Who Are the Dividend Aristocrats in 2021?
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Who are the Dividend Aristocrats in 2021?

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The Dividend Aristocrats in 2021

Legendary investor George Soros once said, “Good investing should be boring”. But an increase in volatile themes today suggests this maxim has gone ignored by at least some market participants.

From a high level, we can view investments on a spectrum. Volatile assets like cryptocurrencies and SPACs are more on the exciting side of things. The boring side is likely where Dividend Aristocrat stocks lie.

The data above, from Sure Dividend, looks at all 65 Dividend Aristocrats, ranking them by their yield, sector, and years of growth.

What are Dividend Aristocrats?

The U.S. Dividend Aristocrats are a basket of 65 stocks in the S&P 500 index. These companies have been growing their dividend per share consecutively, for a minimum of 25 years.

This is easier said than done, since companies often distribute dividends quarterly. To pay and grow a dividend in the long run implies a business model that can withstand varying economic environments, including setbacks like market crashes.

Though dividend stocks may not carry the same excitement as other investments, studies show that dividends represent over 50% of total S&P 500 market returns.

CompanyDividend YieldYears Dividend GrownSector
AT&T, Inc.6.9%36Communication Services
Exxon Mobil Corp.6.1%38Energy
Chevron Corp.5.1%33Energy
International Business Machines Corp.4.9%25Technology
Abbvie Inc4.8%49Healthcare
Realty Income Corp.4.2%26Real Estate
People`s United Financial Inc4.1%28Financial Services
Federal Realty Investment Trust4.0%53Real Estate
Consolidated Edison, Inc.4.0%47Utilities
Amcor Plc3.9%36Consumer Cyclical
Franklin Resources, Inc.3.7%41Financial Services
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc3.5%45Healthcare
Leggett & Platt, Inc.3.3%47Consumer Cyclical
Kimberly-Clark Corp.3.3%49Consumer Defensive
Cardinal Health, Inc.3.2%33Healthcare
Coca-Cola Co3.1%58Consumer Defensive
PepsiCo Inc3.0%49Consumer Defensive
3M Co.3.0%62Industrials
Essex Property Trust, Inc.2.9%26Real Estate
Genuine Parts Co.2.7%65Consumer Cyclical
General Dynamics Corp.2.6%28Industrials
Procter & Gamble Co.2.5%64Consumer Defensive
Johnson & Johnson2.5%58Healthcare
Archer Daniels Midland Co.2.5%46Consumer Defensive
Aflac Inc.2.5%39Financial Services
Atmos Energy Corp.2.5%37Utilities
Cincinnati Financial Corp.2.4%60Financial Services
Clorox Co.2.3%43Consumer Defensive
VF Corp.2.3%48Consumer Cyclical
Sysco Corp.2.2%51Consumer Defensive
Colgate-Palmolive Co.2.2%57Consumer Defensive
McDonald`s Corp2.2%45Consumer Cyclical
Emerson Electric Co.2.2%64Industrials
Hormel Foods Corp.2.1%55Consumer Defensive
Air Products & Chemicals Inc.2.1%39Basic Materials
Nucor Corp.2.0%47Basic Materials
Illinois Tool Works, Inc.2.0%46Industrials
T. Rowe Price Group Inc.2.0%34Financial Services
Chubb Limited2.0%27Financial Services
Automatic Data Processing Inc.1.9%46Industrials
NextEra Energy Inc1.9%25Utilities
Medtronic Plc1.8%43Healthcare
Caterpillar Inc.1.8%26Industrials
Walmart Inc1.6%48Consumer Defensive
McCormick & Co., Inc.1.5%34Consumer Defensive
A.O. Smith Corp.1.5%27Industrials
W.W. Grainger Inc.1.5%49Industrials
Linde Plc1.5%28Basic Materials
Abbott Laboratories1.4%49Healthcare
Dover Corp.1.4%65Industrials
Stanley Black & Decker Inc1.4%53Industrials
Target Corp1.3%53Consumer Defensive
PPG Industries, Inc.1.3%49Basic Materials
Becton, Dickinson And Co.1.3%49Healthcare
Pentair plc1.3%44Industrials
Lowe`s Cos., Inc.1.2%57Consumer Cyclical
Albemarle Corp.1.0%26Basic Materials
Brown-Forman Corp.1.0%31Consumer Defensive
Expeditors International Of Washington, Inc.1.0%26Industrials
Ecolab, Inc.0.9%35Basic Materials
Cintas Corporation0.9%38Industrials
Sherwin-Williams Co.0.8%42Basic Materials
S&P Global Inc0.8%48Financial Services
Roper Technologies Inc0.5%28Industrials
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.0.2%27Healthcare

Numerous companies on this list have brand value that stretches all over the globe—including the likes of McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Walmart.

Vast global recognition and branding power is in part why these companies can generate cash flows to pay dividends for decades on end. For instance, 94% of the world population recognizes Coca-Cola’s logo.

Zooming In

Divident Aristocrats Sector Analysis Supplemental 2

The 65 Dividend Aristocrat stocks break down into 11 sectors. Across sectors, Industrials is the most crowded, consisting of 14 companies, with an average yield of 1.6% and a dividend growth duration of 43 years. Popular stocks in this sector include 3M and Caterpillar.

Next is the Consumer Defensive sector, containing 13 companies like Clorox, Target, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble. The average yield is 2.2%, with an average growing duration of 49 years.

The highest yield by sector belongs to Energy, at 5.5%, but is only made up of only Chevron and Exxon Mobil. Their dividend track record may falter in the years to come, due to transitions away from the oil business. Just last year, Big Oil firms reported record net income losses, and Exxon was booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

The Consumer Cyclical sector has been increasing their dividend for an average of 50 years, the longest of any sector. Lowe’s and McDonald’s are involved in this category.

Businesses for Today and Tomorrow

Although the Dividend Aristocrats list is published every year, the companies on the list are a stable bunch, meaning changes are fairly infrequent.

In a market climate in part shaped by low rates and compressed yields in the fixed income space, Dividend Aristocrats might be a particularly attractive alternative for investors with a longer-term outlook.

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Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World

Which countries are the most (and least) corrupt? This map shows corruption around the world, and the movers and shakers over the last decade.

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Mapped Corruption in Countries Around the World Share

Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World

How bad is public sector corruption around the world, and how do different countries compare?

No matter your system of government, the public sector plays a vital role in establishing your economic mobility and political freedoms. Measuring corruption—the abuse of power for private gain—reveals how equal a system truly is.

For more than a decade, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International has been the world’s most widely-used metric for scoring corruption. This infographic uses the 2021 CPI to visualize corruption in countries around the world, and the biggest 10-year changes.

Which Countries are Most (and Least) Corrupt?

How do you measure corruption, which includes behind-the-scenes deals, nepotism, corrupt prosecution, and bribery?

Over the last few decades, the CPI has found success doing so indirectly through perceptions.
By aggregating multiple analyses from country and business experts, the index assigns each country a score on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Here are the results of the 2021 CPI, with the least corrupt countries at the top:

Corruption Perception by CountryScore (2021)
Denmark88
Finland88
New Zealand88
Norway85
Singapore85
Sweden85
Switzerland84
Netherlands82
Luxembourg81
Germany80
UK78
Hong Kong76
Austria74
Canada74
Estonia74
Iceland74
Ireland74
Australia73
Belgium73
Japan73
Uruguay73
France71
Seychelles70
UAE69
Bhutan68
Taiwan68
Chile67
U.S.67
Barbados65
Bahamas64
Qatar63
Portugal62
South Korea62
Lithuania61
Spain61
Israel59
Latvia59
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines59
Cabo Verde58
Costa Rica58
Slovenia57
Italy56
Poland56
Saint Lucia56
Botswana55
Dominica55
Fiji55
Georgia55
Czechia54
Malta54
Mauritius54
Cyprus53
Grenada53
Rwanda53
Saudi Arabia53
Oman52
Slovakia52
Armenia49
Greece49
Jordan49
Namibia49
Malaysia48
Croatia47
Cuba46
Montenegro46
China45
Romania45
Sao Tome and Principe45
Vanuatu45
Jamaica44
South Africa44
Tunisia44
Ghana43
Hungary43
Kuwait43
Senegal43
Solomon Islands43
Bahrain42
Benin42
Bulgaria42
Burkina Faso42
Belarus41
Timor-Leste41
Trinidad and Tobago41
India40
Maldives40
Colombia39
Ethiopia39
Guyana39
Kosovo39
Morocco39
North Macedonia39
Suriname39
Tanzania39
Vietnam39
Argentina38
Brazil38
Indonesia38
Lesotho38
Serbia38
Turkey38
Gambia37
Kazakhstan37
Sri Lanka37
Cote d'Ivoire36
Ecuador36
Moldova36
Panama36
Peru36
Albania35
Bosnia and Herzegovina35
Malawi35
Mongolia35
Thailand35
El Salvador34
Sierra Leone34
Algeria33
Egypt33
Nepal33
Philippines33
Zambia33
Eswatini32
Ukraine32
Gabon31
Mexico31
Niger31
Papua New Guinea31
Azerbaijan30
Bolivia30
Djibouti30
Dominican Republic30
Kenya30
Laos30
Paraguay30
Togo30
Angola29
Liberia29
Mali29
Russia29
Mauritania28
Myanmar28
Pakistan28
Uzbekistan28
Cameroon27
Kyrgyzstan27
Uganda27
Bangladesh26
Madagascar26
Mozambique26
Guatemala25
Guinea25
Iran25
Tajikistan25
Central African Republic24
Lebanon24
Nigeria24
Cambodia23
Honduras23
Iraq23
Zimbabwe23
Eritrea22
Congo21
Guinea-Bissau21
Chad20
Comoros20
Haiti20
Nicaragua20
Sudan20
Burundi19
Democratic Republic of the Congo19
Turkmenistan19
Equatorial Guinea17
Libya17
Afghanistan16
North Korea16
Yemen16
Venezuela14
Somalia13
Syria13
South Sudan11

Ranking at the top of the index with scores of 88 are Nordic countries Denmark and Finland, as well as New Zealand.

They’ve consistently topped the CPI over the last decade, and Europe in general had 14 of the top 20 least corrupt countries. Asia also had many notable entrants, including Singapore (tied for #4), Hong Kong (#12), and Japan (tied for #18).

Comparatively, the Americas only had two countries score in the top 20 least corrupt: Canada (tied for #13) and Uruguay (tied for #18). With a score of 67, the U.S. scored at #28 just behind Bhutan, the UAE, and France.

Scoring towards the bottom of the index were many countries currently and historically going through conflict, primarily located in the Middle East and Africa. They include Afghanistan, Venezuela, Somalia, and South Sudan. The latter country finishes at the very bottom of the list, with a score of just 11.

How Corruption in Countries Has Changed (2012–2021)

Corruption is a constant and moving global problem, so it’s also important to measure which countries have had their images improved (or worsened).

By using CPI scores dating back to 2012, we can examine how country scores have changed over the last decade:

Change in Corruption by Country10-Year Trend (2012-2021)
Seychelles+18
Armenia+15
Italy+14
Greece+13
Myanmar+13
Guyana+11
Uzbekistan+11
Estonia+10
Latvia+10
Belarus+10
Saudi Arabia+9
Kazakhstan+9
Laos+9
Timor-Leste+8
Vietnam+8
Afghanistan+8
North Korea+8
Taiwan+7
Lithuania+7
Senegal+7
Cote d'Ivoire+7
Angola+7
Sudan+7
South Korea+6
Slovakia+6
China+6
Jamaica+6
Benin+6
Ethiopia+6
Indonesia+6
Nepal+6
Ukraine+6
Papua New Guinea+6
Austria+5
Ireland+5
Bhutan+5
Czechia+5
Oman+5
Montenegro+5
Kosovo+5
Paraguay+5
Iraq+5
Somalia+5
United Kingdom+4
Costa Rica+4
Burkina Faso+4
India+4
Tanzania+4
Ecuador+4
Georgia+3
Sao Tome and Principe+3
Tunisia+3
Colombia+3
Argentina+3
Gambia+3
Sierra Leone+3
Azerbaijan+3
Kenya+3
Kyrgyzstan+3
Tajikistan+3
Zimbabwe+3
Trinidad and Tobago+2
Morocco+2
Suriname+2
Albania+2
Turkmenistan+2
Luxembourg+1
Germany+1
Uruguay+1
United Arab Emirates+1
Jordan+1
Namibia+1
Croatia+1
Romania+1
South Africa+1
Bulgaria+1
Egypt+1
Russia+1
Pakistan+1
Cameroon+1
Guinea+1
Cambodia+1
Haiti+1
Chad+1
Norway0
France0
Rwanda0
Moldova0
Togo0
Bangladesh0
Burundi0
Hong Kong-1
Japan-1
Portugal-1
Israel-1
Malaysia-1
Kuwait-1
Serbia-1
Mongolia-1
Algeria-1
Philippines-1
Denmark-2
Finland-2
New Zealand-2
Singapore-2
Switzerland-2
Netherlands-2
Belgium-2
Cabo Verde-2
Poland-2
Cuba-2
Ghana-2
Panama-2
Peru-2
Malawi-2
Thailand-2
Niger-2
Dominican Republic-2
Uganda-2
Central African Republic-2
Democratic Republic of the Congo-2
Sweden-3
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines-3
Dominica-3
Malta-3
Mauritius-3
Sri Lanka-3
Mexico-3
Mauritania-3
Iran-3
Nigeria-3
Eritrea-3
Equatorial Guinea-3
Spain-4
Slovenia-4
North Macedonia-4
El Salvador-4
Zambia-4
Gabon-4
Bolivia-4
Guinea-Bissau-4
Libya-4
Chile-5
Qatar-5
Brazil-5
Eswatini-5
Mali-5
Mozambique-5
Honduras-5
Congo-5
Venezuela-5
United States of America-6
Djibouti-6
Madagascar-6
Lebanon-6
Bahamas-7
Lesotho-7
Bosnia and Herzegovina-7
Yemen-7
Iceland-8
Guatemala-8
Comoros-8
Bahrain-9
Nicaragua-9
Canada-10
Botswana-10
Barbados-11
Turkey-11
Australia-12
Hungary-12
Liberia-12
Cyprus-13
Syria-13
Saint Lucia-15
FijiN/A
GrenadaN/A
VanuatuN/A
Solomon IslandsN/A
MaldivesN/A
South SudanN/A

The biggest climber with +18 was Seychelles, Africa’s smallest country and also its least corrupt with a score of 70. Other notable improvements include neighboring countries Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus, with Estonia rising into the top 15 least corrupt countries.

On the opposite side, both Australia (-12) and Canada (-10) have actually fallen out of the top 10 least corrupt countries over the last decade. They’re joined by decreases in Hungary (-12) and Syria (-13), which is now ranked as the world’s second-most corrupt country.

Which countries will rise and fall in corruption perceptions over the next 10 years, and how do your perceptions compare with this list?

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How the Top Cryptocurrencies Performed in 2021

Cryptocurrencies had a breakout year in 2021, providing plenty of volatility and strong returns across crypto’s various sectors.

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crypto prices 2021

The Returns of Top Cryptocurrencies in 2021

2021 saw the crypto markets boom and mature, with different sectors flourishing and largely outperforming the market leader, bitcoin.

While bitcoin only managed to return 59.8% last year, the crypto sector’s total market cap grew by 187.5%, with many of the top coins offering four and even five-digit percentage returns.

2021 Crypto Market Roundup

Last year wasn’t just a breakout year for crypto in terms of returns, but also the growing infrastructure’s maturity and resulting decorrelation of individual crypto industries and coins.

Crypto’s infrastructure has developed significantly, and there are now many more onramps for people to buy altcoins that don’t require purchasing and using bitcoin in the process. As a result, many cryptocurrency prices were more dictated by the value and functionality of their protocol and applications rather than their correlation to bitcoin.

CryptocurrencyCategory2021 Returns
BitcoinCryptocurrency59.8%
EthereumSmart Contract Platform399.2%
Binance CoinExchange Token1,268.9%
SolanaSmart Contract Platform11,177.8%
CardanoSmart Contract Platform621.3%
XRPCryptocurrency277.8%
TerraSmart Contract Platform12,967.3%
AvalancheSmart Contract Platform3,334.8%
PolkadotSmart Contract Platform187.9%
DogecoinMeme Coin3,546.0%

Sources: TradingView, Binance, Uniswap, FTX, Bittrex

Bitcoin wasn’t the only cryptocurrency that didn’t manage to reach triple-digit returns in 2021. Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash also provided meagre double-digit percentage returns, as payment-focused cryptocurrencies were largely ignored for projects with smart contract capabilities.

Other older projects like Stellar Lumens (109%) and XRP (278%) provided triple-digit returns, with Cardano (621%) being the best performer of the old guard despite not managing to ship its smart contract functionality last year.

The Rise of the Ethereum Competitors

Ethereum greatly outpaced bitcoin in 2021, returning 399.2% as the popularity boom of NFTs and creation of DeFi 2.0 protocols like Olympus (OHM) expanded possible use-cases.

But with the rise of network activity, a 50% increase in transfers in 2021, Ethereum gas fees surged. From minimums of $20 for a single transaction, to NFT mint prices starting around $40 and going into the hundreds on congested network days, crypto’s retail crowd migrated to other smart contract platforms with lower fees.

Alternative budding smart contract platforms like Solana (11,178%), Avalanche (3,335%), and Fantom (13,207%) all had 4-5 digit percentage returns, as these protocols built out their own decentralized finance ecosystems and NFT markets.

With Ethereum set to merge onto the beacon chain this year, which uses proof of stake instead of proof of work, we’ll see if 2022 brings lower gas fees and retail’s return to Ethereum if the merge is successful.

Dog Coins Meme their Way to the Top

While many new cryptocurrencies with strong functionality and unique use-cases were rewarded with strong returns, it was memes that powered the greatest returns in cryptocurrencies this past year.

Dogecoin’s surge after Elon Musk’s “adoption” saw many other dog coins follow, with SHIB benefitting the most and returning an astounding 19.85 million percent.

But ever since Dogecoin’s run from $0.07 to a high of $0.74 in Q2 of last year, the original meme coin’s price has slowly bled -77% down to $0.17 at the time of writing. After the roller coaster ride of last year, 2022 started with a positive catalyst for Dogecoin holders as Elon Musk announced DOGE can be used to purchase Tesla merchandise.

Gamifying the Crypto Industry

The intersection between crypto, games, and the metaverse became more than just a pipe dream in 2021. Axie Infinity was the first crypto native game to successfully establish a play to earn structure that combines its native token (AXS) and in-game NFTs, becoming a sensation and source of income for many in the Philippines.

Other crypto gaming projects like Defi Kingdoms are putting recognizable game interfaces on decentralized finance applications, with the decentralized exchange becoming the town’s “marketplace” and yield farms being the “gardens” where yield is harvested. This fantasy aesthetic is more than just a new coat of paint, as the project with $1.04B of total value locked is developing an underlying play-to-earn game.

Along with gamification, 2021 saw crypto native and non-crypto developers put a big emphasis on the digital worlds or metaverses users will inhabit. Facebook’s name change to Meta resulted in the two prominent metaverse projects The Sandbox (SAND) and Decentraland (MANA) surge another few hundred percent to finish off the year at 16,261% and 4,104% returns respectively.

With so many eyes on the crypto sector after the 2021’s breakout year, we’ll see how developing U.S. regulation and changing macro conditions affect cryptocurrencies in 2022.

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