Three Safe Stocks to Buy in a High-Flying Market

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Even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average has reached record highs, investing hasn't got any easier. When the markets make a major move higher, investors always run the risk of buying at the top.

It's called chasing momentum and it can be damaging to your portfolio.

That's what happened to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) shareholders who jumped in at $700 only to watch as the price later dropped to less than $420/share. With little change in the company's outlook, Apple investors who bought near the peak managed to lose 40% in a bull market.

But the truth is you don't have to chase the market. There is a safer, and in the long run, more lucrative approach.

The stocks to buy are what I call "heirloom stocks."

These are stocks you buy, hold and watch them grow-steady earners you can rely on to fund a growing prosperity in retirement, or leave to your grandchildren knowing that the expenses of their lives will be safely covered.

What's an Heirloom Stock?

Heirloom stocks are from a select group of 82 stocks listed on the NYSE or Nasdaq. Their key characteristic is that they have not only paid dividends for 30 years or more, but that they have increased their dividends in every year single one of those years.

These are the gems I call my heirloom stocks.

The longest of these has a history of dividend increases that extends back 59 years, to 1954. But all 82 of them have track records that go back to at least 1983. Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of borderline cases, either. Only two stocks have track records of between 20 and 29 years.

These are the stocks that should be an important base of any portfolio, especially one used for retirement purposes.

As investments, heirloom stocks have the following advantages:

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