Near-zero interest rates have lots of savers clamoring for yield and plunging into dividend stocks.
Compared with paltry yields on a bevy of bonds, dividend stocks - especially those with the potential of capital appreciation - have become progressively more attractive to income-seeking investors.
Now's a good time to hunt for dividend stocks, as more companies increase payouts. Dividend payments grew sharply in Q4 2012, with 1,262 dividend increases reported, a 94.5% gain over the 649 increases in Q4 2011, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
And rich dividend payments are expected to continue among companies flush with cash since
they have curtailed expansion and investment amid growing global uncertainty.
In fact, more than 5,000 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News forecast that companies in the MSCI World Index will boost payments by 3.8% to a combined $39.43 a share this year, up from a low of $29.58 in 2009.