As Money Morning Executive Editor Steve Christ told us this week, finding solid dividend stocks in different sectors is a key to finding financial freedom, thanks to compounding.
"This compounding effect arises when your dividend yield is added to the principal. From that moment on, the interest begins to earn interest on itself," explained Christ. "Over the long haul, that process can add up to a small fortune - even with very modest investments. All it takes is time."
How do you find theses reliable dividend payers?
For starters, consider dividend stocks that have a history of raising their payout. Dividend.com recently compiled a list of stocks that have hiked their dividends for at least 25 years.
To take it a step further, we compared that list to Standard & Poor's "Dividend Aristocrats" - large-cap, blue-chip companies that have increased dividends for at least 20 consecutive years.
Some of the "Aristocrats" have hiked their payouts for much longer than that, like these seven, which have done so for at least 50 years: