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Deferred gratification is a principle where people choose to postpone near-term benefits in order to enhance their chances of greater benefits in the future. In our microwave society marked by the "I want it now" attitude, it is unusual to find someone willing to wait. However, deferred gratification is essential for anyone wanting to build wealth and is a key ingredient in a successful dividend investing strategy.

Below are several stocks building future gratification with the promise of higher future cash dividends:

The Hershey Company (HSY) engages in manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distributing various chocolate and confectionery products, pantry items, and gum and mint refreshment products worldwide. On July 25 the company increased its quarterly dividend 15.5% to $0.485 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 13, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 23, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.1%.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. (PFG) provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services. On July 25 the company increased its quarterly dividend 13% to $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 27, 2013, to stockholders of record on Sept. 5, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.6%.

Federated Investors, Inc. (FII) is a publicly owned asset management holding company. On July 25 the company increased its quarterly dividend 19% to $0.25 per share. The dividend is payable on Aug. 15, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 8, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.6%.

Republic Services, Inc. (RSG) provides non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, and recycling and disposal services. On July 25 the company increased its quarterly dividend 10.6% to $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 15, 2013, to stockholders of record on Oct. 1, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.0%.

Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (MMP) engages in the transportation, storage, and distribution of petroleum products in the United States. On July 25 the company increased its quarterly distribution 13% to $0.5325 per unit. The distribution is payable on Aug. 14, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 7, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.9%.

The Eastern Company (EML) manufactures and sells industrial hardware, security products, and metal products in North America. On July 24 the company increased its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.11 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 16, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 21, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.7%.

TAL International Group, Inc. (TAL) engages in leasing intermodal containers and chassis worldwide. On July 24 the company increased its quarterly dividend 3% to $0.68 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 24, 2013, to stockholders of record on Sept. 3, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 6.4%.

Atlas Pipeline Partners, L.P. (APL) operates in the gathering and processing segments of the midstream natural gas industry. On July 23 the partnership increased its quarterly distribution 5.1% to $0.62 per unit. The distribution is payable on Aug. 14, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 7, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 6.3%.

The Wendy's Company (WEN) owns and franchises Wendy's restaurant system in North America and internationally. On July 23 the company increased its quarterly dividend 25% to $0.05 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 17, 2013, to stockholders of record on Sept. 3, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC) engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods in the United States. On July 23 the company increased its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.52 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 10, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 2, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.7%.

Legacy Reserves LP (LGCY), an independent oil and natural gas limited partnership, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties. On July 23 the partnership uncreased its quarterly distribution 0.9% to $0.58 per unit. The distribution is payable on Aug. 14, 2013, to unitholders of record on Aug. 1, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 8.3%.

Atlas Pipeline Partners, LP (APL) operates in the gathering and processing segments of the midstream natural gas industry. On July 23 the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.1% to to $0.62 per share. The dividend is payable on Aug. 14, 2013, to stockholders of record on Aug. 7, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 6.3%.

Oiltanking Partners, LP (OILT) provides terminaling, storage, pipeline, and related services in the United States. On July 22 the partnership increased its quarterly distribution 4.9% to $0.425 per unit. The distribution is payable on Aug. 14, 2013, to unitholders of record on Aug. 2, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.5%.

Rayonier, Inc. (RYN) engages in the sale and development of real estate and timberland management, as well as in the production and sale of cellulose fibers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. On July 22 the company increased its quarterly dividend 11% to $0.05 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 30, 2013, to shareholders of record on Sept. 16, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.4%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, click here.

Disclosure: Long NSC in my Dividend Growth Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 14 Stocks Building Deferred Gratification With Increased Dividends