3 Dividend Aristocrats Yielding Over 4%

Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B)(NYSE:SJR), CI Financial Corp. (TSX:CIX), and Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA) have yields over 4% and track records of increasing their rates. Which should you buy today?

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Whether you just opened your first brokerage account or have been investing for decades, you must own at least one dividend-paying stock, because they far outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks with yields over 4% and extensive track records of increasing their rates, so you can determine which would fit best in your portfolio.

1. Shaw Communications Inc.

Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B)(NYSE:SJR) is one of the largest communication and media companies in Canada, serving approximately 3.2 million customers. It pays a monthly dividend of $0.09875, or $1.185 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.95% yield at today’s levels.

It is also very important for investors to make two notes. First, Shaw has raised its annual dividend payment for 12 consecutive years, and its 7.7% increase in March puts it on pace for 2016 to mark the 13th consecutive year with an increase. Second, the company traditionally increases its dividend in January each year, effective for its March payment, and its ample free cash flow generation, including $653 million in fiscal 2015, could allow it to continue this tradition in 2016.

2. CI Financial Corp.

CI Financial Corp. (TSX:CIX) is the third-largest investment fund company in Canada with approximately $108.3 billion in assets under management. It pays a monthly dividend of $0.11 per share, or $1.32 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.2% yield at today’s levels.

Investors must also make two important notes. First, CI Financial has raised its annual dividend payment for six consecutive years, and its 4.8% increase in June puts it on pace for 2016 to mark the seventh consecutive year with an increase. Second, the company’s increased amount of free cash flow, including 11.2% year-over-year growth to $454.9 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2015, could allow for another increase in 2016.

3. Emera Inc.

Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA) is one of the largest electric utilities companies in North America. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.475 per share, or $1.90 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.35% yield at today’s levels.

Investors must also make two very important notes. First, Emera has raised its annual dividend payment for nine consecutive years, and its recent increases, including a 3.2% increase in February and an 18.8% increase in August, puts it on pace for 2016 to mark the 10th consecutive year with an increase. Second, the company has a dividend-growth program in place to raise it by another 8% annually through 2019.

Does one of these high yielders belong in your portfolio?

Shaw Communications, CI Financial, and Emera are three of the most attractive dividend-growth plays in their respective industries. All Foolish investors should strongly consider initiating positions in at least one of them today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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