Although this has not been so true in recent years, historically much of the attraction and profits from stock investments has come from their dividends. A growth plus income strategy of getting rich slowly may be more practical, in the long run, than emphasizing only one at the expense of the other. Appreciation of principal, or growth, helps assure that one's assets stay ahead of inflation and may eventually provide for a comfortable retirement. But dividends, or income, as a share of company profits provided directly to investors, rather than plowed back into business ventures, can help smooth out the dramatic ups and downs of the stock prices and, sometimes, provide extra value during bear markets.
After the recent losses in equities, since March, 2000, several real bargains are now out there, many sporting hefty dividends. Here are five that seem overall to offer lower risk and greater growth potential than the stock market as a whole, while their dividends compare favorably with recent bond and money market yields.