S&P Dividend Aristocrats: Less Volatility, Better Results Than the S&P 500

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Eddy Elfenbein submits: Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) raised its quarterly dividend from 31 cents a share to 34 cents a share. Coke has now raised its dividend for 45 straight years.

While capital gains are my first true love, dividends are like a friend with benefits. S&P has a list of its Dividend Aristocrats, stocks that have increased their dividend every year for the last 25 years.

Here's the current list:

Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT)
Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM)
Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)
Avery Dennison (NYSE:AVY)
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT)
Bard (C.R. Bard) Inc. (NYSE:BCR)
Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX)
Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD)
Chubb (NYSE:CB)
Compass Bancshares (CBSS)
Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF)
Clorox (NYSE:CLX)
Comerica (NYSE:CMA)
Century Telephone (NYSE:CTL)
Dover (NYSE:DOV)
Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)
Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR)
Family Dollar Stores (NYSE:FDO)
First Horizon National (NYSE:FHN)
Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)
Gannett (NYSE:GCI)
General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Grainger (W.W.) Inc. (NYSE:GWW)
Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY)
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB)
Coca Cola (KO)
Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG)
Lilly (Eli) & Co. (NYSE:LLY)
Lowe's (NYSE:LOW)
McDonald's (NYSE:MCD)
McGraw-Hill (MHP)
3M Company (NYSE:MMM)
Altria (NYSE:MO)
Nucor (NYSE:NUE)
PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP)
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
Progressive (NYSE:PGR)
PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG)
Regions Financial (NYSE:RF)
Rohm & Haas (ROH)
Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW)
Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ:SIAL)
SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM)
Synovus Financial (NYSE:SNV)
Questar (NYSE:STR)
State Street (NYSE:STT)
Supervalu (NYSE:SVU)
Stanley Works (NYSE:SWK)
Target (NYSE:TGT)
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB)
V.F. Corp. (NYSE:VFC)
Walgreen (WAG)
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)
Wrigley (WWY)

The Dividend Aristocrats Index has not only outperformed the S&P 500, but it's been less risky as well. Since 1990, the Dividend Aristocrats Index is up over 414%. Throw in dividends and it's up 725%. The S&P 500 is up 312%, and 485% with dividends. The daily volatility of the Dividend Aristocrats Index has been about 11% less than the S&P 500.

Here's how the two indexes have performed since 1990 (not including dividends).

S&P Divident Aristocrats

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