There are two things that investors should look at when trying to decide what income stocks to buy. The first is the yield. You obviously want to buy a stock that has a high yield because you generate more income per share that you buy. Your money buys more income.

The second thing you want to look at is the safety of that yield. The last thing you want is to spend a decent amount of money on shares and then have the dividend cut.

By and large, BCE Inc.  (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE) is an income investor’s best friend. There are many investors that have called BCE the best dividend stock in Canada. But why is that?

Predictable, needed business

Part of the reason that we hate our cable company is because they charge us an obscene amount of money, and even if we think about cutting our package, we realize we want what they offer. As a business, cable companies are in the best and worst position: their customers hate them and their customers need them.

BCE is in that business. It offers its customers mobile, cable TV, Internet, and landline services. This is a monthly bill that tends to carry a level of contract that ensures that the company has consistent cash flow coming in.

However, the business isn’t entirely subscription related. It also owns television channels, sports teams, retail outlets, radio stations, numerous websites, and other lucrative assets that it has acquired in many smart transactions. All of these, as they become more integrated into the BCE offerings, also provide consistent cash flow for the business.

What all this means is that BCE is in a very powerful position to return significant income to investors. And those numbers are growing. Year over year, it saw an 8% increase in second-quarter free cash flow. Further, it had a 5% increase in adjusted net earnings in that same period of time. As the business brings in more money, it is able to distribute that money to its investors.

Its dividend is extremely strong

Based on the current price, BCE gives its investors a 4.57% yield. That comes out to $2.60 per share per year. But it’s not just the current yield that should have investors excited. Historically, BCE has both paid on time and increased its yield as the business grew.

With a 8% increase in free cash flow, the company has the ability to increase its dividend. It hasn’t announced it, but if BCE continues to experience growth as it has in the previous quarters, I expect that the company will increase the dividend.

All this leads me to my belief that BCE is, without a doubt, an income investor’s best friend. It generates significant income for its investors based on the predictable cash flow it can generate. We may hate our cable companies, but when it comes to dividends, BCE shines bright.

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Fool contributor Jacob Donnelly has no position in any stocks mentioned.