It used to be that dividend-paying stocks got no respect, but after a year like 2008, they are back in their prime, BusinessWeek reports.

And right now, dividend-paying stocks are yielding an average of 3.3% of their current stock prices, double last year’s yield and the highest since 1990. It’s also the first time since 1957 that the average yield on dividend-paying stocks has surpassed Treasuries, which are currently returning 2.2%.

Now is a great time to buy a dividend-paying stock at a low price and lock in an impressive yield, said Marc Heilweil, president of Spectrum Advisory Services.

That said, not all dividend-paying stocks are looking favorable. Advisors are cautioning against financial stocks and real estate investment trusts, but are bullish on staples that can continue to generate steady profits in this downturn, notably food, beverage and healthcare companies.


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