68%) underperformed the S&P 500 index (+18.40%) by -9.72%, which is a lot.

The lower volatility could give some investors “peace of mind” but this comes also with a price. In the last 10 years, the dividend aristocrats are struggling to keep up with the total return. The average outperformance even dropped below zero and is now -0.32%. Also, this year’s lows and highs are not displaying the lower volatility, like the COVID-19 dip in March.

dividend-aristocrats-performance-chart-2020

The table below lists the yearly performance (total return) of the Dividend Aristocrats, the S&P 500, and the difference between the two.

dividend-aristocrats-performance-per-year 2021

Some additional data on the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index:

  • 10 Years annualized return: 13.68% (2019: 14.75%)
  • 10 years annualized risk: 12.63% (2019: 11.18%)
  • PE-ratio (trailing): 29.09 (2019: 20.97)
  • Dividend yield: 2.59% (2019: 2.43%)

The 10 years annualized return for the S&P 500 is 13.88%.

dividend-aristocrats-performance chart 2005-2021One good explanation for the current underperformance is the sector weighting of the Dividend Aristocrats. The dominating sectors are more defensive like Industrials (24.4%) and Consumer Staples (22.6%). The IT-sector represents only 1.7%, while in the S&P 500 index 27.6% is allocated to this sector.

Sector allocation aristocrats

Buy & Hold approach made easy

Dividend growth investing and a buy & hold approach go hand in hand. “Life is made easy” when investing in the Dividend Aristocrats Index, any holding period of 4 years or longer would have resulted in a positive performance. The diagram below shows the performance per holding period.

This performance/yield triangle shows the average annual returns for any investment period, ie combinations of buy and sell times on an annual basis. The “year of buy” is plotted on the horizontal axis and the “year of sell” on the vertical axis. The average annualized return can be seen at the intersection of these two coordinates.

dividend-aristocrats-performance-triangle-2021

For example, those who acquired the dividend aristocrats at the end of 2008 and sold them at the end of 2009 achieved an average annual return of 26.60%. With an exit in 2010, however, a per-annum return (CAGR) of 22.87% is calculated.

The average data in the bottom indicate which average annual yield was achieved at the start of the respective year. Starting with a position in the aristocrats at the end of 2008, Dividend Aristocrats (buy&hold) investors made e.g. average annual price returns of 18.34%.

Constituents of the Dividend Aristocrats by sector
You can see a detailed analysis of all 65 Dividend Aristocrats on the page per stock as listed in this section. The analysis includes valuation, growth, and historical dividends, and more. The information on the detailed pages is updated daily and members do have access to additional exclusive data analysis and charts

 

Energy

  • ExxonMobil (XOM)
  • Chevron (CVX)

Consumer Discretionary

  • Genuine Parts Company (GPC)
  • Lowe’s (LOW)
  • Target (TGT)
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
  • McDonald’s (MCD)
  • Leggett & Platt (LEG)
  • Wal-Mart (WMT)
  • V.F. Corp (VFC)

Consumer Staples

  • Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
  • Amcor (AMCR)
  • Brown-Forman (BF.B)
  • Hormel Foods (HRL)
  • Kimberly-Clark (KMB)
  • McCormick & Company (MKC)
  • Sysco (SYY)
  • Procter & Gamble (PG)
  • Colgate-Palmolive (CL)
  • Clorox (CLX)
  • Coca-Cola (KO)
  • Pepsico (PEP)

Industrials

  • 3M Company (MMM)
  • A.O. Smith (AOS)
  • Emerson Electric (EMR)
  • Dover (DOV)
  • Illinois Tool Works (ITW)
  • W.W. Grainger (GWW)
  • Pentair (PNR)
  • Roper Technologies (ROP)
  • Stanley Black & Decker (SWK)
  • Cintas (CTAS)
  • General Dynamics (GD)
  • Caterpillar (CAT)
  • Raytheon Technologies (RTX)
  • Expeditors International (EXPD)
  • Otis Worldwide (OTIS)
  • Carrier Global (CARR)

Financials

  • S&P Global Inc (formerly McGraw Hill Financial) (SPGI)
  • Aflac (AFL)
  • Franklin Resources (BEN)
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW)
  • Cincinnati Financial (CINF)
  • Chubb Limited (CB)
  • People’s United Financial (PBCT)

Real Estate

  • Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT)
  • Realty Income (O)
  • Essex Property Trust (ESS)

Healthcare

  • Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX)
  • Cardinal Health (CAH)
  • Medtronic (MDT)
  • AbbVie (ABBV)
  • Abbott Laboratories (ABT)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Basic Materials

  • Air Products (APD)
  • PPG (PPG)
  • Sherwin-Williams (SHW)
  • Ecolab (ECL)
  • Nucor (NUE)
  • Linde (LIN)

Technology

  • Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

Telecommunication Services

  • AT&T (T)

Utilities

  • Consolidated Edison (ED)
  • Atmos Energy (ATO)
no-fee DRIP Dividend Aristocrats

A dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) is a program that allows investors to reinvest their cash dividends into additional shares or fractional shares of the underlying stock on the dividend payment date. Dividend Aristocrats are perfect to DRIPs as a long-term investor. Below the list of all 15 Dividend Aristocrats, that offer no-fee DRIPs to shareholders:

  • 3M Company (MMM)
  • A.O. Smith (AOS)
  • AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
  • Aflac Incorporated (AFL)
  • Chubb Limited (CB)
  • Cincinnati Financial (CINF)
  • Emerson Electric (EMR)
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM)
  • Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT)
  • Hormel Foods (HRL)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • Nucor (NUE)
  • Realty Income (O)
  • S&P Global (SPGI)
  • Sherwin-Williams (SHW)

 

Other Sources of Dividend Investment Ideas

There are several lists to quickly screen for businesses that regularly pay rising dividends.

Next to selecting the right dividend stocks, important principles for successful long-term investing are Disciple, Diversification, Defensive & indeed Dividend. Read more about this in our free e-book.

Also, our monthly newsletter and premium member data will help you to invest smarter.

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