In the investment community, the Standard and Poors 500 Index (S&P 500) is the most common benchmark representing the stock market as a whole. This is why S&P 500 Index funds are a favorite among passive ETF investors

IN PICTURES: dividend yield (under 2%). Therefore, if you are an income investor who is counting on a reliable stream of dividend payments, the S&P 500's low yield might not be a good core holding for you.

However, if you sift through the index's 500 component stocks, you will notice that a number of them are high-yielding, consistent dividend payers. Furthermore, for the more risk-averse, there also a number of blue chips in the index with solid dividend yields.

In the investment community, the Standard and Poors 500 Index (S&P 500) is the most common benchmark representing the stock market as a whole. This is why S&P 500 Index funds are a favorite among passive ETF investors

IN PICTURES: dividend yield (under 2%). Therefore, if you are an income investor who is counting on a reliable stream of dividend payments, the S&P 500's low yield might not be a good core holding for you.

However, if you sift through the index's 500 component stocks, you will notice that a number of them are high-yielding, consistent dividend payers. Furthermore, for the more risk-averse, there also a number of blue chips in the index with solid dividend yields.

For all of you dividend fiends out there, we combed through the S&P 500 to find the top 10 highest yielding stocks:





CompanyCurrent Dividend YieldMarket Cap (Billions)
Frontier Communications Corporation (NYSE:FTR)12.10%5.58B
Windstream Corporation(NYSE:WIN)8.20%6.02B
CenturyLink, Inc.(NYSE:CTL)8.40%21.58B
Altria Group Inc.(NYSE:MO)6.00%55.97B
AT&T, Inc (NYSE:T)5.90%171.85B
Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI)5.50%22.18B


The Bottom Line
Dividends matter. After all, a dividend check can help investors sleep easily because it shows that the company has a stable capacity to make money. Best of all, the cash in your hand is proof that the earnings are really there, and you can reinvest or spend them as you see fit. (To learn more about how dividends can boost your portfolio, see How Dividends Work For Investors.)

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Tickers in this Article: FTR, WIN, CTL, MO, T, RAI

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