10 Dividend Stocks Increasing Payouts

The S&P 500 Index rallied nearly 2% last week to reach a new all-time high and has now returned more than 10% following the U.S. Presidential election. Investors remain optimistic even as the Federal Reserve hinted at a potential interest rate increase as early as March. Many dividend stocks are optimistic as well.

10 Dividend Stocks Increasing Payouts – RY SRE LAMR WR MTB CM ETN XEL DHR ESS

Ten notable dividend stocks raised payouts over the past week, including three banks, two industrial manufacturers, three electric utilities, and a large real estate investment trust.

Here are ten dividend stocks increasing payouts:

Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) increased its quarterly dividend by 5%, raising its payment to CAD 87 cents per share from 83 cents. The financial services company will pay shareholders of record as of April 25 on May 24. The stock’s shares trade ex-dividend on April 21.
RY Dividend Yield: 3.41%

Lamar Advertising Company (NASDAQ:LAMR) rewarded shareholders with a 9% raise to its quarterly dividend, increasing it from 76 cents per share to 83 cents. Shareholders of record as of March 15 will receive their higher dividends on March 31 from the outdoor advertising company. LAMR shares will be ex-dividend on March 13.
LAMR Dividend Yield: 4.09%

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) announced a 9% raise to its quarterly dividend, increasing its payout from 75.5 cents per share to 82.25 cents. The gas and electric utility will send its higher dividends out on April 15 to shareholders of record as of March 23. SRE shares will trade ex-dividend on March 21.
SRE Dividend Yield: 2.77%

Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) raised its quarterly dividend from 38 cents per share to 40 cents, representing a 6% increase. The electric utility will pay out its higher dividends to shareholders of record as of March 9 on April 3. WR shares traded ex-dividend on March 7.
WR Dividend Yield: 2.97%

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) raised its quarterly dividend by 7%, increasing it from 70 cents per share to 75 cents. The bank holding company will pay its higher dividend to shareholders of record as of March 6 on March 31. MTB shares will trade ex-dividend on March 2.
MTB Dividend Yield: 1.78%

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (USA) (NYSE:CM) increased its quarterly dividend by 2% to CAD $1.27 per share from $1.24. Shareholders of record as of March 28 will receive dividends from the global provider of financial products and services on April 28. The company’s shares will go ex-dividend on March 24.
CM Dividend Yield: 4.29%

Eaton Corproation, PLC Ordinary Shares (NYSE:ETN) announced a 5% increase to its quarterly dividend, raising it from 57 cents per share to 60 cents. Dividends will be paid from the large industrial conglomerate on March 17 to shareholders of record as of March 6. ETN shares become ex-dividend on March 2.
ETN Dividend Yield: 3.33%

Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) moved its quarterly dividend higher by 12%, increasing it from 12.5 cents per share to 14 cents. The diversified industrial manufacturer will pay its higher dividend to shareholders of record as of March 31 on April 28. DHR shares traded ex-dividend on March 29.
DHR Dividend Yield: 0.65%

Xcel Energy Inc (NYSE:XEL) increased its quarterly dividend by 6%, raising its payment from 34 cents per share to 36 cents. Shareholders of record as of March 15 will receive dividends from the electric utility on April 20. XEL shares will be ex-dividend on March 13.
XEL Dividend Yield: 3.32%

Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) grew its quarterly dividend from $1.60 per share to $1.75, representing a raise of 9%. The residential real estate investment trust will pay out its higher dividends to shareholders of record as of March 31 on April 17. ESS shares are expected to trade ex-dividend on March 29.
ESS Dividend Yield: 3.02%

As of the time of this writing, Simply Safe Dividends did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th

J.C. Penney and Family Christian Stores are the latest retail giants to announce widespread store closings. As you will see below, J.C. Penney plans to close between 130 and 140 stores, and Family Christian is closing all of their 240 stores. In recent months the stock market has been absolutely soaring, and so most people have simply assumed that the “real economy” must be doing well. But that is not the case at all. In fact, the retail apocalypse that I have been documenting for quite some time appears to be gaining momentum.

J.C. Penney is not in as rough shape as Sears is just yet, but it is definitely on a similar trajectory. In the end, they are both headed for bankruptcy. That is why it wasn’t too much of a surprise when J.C. Penney announced that they are getting rid of about 6,000 workers and closing at least 130 stores

J.C. Penney (JCP) plans to close 130 to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 workers as the department-store industry sags in competition with online sellers and nimble niche retailers.

The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base.

Meanwhile, many observers were quite surprised when Family Christian Stores decided to fold up shop for good. They were known as the largest Christian retailer on the entire planet, but now after 85 years they are going out of business forever

Family Christian, which bills itself as the “world’s largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise,” announced Thursday it is closing after 85 years.

The non-profit company, employing more than 3,000 people in 240 stores in 36 states, said in a brief statement that the retailer had been facing declining sales since filing for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and had no choice but to shut down.

These two announcements are part of larger trend that we have been witnessing all over the country. As I have documented previously, Macy’s announced that it would be closing 100 stores earlier this year, and about the same time Sears said that it would be closing another 150 stores.

Back in 2010, Sears had a staggering 3,555 stores.

Before their recent announcement, Sears was down to 1,503 stores, and now this latest round of cuts will leave them with somewhere around 1,350.

Of course it won’t be too long before Sears has zero stores, and my regular readers know that I have been talking about the demise of Sears for a very long time.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that the “real economy” is a total mess, and that is one of the primary reasons why these ridiculous stock market valuations that we are seeing right now are not sustainable.

One expert that agrees with my assessment is former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman. In a recent interview, he explained why he believes that “everything will grind to a halt” after March 15th…

Stockman, who wrote a book titled “Trumped” predicting a Trump victory in 2016, says, “I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in the hot place that’s going to happen. This is delusional. This is the greatest suckers’ rally of all time. It is based on pure hopium and not any analysis at all as what it will take to push through a big tax cut. Donald Trump is in a trap. Today the debt is $20 trillion. It’s 106% of GDP. . . .Trump is inheriting a built-in deficit of $10 trillion over the next decade under current policies that are built in. Yet, he wants more defense spending, not less. He wants drastic sweeping tax cuts for corporations and individuals. He wants to spend more money on border security and law enforcement. He’s going to do more for the veterans. He wants this big trillion dollar infrastructure program. You put all that together and it’s madness. It doesn’t even begin to add up, and it won’t happen when you are struggling with the $10 trillion of debt that’s coming down the pike and the $20 trillion that’s already on the books.”

Then, Stockman drops this bomb and says:

“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash. We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises. Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

In that same interview, Stockman also predicted that “markets will easily correct by 20% and probably a lot more“, and he noted the glaring disconnect between current stock prices and how the U.S. economy is actually performing

“The S&P 500 has been trading at 26 times earnings while earnings have been dropping for the past six or seven quarters. There is no booming recovery coming. There is going to be a recession and there will be no stimulus baton to bail it out. That is the new fact that neither Trump nor the Wall Street gamblers remotely understand.”

It is very difficult to argue with Stockman on this.

There are some people out there that seem to think that Donald Trump can miraculously turn the U.S. economy around just because he is Donald Trump.

It doesn’t work that way.

We are 20 trillion dollars in debt, and we are currently adding about a trillion dollars a year to that total. There is no possible way that Trump can cut taxes, increase military spending, build a border wall, spend much more on veterans and spend an extra trillion dollars on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

We are flat broke as a nation and there simply is not money available to do everything that Donald Trump wants to do.

So we shall see what happens after March 15th.  Unfortunately, I happen to agree with Stockman that economic reality is about to come knocking and Trump and his supporters are about to get a very rude wake up call.


Investing According to Ideology Can Be Dangerous

Robert Murphy, an economics professor at Texas Tech University, has said that an understanding of economics is a necessary but insufficient condition for the successful investor. Jeff Deist, the president of the Mises Institute, agrees.

Mr. Deist, who is also Ron Paul’s former chief of staff, adds that investing according to one’s ideology can be dangerous.

In a recent Power & Market Report interview, Jeff offered his insider’s perspective on some recent political events and his general philosophy on investing (see interview transcript below).

He also extended an invitation to all of us, particularly those of us in the southern California area, to attend his upcoming Mises Institute event in San Diego on February 25th featuring Patrick Byrne, the founder of

I will be in attendance and would love to see you there.

Interview Highlights (edited for readability)

Albert: I think this interview is long overdue. How are you?

Jeff: I’m doing great. Thank you, Albert.

Albert: Just before we get started, I just want to tell you how much I’ve appreciated what the Mises Institute has done throughout the years, particularly more recently I’ve been a regular at the Houston Mises Circle and I understand you have an event coming up in San Diego, so just as we start off, could you tell us a little bit about that?

Jeff: Sure. We’re going to be in Southern California this coming weekend, next week on the 25th, Saturday, in the Point Loma area. So anybody who’s in Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego, I will put up a graphic later with our link to the event. But we’d love to see you. We got some great speakers. Albert is going to be one of our panelists, but we also have Patrick Byrne who’s the very libertarian CEO of, who’s really becoming a huge voice in the blockchain community. Not so much talking about bitcoin but talking about the practical applications and really world-changing potential applications of blockchain.

We’re going to have Nomi Prins as a speaker. She is also a Southern Californian and an absolutely fantastic writer and historian when it comes to the Fed and central banks generally. So she’s going to be a very interesting guest. We’re going to have Tom Woods who I’m sure some of your listeners and viewers are familiar with. Tom is a leading voice in libertarianism. So we’re looking forward to it and we’d love to see anybody in driving distance from Southern Cal attend.

Albert: And certainly appreciate you guys making the trip all the way over here to the west coast. I’m a big admirer of Patrick Byrne and he incidentally did a talk at the Mises Institute some time ago. You reposted it on your website, so if I remember, I’m going to make sure I link to that because it’s a fascinating talk that he gave about his own background. He is connected to Warren Buffett. They had a relationship—

Jeff: Yes.

Albert: For many years, he ran one of Mr. Buffett’s companies and I thought it was just a wonderful interview. So I’ll make sure I link to that. Jeff, I’ve heard you speak many times, but I rarely hear you talk about yourself, your own career and that’s of interest to me actually because Economics in general compared to other sciences—this is my opinion, but it’s sort of an intellectual desert. The Austrian School is this oasis in the middle of that desert. I’m not kidding. I come from the sciences and, you know, most sciences they don’t go about business that way. You can’t talk about alien space invasions and be taken seriously, let alone given Nobel prizes. So, how did you convert to Austrianism or discover the School of Austrian Economics.

Jeff: Well, really, I discovered it through a friend of mine who was attending UNLV getting a graduate degree in Economics and he chose UNLV because Murray Rothbard was teaching there at the time. So he specifically went out of his way to find an Austrian-friendly professor. I was sort of a garden variety libertarian at the time, but I didn’t really have much of a background or grounding in Econ which I think you have to have to make effective arguments for liberty and against the state. I think it’s really important that economics is in your arsenal and I’m a layperson. I’m an attorney, but I think we all have an obligation to know something about economics and be able to discuss it competently.

So, driving up to UNLV from San Diego at the time—this was in the 1990s—I went into my friend’s classroom and here is this kind of short guy with a bowtie speaking rather quickly, and I said, “Oh my God, who is this guy?” And I started to learn about Murray Rothbard and from there, obviously I began to read Mises and Hazlitt and Hayek and some others. But prior to that, I mean if you think back to the dark, dark ages before the internet existed, for libertarians, there was no one out there in terms of what was available in Austrian literature. If you went to your local physical brick-and-mortar bookstore, they might have someJohn Kenneth Galbraith. They might have Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose, stuff like that, but Mises and Rothbard and Hayek, you know, this literature wasn’t widely available.

So, the digital revolution has been such a leveler. I mean it’s just absolutely incredible to think about what digital technology allows us to achieve. You know, what was unread literature, unheard of literature is now available anywhere in the world with a few clicks for free generally in a PDF or HTML format. So, compared to the 1990s when I met Murray Rothbard, we’re in great shape.

Albert: It seems like it. And, boy, I’m so envious. Jeff, it’s very rare that I ask that question and the answer is, well, Murray Rothbard, not the books but the person. What a great story and I can see how you would have been swept away by some of these ideas.

You write at and following the Superbowl, you had an article titled Human Action Beats Stats in the Superbowl. I enjoyed that thoroughly. Can you tell the viewers what you’re getting at there in that piece?

Jeff: Well, what’s inflamed economics in the past few decades is “mathiness.” We’ve started to treat economics like a physical science. We’ve started to treat it as a predictive mathematical exercise and modeling much like we view statistics and probability where they’re a subset of math. And, of course, math and physics are physical disciplines. Economics is a social science. I think we forget that. And because we forget that, we tend to view economic principles or economic theories as hypotheses that we should go out and test. “Well, if we raise the minimum wage, will unemployment increase or decrease? Hmm, I don’t know. Let’s go test that.” Hypothetically. Or I should say empirically, excuse me. But we can know—without testing, we can know a priority that all other things being equal, if you raise the price of something, the demand for it will fall. That includes wages.

So as a result of this mathiness that has infected economics, I think the profession has gotten very far afield and I think it’s a failing profession. I think both in terms of professional economists in the business world and academic economists at universities, I think econ is failing us. It’s failing to describe the world as it is and it’s failing to produce a benefit for society. As a matter of fact, I think it’s harming society. I think the post-Keynesian demand-side stimulus world we live in has created huge amounts of harm, and I think we saw that in the crash of 2008. I think we’re going to see it in a nastier series of events and shocks in the coming year. So, economics is not math and the attempt to make it math I think has done more harm than good. So the article is just a whimsical attempt to point that out.

Albert: And the parallel you drew was, of course, Superbowl where we have this historic comeback by the New England Patriots. If you just looked at statistical probabilities in the third quarter, what did you say? I think the chances that they gave the Patriots winning were less than half a percent or something miniscule. Anyway, but having followed that team myself for over 20 years and more recently over the last 15 years with the new regime, the Belichick regime. I knew something about that team that probably was not captured in the numbers and that is that they just would not quit. I just knew that and there’s a human element that the numbers don’t capture and when you sort of translate that to economics and markets, it’s really funny you have a group of Fed governors who expect people, actors in the market, to conform to their models and, therefore, be predictable and while at the same time, they don’t even know what they’re going to do with interest rates 3 months from now. They themselves admit that they’re looking at data and they don’t know and they put up this meaningless dot plots. They’re examples of human action, yet they don’t even realize it. I find it totally absurd.

Jeff: Well—but we should take heart in our understanding knowledge. Economics is really a subset of a greater field of human action because when we talk about the economy or the global economy, what we’re really talking about is 7 billion people, individuals all who get up every day and for the most part, except for the deeply irrational or mentally ill, almost all those 7 billion people try to better or advance their material lives every day. So, no matter what governments and central banks do to thwart this, there’s a natural human desire to get a little bit better off each and every day and so that’s an awfully tough thing to suppress. So, that’s something that should give us optimism or long-term hope for the world economy, is that—you know, if we look back in history, even horrific wars and horrific collectivist actions by totalitarian governments have never really been able to suppress the market. It always grows up through the cracks. So while we—as libertarians, we tend to fret about government. We tend to think about it maybe too much and let it dominate our thinking. We should sometimes take a, you know, more high-level view and say, “Look, all these billions of people are not just going to stop what they’re doing. They’re going to keep doing it and we should be hopeful.”

Albert: You make just a very important point and that is the focus or the obsession that many libertarians have on government as coming from the investment side. My impression has been that many libertarians focus in their investments on institutions, avoiding institutions, fear and take almost a deer in the headlights approach to investing because they’re so concerned about these problems we see which are all real. But, at times they just end up shooting themselves in the foot. What do you see—do you have any thoughts on investing given your background in Austrian economics? What approach do you take? I know you don’t have an official recommendation or you’re not in the business of giving advice, but what are your thoughts on investing in general?

Jeff: Well, I think investing according to one’s ideology can be pretty dangerous. You know, I remember Bob Murphy told me one time that his thought was that—and I’m sure a lot of your viewers are familiar with Robert Murphy, the economist at Texas Tech. He said understanding economics is necessary to be a good investor, but it’s not sufficient. In other words, you still need to go out and do homework and research on lots of different things. You know, I think that people should look at people who are more successful than them financially and emulate them. I mean that seems to me the simplest approach. I would never invest or spend money on anything I don’t understand, and since I only understand a few little things, that’s why I’m investing.

But if you look at Warren Buffett whom you mentioned earlier, he talks like a Keynesian but he acts like an Austrian. The companies Berkshire Hathaway tends to invest in are not—for the most part, not sexy, not glamorous, not high-tech and they tend to have physical features to them, actual property and plants and equipment, actual manufacturing. So, you know, Warren Buffett is not out there investing in He’s out there investing in tangible stuff.

And for me, anyway, as a fan of Jim Rogers, with my limited amount of time and my limited ability, I can understand commodities and physical stuff in a way I can’t really understand market sectors or industries or even companies and their particular management. So, I personally like to read about and think about stuff and so that’s sort of my focus as an investor.

Albert: Great answer, Jeff. And I agree 100% on your observations of Mr. Buffett—speaks like a Keynesian, big government person, but if you look at the way, at least to the extent that we have vision into his business and his life, he definitely is. However, the fact that he is not a tech buff I think really owes more to his age, I think.

Jeff: Right.

Albert: But, he focuses on individuals. If you look at the way he runs his group of companies, he really focuses on people because he knows that—like you said before, humans are going to keep doing what they’ve been doing and the right management team if you let them go, they’re going to adapt to the environment and produce positive outcomes. I totally agree with that.

So, as we close, I just want to remind people, go to It’s going to be Saturday, February 25th, is the Mises Circle in San Diego. Really looking forward to that. I’m going to be there, so please come out. Meet Jeff. Meet Tom Woods. Meet Patrick Byrne. It’s going to be a wonderful time. Thank you very much, Jeff, for joining me today. I hope we can do it again soon.

Jeff: Sure, thank you.