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4 top ASX dividend shares for income investors in March

ASX dividend shares
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Interest rates are really low and may be about to go lower with the spread of the coronavirus. However, a lot of dividend opportunities are opening up because of the lower share prices.

The lower the share price the higher the starting dividend yield, assuming the dividend isn’t decreased. That’s why I picked the four shares below, which have some of the safest dividends on the ASX:

Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF) 

This is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which owns farmland across Australia. It owns cattle, vineyards, almonds, macadamia and cotton.

It just reported its half-year report which included its clockwork 4% increase to the distribution which it tries to give to shareholders each year. It has already given another prediction of a 4% increase in FY21.

Rural Funds has a good strategy of investing in productivity improvements at its farms to increase the rental income and value.

The FY21 distribution translates to a yield of 6.1% at the current share price of $1.84.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL) 

Soul Patts is one of the few businesses on the ASX that already has great longevity and paid a dividend every year for over 100 years which includes through world wars, the recessions, different politicians and so on.

It’s an investment conglomerate that is invested in various industries including building products, resources, pharmacies, telecommunications and so on.

The conservative and diversified approach of Soul Patts has led to market-beating total returns by the company over the long-term compared to the ASX.

It has grown its dividend every year since 2000 and currently has a trailing grossed-up dividend yield of 4.3%.

Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) 

Brickworks is actually closely linked with Soul Patts. Brickworks owns a large 39.4% position of Soul Patts, and Soul Patts owns a large 43.9% position of Brickworks. It has been a very useful, profitable cross-holding for both businesses.

The company also has a 50% stake in an industrial property trust, it is partnered with Goodman Group (ASX: GMG). The trust’s value and net income are growing – well-placed logistics properties are extremely important in the world with today’s eCommerce. More properties are planned to be finished in the next few years.

Brickworks’ building products divisions are impressive and they are leaders or a top challenger in each market they operate. Australia is a growing market with a lot of long-term growth potential as the population rises. It also recently expanded into the US with three acquisitions, which diversifies its earnings.

It has grown or maintained its dividend each year since 1976 and it currently has a trailing grossed-up dividend yield of 4.7%.

Future Generation Investment Company Ltd (ASX: FGX) 

Future Generation is a listed investment company (LIC) which is invested in the funds of around 20 ASX-focused fund managers that work for free so that Future Generation can donate 1% of its net assets to youth charities each year. A great initiative. 

The LIC hasn’t been around that long but it just increased its dividend again in its full year FY19 result. Its FY19 total dividend was 5 cents per share, which currently translates to a 6.7% grossed-up dividend yield at the time of writing.

A growing dividend is one of the main aims of Future Generation whilst also providing a (growing) stream of donations to the charities. In recent times it has been trading at a discount of more than 10% to its net tangible assets (NTA).

Foolish takeaway

I like these four dividend shares, which is why three of the four are already in my income portfolio. I think they are some of the most likely candidates to keep growing the dividend during the coronavirus problems, particularly Soul Patts and Rural Funds.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of February 15th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of FUTURE GEN FPO, RURALFUNDS STAPLED, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended RURALFUNDS STAPLED and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Brickworks. 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.

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