Over the long-term shares have proven to be the best-performing asset class.
But, shares are not for the faint-hearted. The blessing of being able to sell shares in a minute also leads to higher volatility. There are different buyers and sellers who think businesses are worth different prices.
So, it might be better to focus on the dividends paid by a business, which can be more reliable and predictable.
Here are three ASX shares that could be worth holding for their ever-growing dividends:
REA Group Limited (ASX: REA)
REA Group is the owner of realestate.com.au and several other leading Australian property sites. It generates earnings from every property advertised on its site, which is most of the properties aiming to be sold in the country.
REA Group has been increasing its dividend every year since September 2009, so it has been increasing its dividend every year for nearly a decade.
The law of big numbers will see the profit and dividend growth slow down eventually, but in the recent half-year result it increased the dividend by 17%. Its stakes in international sites could also help long-term growth.
Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)
I think investment conglomerate Soul Patts could be the most reliable dividend share on the ASX. It has been operating for over a century and has paid a dividend every year in that time.
Its current consecutive dividend growth streak stretches back to 2000, a joint record on the ASX.
The diversified and continually-evolving portfolio with holdings like Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) and TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) is attractive to me. Soul Patts has no debt on its balance sheet, which means it should be able to easily ride out any truly tough times ahead.
It currently offers a grossed-up dividend yield of 3.7%.
WAM Research Limited (ASX: WAX)
WAM Research is the only company with a big dividend yield in this article. It currently has a grossed-up dividend yield of 10.2% and has increased its dividend every year since the GFC.
The idea behind this listed investment company (LIC) is that it only invests in businesses which have positive earnings potential which will re-rate the share price higher on the back of some good news.
The strategy has worked over the long-term as it has delivered a market-beating performance since the GFC, which has been used to fund the investment returns.
All three of these shares are quality dividend growth shares with plenty of income potential over the coming years. At the current share prices I would want to buy shares of Soul Patts with how much the share price has fallen.
These leading ASX dividend shares could also make excellent additions to a dividend growth focused portfolio.
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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Brickworks and REA 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 Scott Phillips.