Last week's Dow Jones performance is yet another reason to buy stocks that pay dividends. The index shed nearly 500 points.
Dividend payers tend to be less volatile than nonpayers and hold up better when the market slips. In 2008, dividend-paying stocks lost an average of 39% on a total-return basis. But nonpayers shed 45.4%. In 2002, nonpayers plunged 30.3%. Dividend stocks lost just 10.9%.