Many investors would like to own high-yielding stocks that have very low risk. Unfortunately, in the real world, such beasts are extremely rare. The following 10 stocks currently offer the highest dividend yields in the S&P 500 index. All prices and yields are as of the market close on November 14, 2014. All data is from S&P Capital IQ.
By industry, the top yielders are a concentrated group with four telecommunication service providers, four oil and gas drillers, and two REITs.
Only half of the top-yielding stocks featured here are paying higher dividends than they paid a few years ago. Others now sport rich yields in large part because the share prices have declined. That is further evidence that yield alone is not a good reason to buy any stock. We've included the ratio of long-term debt to capital to give you some indication of the financial strength of these companies. If too much cash goes to debt service, there is less to support the dividend.
Advisors seeking income for their clients should consider this a research list, not necessarily a shopping list. -- Joseph Lisanti
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