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3 blue-chip stocks paying BIG dividends

We’re already half way into May and there is no “sell in May…” – style sell-off. The S&P ASX 100 Index (ASX: ^XTO) is slightly down from a recent 52-week high, but is making its way back up. Rather than being anxious about where the index will go, investors should be focusing on their total returns.

That means finding quality stocks paying great dividends. Some people think only about share price gains, which are very important – I love them, too. However, big dividend stocks can give your portfolio a solid return that pays steadily, especially when stocks are volatile.

Blue-chip stocks can give you a kicker for good dividend income. Their dividends are more stable and predictable. Also, they are well-established businesses that regularly grow earnings. The dividends are usually higher than smaller companies and they increase as earnings expand.

Getting good stocks with fantastic dividends can be a great part of your financial future and retirement. Here are three blue-chips paying big dividends now and they could help later years be more comfortable.

— Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG)

This is the market leader for general insurance amongst ASX-listed companies. You probably know its brands such as NRMA Insurance, CGU and SGIO. At about $5.80 a share, it offers a 6.1% dividend yield.

It will be buying the insurance businesses of Wesfarmers Limited (ASX: WES), which will give its insurance market share a boost, as well as to potential earnings growth.

— Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

This investment banker has risen in share price from about $45, to its current $59.18 in the last twelve months. There should still more upside to that as the financial markets grow, but right now it has an attractive 4.7% dividend yield.

In FY2014, its full year ordinary dividend was up 30% on the previous corresponding period, so shareholders enjoyed higher total returns.

— Coca Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX: CCL)

The beverage distributor of the world’s most famous soft drink in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, PNG and Fiji, has a 5.3% dividend yield. Its share price has fallen from about $13 to $9.48 in the last year. FY2013 full year results had a decline in Australian sales, due to price competition and difficult trading conditions.

The new managing director, Alison Watkins, will be overseeing a restructure of its Australian beverage operations to drive revenue growth. For investors, this could be a chance to have a position in the company, as it improves earnings in the short-term while getting a solid dividend yield now.

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Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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