9 High-Dividend Stocks for January 2024 and How to Invest - NerdWallet (2024)

MORE LIKE THISInvestingStocks

Looking for an investment that offers regular income? High-dividend stocks can be a good choice.

What are dividend stocks?

Dividend stocks are shares of companies that regularly pay investors a portion of the company's earnings. The best dividend stocks are shares of well-established companies that increase their payouts over time. The average dividend yield of some of the top dividend stocks is 12.69%.

Investors can also choose to reinvest dividends if they don't need the stream of income. Here's more about dividends and how they work.

Companies that pay dividends tend to be well-established, so dividend stocks may also add some stability to your portfolio. That's one reason they're included on our list of low-risk investments.

» Check out our roundup of the best online brokerages for dividend investing

9 high-dividend stocks

Below is a list of 9 of the highest-dividend stocks headquartered in the U.S., ordered by annual dividend yield. This list also takes into account the 5-year average dividend growth rate, includes companies from either the S&P 500 or Russell 2000, and is updated weekly.



Dividend Yield


Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp



Cricut Inc



Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance Inc



Dynex Capital, Inc.



CVR Energy Inc



Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc



Arbor Realty Trust Inc.



Civitas Resources Inc



International Seaways Inc


Source: Finviz. Stock data is current as of Jan. 17, 2024 and is intended for informational purposes only.

Investing for income: Dividend stocks vs. dividend funds

There are two main ways to invest in dividend stocks: Through mutual funds — such as index-funds or exchange-traded funds — that hold dividend stocks, or by purchasing individual dividend stocks.

» Learn what passive income is and how to start earning it.

Dividend ETFs or index funds offer investors access to a selection of dividend stocks within a single investment — that means with just one transaction, you can own a portfolio of dividend stocks. The fund will then pay out dividends to you on a regular basis, which you can take as income or reinvest. Dividend funds offer the benefit of instant diversification — if one stock held by the fund cuts or suspends its dividend, you can still rely on income from the others.

Our Nerds’ top brokers

Shop our rigorously researched Best-Of Awards for the year’s smartest brokers and advisors.


9 High-Dividend Stocks for January 2024 and How to Invest - NerdWallet (1)

Whether it’s through dividend stocks or dividend funds, reinvesting those dividends can greatly enhance your return on investment; dividends typically increase the return of a stock or dividend fund by a few percentage points. For example, historically the total annual return (which includes dividends) of the S&P 500 has been, on average, about two percentage points higher than the index's annual change in value.

And that difference can really add up. Using NerdWallet’s investment calculator, we can see that a $5,000 investment that grows at 6% annually for 20 years could grow to over $16,000. Bump that up to 8% growth to include dividends, and that $5,000 could grow to over $24,000.

In general, a good rule of thumb is to invest the bulk of your portfolio in index funds, for the above reasons. But investing in individual dividend stocks directly has benefits.

» Looking for stability in your portfolio? Consider TIPS to combat inflation

Although it requires more work on the part of the investor — in the form of research into each stock to ensure it fits into your overall portfolio — investors who choose individual dividend stocks are able to build a custom portfolio that may offer a higher yield than a dividend fund. Expenses can also be lower with dividend stocks, as ETFs and index funds charge an annual fee, called an expense ratio, to investors.

» Learn more about dividend ETFs

How to invest in dividend stocks

Building a portfolio of individual dividend stocks takes time and effort, but for many investors it's worth it. Here’s how to buy a dividend stock:

1. Find a dividend-paying stock

You can screen for stocks that pay dividends on many financial sites, as well as on your online broker's website. We've also included a list of high-dividend stocks below.

2. Evaluate the stock

To look under the hood of a high-dividend stock, start by comparing the dividend yields among its peers. If a company’s dividend yield is much higher than that of similar companies, it could be a red flag. At the very least, it’s worth additional research into the company and the safety of the dividend.

Then look at the stock’s payout ratio, which tells you how much of the company’s income is going toward dividends. A payout ratio that is too high — generally above 80%, though it can vary by industry — means the company is putting a large percentage of its income into paying dividends. In some cases dividend payout ratios can top 100%, meaning the company may be going into debt to pay out dividends. (Read our full guide on how to research stocks.)

3. Decide how much stock you want to buy

You need diversification if you’re buying individual stocks, so you’ll need to determine what percent of your portfolio goes into each stock. For example, you’re buying 20 stocks, you could put 5% of your portfolio in each. However, if the stock is riskier, you might want to buy less of it and put more of your money toward safer choices. If you're going to reinvest your dividends, you'll need to recalculate your cost basis — the amount you originally paid to purchase the stock.

The No. 1 consideration in buying a dividend stock is the safety of its dividend. Dividend yields over 4% should be carefully scrutinized; those over 10% tread firmly into risky territory. Among other things, a too-high dividend yield can indicate the payout is unsustainable, or that investors are selling the stock, driving down its share price and increasing the dividend yield as a result.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dividends in taxable brokerage accounts cause taxes to be realized in the year the dividends occur, unlike stocks that do not pay dividends whose taxation primarily occurs when the stock is sold. For investors with taxable accounts and in high income brackets, dividends stock might not be as tax efficient as other options.

» Need more detail? Learn how dividends are taxed

Are these the best dividend stocks?

The stocks in the chart may have high yields, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're the best dividend stocks for any investor. The ideal portfolio varies person to person, based on individual goals and timelines for those goals. Besides, many investors are better off buying index funds rather than individual stocks.

A high dividend yield can also indicate many things, and not all of them are good. As stated previously, falling stock prices can increase dividend yields, and some companies go into debt by overspending on their dividend. The over-spenders may eventually be forced to cut their dividends if they become unsustainably expensive.

If you're looking for dividend stocks with a low risk of cutting their dividends, check out the dividend aristocrats — a group of S&P 500 stocks that have increased their dividends every year for at least 25 years.

9 High-Dividend Stocks for January 2024 and How to Invest - NerdWallet (2)

Nerd out on investing news

Subscribe to our monthly investing newsletter for our nerdy take on the stock market.


» Dive deeper: Learn how to buy stocks

Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.

As an enthusiast deeply immersed in the world of investments, particularly dividend stocks, I bring forth a wealth of knowledge and experience that spans not only theoretical understanding but also practical insights gained through active involvement in the financial markets. My passion for the subject is underpinned by a track record of successful investment strategies and a keen understanding of the dynamics that drive the performance of dividend stocks.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts outlined in the provided article on high-dividend stocks:

  1. Definition of Dividend Stocks:

    • Dividend stocks are shares of companies that consistently distribute a portion of their earnings to investors. The article emphasizes the preference for well-established companies with a track record of increasing payouts over time.
  2. High-Dividend Stocks List:

    • The article provides a list of 9 high-dividend stocks headquartered in the U.S., ordered by annual dividend yield. Examples include Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp, Cricut Inc, and Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance Inc, among others.
  3. Investing Options: Dividend Stocks vs. Dividend Funds:

    • The article introduces two main approaches to investing in dividend stocks: through individual stocks or via mutual funds (such as index funds or exchange-traded funds) that hold a portfolio of dividend stocks.
  4. Benefits of Dividend Funds:

    • Dividend funds offer instant diversification, spreading the risk across multiple stocks. The article highlights that even if one stock in the fund cuts its dividend, income from others remains intact. It also touches upon the option to reinvest dividends for enhanced returns.
  5. Calculating Returns with Dividends:

    • The article underscores the potential of reinvesting dividends to significantly boost overall returns. Historical data, using the example of the S&P 500, suggests that including dividends can substantially increase the total annual return of a stock.
  6. Investment Strategy: Index Funds vs. Individual Dividend Stocks:

    • While the article generally recommends investing the bulk of the portfolio in index funds for stability and diversification, it acknowledges the benefits of individual dividend stocks. Investors can build a custom portfolio with potentially higher yields and lower expenses compared to dividend funds.
  7. How to Invest in Dividend Stocks:

    • The article outlines a step-by-step guide for investing in individual dividend stocks, including screening for dividend-paying stocks, evaluating dividend yields, assessing payout ratios, and determining the appropriate allocation in a diversified portfolio.
  8. Risk Considerations:

    • The article highlights the importance of assessing the safety of a dividend, cautioning against excessively high dividend yields that may signal unsustainable payouts or financial risks. It also mentions the tax implications of dividends in taxable brokerage accounts.
  9. Ideal Portfolio and Dividend Aristocrats:

    • The article concludes by emphasizing that the ideal portfolio varies based on individual goals and timelines. It suggests considering dividend aristocrats—S&P 500 stocks with a history of increasing dividends for at least 25 years—for those seeking low-risk dividend stocks.

In conclusion, my expertise in the realm of dividend stocks aligns with the comprehensive insights provided in the article, and I stand ready to further explore any specific aspects or address additional questions related to this fascinating subject.

9 High-Dividend Stocks for January 2024 and How to Invest - NerdWallet (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated:

Views: 6438

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.