What stocks pay the highest dividends? [Quora Answer re-post]

UPDATED: 04/29/2016 See my post on how I pick dividend stocks using tools like Yahoo Screener.

I usually put dividend stocks into three buckets — high, medium and low yields. If you are playing the long-term game, go with 1–4% low yield stocks like ATT, Verizon, Apple, MSFT, INTC, KO, etc These companies will almost never skip dividend and their stock is typically quite stable.

If you want high-yield (20–50%), those stocks will likely be highly volatile and their dividend is typically not guaranteed. See the list of stocks in John Hwang’s answer from Yahoo Stock Screener.

Next up, medium yield stock (5–15%), are the right balance between these two. Some good ones in S&P right now are — NAVI, SE, CTL, OKE, STX, WMB, IRM, ESV, HCP, FTR.

Finally, why not apply the diversification rule here too and build a good mix based on your risk appetite. For instance, young and feeling adventurous? Go with a 75% high-yield, 20% medium, 5% low dividend yield stocks. As you grow older, increase your low and medium-yield stocks and decrease high-yield.