Buy these 4 ASX dividend shares before you buy the banks

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) surprised the market this morning when it announced it would cut its dividend by 7%.

It was expected the bank would look to reduce its payout to shareholders when it reported in September, but instead the bank said it would “gradually consolidate (its) dividend payout ratio within its historic range of 60-65% of annual cash profit.”

Investors have, for a long time, relied on the country’s biggest banks for a reliable income stream. It’s paid off as well, with many investors generating huge returns over the last few years (and even decades) as a result.

But now, there are signs that suggest the banks’ record-breaking run could finally be coming to an end. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) kept its dividend unchanged in February, as did Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) earlier this week.

While it is arguable that the banks are no longer the best source of dividends (as well as dividend growth), the good news is that there are still plenty of other great dividend-paying businesses on the ASX.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) is one business to consider. Telstra is often considered to be Australia’s best telecommunications provider; it generates strong cash flows from operations and offers a 5.6% fully franked dividend yield; while it has also recently announced it will return an additional $1.5 billion to shareholders.

You could also consider businesses such as Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), which are two of Australia’s most established businesses. Both pay a reliable dividend and have the potential to generate market-beating returns from their current prices.

I also like Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG), the master franchisor behind brands such as Gloria Jean’s and Crust Pizza. It generates a steady stream of income and plenty of cash from its franchises, allowing it to pay a handsome, fully franked dividend of more than 4%.

Notably, Retail Food Group has increased its dividends to shareholders every year since it debuted on the ASX in 2006, with that trend considered likely to continue.

Of course, these companies aren't for everyone. That is why The Motley Fool's renowned dividend investing guru recently revealed his newest dividend buy recommendation and short list of 3 Best Dividend Buys Now. Which means if you're reading this message right now, you're not on the list to uncover their names before they potentially go gangbusters. Simply click here to learn more about these shares.

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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