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Forget about those 'Make 534% On Every Trade' ads that you see on many financial websites. Real wealth is built with sweat equity and a sound financial plan. A long-term buy-and-hold investing approach focusing on quality dividend growth stocks has has provided the means for many investors to enjoy a comfortable retirement. If you start early enough, you will go beyond a comfortable retirement into the realm of building long-term wealth.

Below are several companies that are helping their shareholders build a comfortable retirement with higher dividends:

Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. March 8th the company increased its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.62 per share. The dividend is payable May 15, 2012 to shareholders of record as of April 24, 2012. The Company has paid uninterrupted dividends on its common stock since 1895. The yield based on the new payout is 2.6%.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NYSE:PNY), an energy services company, engages in the distribution of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. March 8th the company increased its quarterly dividend 3.4% to $0.30 per share. The dividend is payable April 13, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 23, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 3.7%.

Miller Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MLR) engages in the manufacture and sale of vehicle towing and recovery equipment. March 7th the company increased its quarterly dividend 8.3% to $0.13 per share. The dividend is payable on March 26, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 19, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 3.4%.

Main Street Capital Corporation (NYSE:MAIN) is a business development company specializing in equity, equity related, and debt investments in small and lower middle market companies. March 7th the company increased its monthly dividend 7.7% to $0.14 per share. The dividend is payable 4/16/2012 to shareholder of record on 3/21/2012. The yield based on the new payout is 6.9%.

General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) is an aerospace and defense company. March 7th the company increased its quarterly dividend 8.5% to $0.51 per share. The dividend is payable May 11, 2012, to shareholders of record on April 13. The yield based on the new payout is 2.9%.

Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) operates as an office products company. March 6th the company increased its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.11 per share. The dividend is payable on April 12, 2012, to shareholders of record on March 23, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 2.9%.

Myers Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MYE) manufactures and distributes polymer products for the industrial, agricultural, automotive, commercial, and consumer markets primarily in the North, Central, and South America. March 5th the company increased its quarterly dividend 14% to $0.08 per share. The dividend is payable April 2, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 12, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 2.4%.

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. March 5th the company increased its quarterly dividend 13% to $0.09 per share. The dividend is payable on June 14, 2012 to stockholders of record as of May 24, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 3.0%.

Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA) provides waste and energy services to municipal entities primarily in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. March 5th the company doubled its quarterly dividend to $0.15 per share. The dividend is payable on April 12, 2012 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 30, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 3.7%.

Douglas Emmett, Inc. (NYSE:DEI), a real estate investment trust, owns and operates office and multifamily properties in California and Hawaii. March 5th the company increased its quarterly dividend to 15% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $0.15 per share. The dividend is payable on April 13, 2012 to shareholders of record as of March 30, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%.

WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL) engages in the sale and delivery of natural gas, and provides energy-related products and services. March 1st the company increased its quarterly 3.2% to $0.40 per share. The dividend is payable May 1, 2012, to shareholders of record on April 10, 2012. This annual increase is the 36th consecutive year that WGL Holdings, Inc. has increased the cash dividend on its common stock. The yield based on the new payout is 4.0%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends and those expected to in 2012; 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, see this list.

Disclosure: Long CL, GD, PNY in my Dividend Growth Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 11 Stocks Building A Comfortable Retirement With Higher Dividends