"The only certainties in life are death and taxes." Everyone's familiar with this old adage. Given the uncertainty of this economic recovery, wouldn't it be nice to have an investment that is equally as reliable? The good news is income investors can come pretty close to this and lock in predictable returns by owning stocks of companies that operate in these fields -- death and taxes.

It may sound morbid, but death is a growing business. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that roughly 2.5 million Americans die each year, and the aging population of baby boomers means the mortality rate is likely to rise in the coming years. At present, the annual death rate should hover near 8.3 deaths for every 1,000 Americans, but the progressive aging of the U.S. population will trigger steady growth of the death rate to about 9.7 deaths per 1,000 Americans in the next 20 years. Taxes, on the other hand, might not be quite as morbid as death, but it's still unpleasant. And between that and the fact that our tax code is overwhelmingly complicated, people need help getting their affairs in order when Uncle Sam comes knocking. Here are two death-care stocks and a tax-services stock that pay rich dividends: Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI), Stonemor Partners L.P. (NYSE: STON) and H&R Block (NYSE: HRB).

Source: Street Authority

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