Many reputable financial institutions and experts, such as Business Insider, Dividend Growth Investor and TheStreet, provide lists of the best dividend stocks of the year. The Wall Street Journal provides further resources on its website, separating the highest-dividend-yielding stocks into business type.
The best high-yield dividend stocks vary depending on an individual's age and circumstance, Kiplinger points out in its online article about dividend stocks for retirement planning. Traits used in determining the Dividend Growth Investor's list include consistent, regular increases in dividends over at least 10 years, yields above 2.5 percent and growth rates above 5 percent, among other considerations. Emphasis must be placed on long-term dividend stability and growth and not just raw earnings power, asserts TheStreet, which also emphasizes the need for investors to review the company's dividend history and present cash flow.