We have all heard it... Stodgy, for old people, yawn, boring! These have all been used to describe investing in dividend growth stocks. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer in dividend growth stocks for building a bullet-proof retirement portfolio. Study after study has shown that most of the historical stock market returns have come from reinvested dividends.

My core portfolio contains traditional dividend growth stocks that are found in virtually every dividend growth portfolio. Why? Because not only do they provide a growing income but their total return over time usually beats the market. Once concept, I've toyed with over the years is adding income focused ETFs. For the most part this failed miserably (you can read about it here.) However, I did have a few successes (and one additional failure) with some high-yield funds. They were originally purchased to pump up the yield of my dividend growth portfolio, while I waited for it to grow over time. First, let's look at the two successes:

Source: Dividend Growth Stocks

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