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As a young investor I followed an aggressive growth strategy. Having narrowly missed the tech bubble bursting, I purchased my first dividend stock on December 11, 2003. I had heard dividend investments were supposed to be safer, but knew very little else about the strategy. I was fortunate enough to accidentally buy enough good dividend stocks to learn the “secret” of dividend investing. It is not necessarily starting with a high-yield investment, but ending up with a high-yield investment. This usually occurs by buying stocks with a moderate yield and a long history of growing dividends and letting time do its job.

This week several companies are building future yield by increasing the cash dividends paid to their shareholders:

Birner Dental (NASDAQ:BDMS) develops, acquires, and provides business services to dental practice networks in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. March 12th the company increased its quarterly dividend 17% to $0.20/share. The yield based on the new payout is 4.92%.

Warwick Valley Telephone Co. (WWVY) provides telephone, Internet and video services to customers in the towns of Warwick, Goshen and Wallkill, New York and West Milford and Vernon townships, New Jersey. March 12th the company raised its quarterly dividend 9.1% to $0.24/share. The dividend is paid on March 31, 2010 to shareholders of record as of March 22, 2010. The ex-dividend date is March 18, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 6.63%.

Lennox Int (NYSE:LII) is a global provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning and refrigeration products. March 12th the company increased its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.15/share. The dividend is payable on April 15, 2010 to stockholders of record as of March 26, 2010. The ex-dividend date is March 24, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.35%.

PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is a major international producer of branded beverage and snack food products. March 15th the company raised its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.48/share. The dividend is payable on June 30, 2010 to shareholders of record on June 4, 2010. The ex-dividend date is June 2, 2010. PEP is a Dividend Aristocrat and has raised its dividend for 38 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 2.89%. [Analysis]

Astro-Med Inc. (NASDAQ:ALOT) designs, develops, manufactures and distributes specialty printers and electronic instruments that acquire, store, analyze and present data in multiple formats. March 16th the company raised its quarterly dividend to $0.07/share. The dividend is payable on April 2, 2010 to shareholders of record on March 19, 2010. The ex-dividend date is March 17, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 3.76%.

Mead Johnson (NYSE:MJN) is a global leader in pediatric nutrition. March 17th the company increased its quarterly dividend 12.5% to $0.225/share. The dividend is payable April 1, 2010, to shareholders of record on March 24, 2010. The ex-dividend date is March 22. The yield based on the new payout is 1.75%.

Guess? Inc. (NYSE:GES) offers one of the world’s leading lifestyle collections of contemporary apparel and accessories for men, women and children, sold in multiple channels including wholesale, company-owned retail locations, e-commerce, and licensed stores. March 17th the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.16/share. The yield based on the new payout is 1.37%.

Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a major producer of industrial gases and electronics and specialty chemicals also has interests in environmental and energy-related businesses. March 18th the company raised its quarterly dividend by 9% to $0.49/share. The dividend is payable on May 10, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 1, 2010. The ex-dividend is March 30. APD is a Dividend Aristocrat and has raised its dividend for 28 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 2.62%.

Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC) is a financial services company that primarily lends to and invests in middle market privately-held companies. March 18th the company raised its cash distribution to $0.41/share. This distribution marks the Company’s 22nd consecutive quarterly increase. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 29, 2010. The record date is Wednesday, March 31, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 13.48%.

When looking for companies that are likely to build future yield, look first at those that have done it in the past. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.

Full Disclosure: Long PEP. See a list of all my income holdings here.

Source: 9 Dividend Stocks Building Future Yield