Dividend investing is something that every investor can understand and implement on their own.

But it’s not as simple as just buying stocks that pay a dividend. It requires some diligence, such as making sure the company has a steady history of rewarding shareholders.

That’s why, each week we scour the markets for stocks that are increasing their dividends and bring the very best to readers’ attention. In a holiday-shortened week, there’s light action in dividend increases.

We only found one company boosting its dividend that might be of interest to our readers, but there were also a number of companies paying a dividend (albeit not an increase) that we wanted to alert readers about.

Last week’s dividend increases included a unique REIT and a couple of dividend aristocrats. This week we have a couple of unique dividend payers (with fairly high yields) and a very underrated dividend aristocrat.

Without further ado, here are the top five dividend stocks for this week:

Top Dividend Stock No. 1: Tallgrass Energy Partners LP (NYSE: TEP)

This company goes hand in hand with our MLP theme this week. The company is an MLP that focuses on natural gas transportation and storage in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain areas.

Shares of Tallgrass already offer a 4.3% dividend yield, but the MLP is boosting its distribution by 18% this week to $0.485 a share. This will be the sixth straight quarterly distribution increase Since Tallgrass started paying a distribution in mid-2013.

Shares trade ex-dividend Jan. 22.

Top Dividend Stock No. 2: Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY)

RBC is a Canadian bank, one with a near-$100-billion market cap. Shares of Royal Bank of Canada are already down 9% year-to-date on concerns of a slowdown in oil sands production. But it’s still a very diversified bank.

RBC shares offer a 4.2% dividend yield and will  be paying a 66-cents-per-share dividend effective later this week.  Although it had to taper its dividend during the financial crisis, Royal Bank of Canada has paid a dividend for 18 years. Plus, it has a three-year streak of dividend increases.

The stock will trade ex-dividend Jan. 22

Top Dividend Stock No. 3: Marcus Corp. (NYSE: MCS)

Marcus Corp. operates hotels and movie theatres across the Midwest. As a smaller player in the movie theatre/hotel space, with just a $500 million market cap, it doesn’t get much attention.

Yet sales and earnings have been growing nicely over the last decade, with its dividend gaining strength. It’ll be paying a $0.095 per share dividend effective later this week, which is a 2% dividend yield. Although it’s only got three years of consecutive dividend increases under its belt, it has managed to pay a dividend for the last 23 years.

Its ex-dividend date is Jan. 22

Top Dividend Stock No. 4: Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM)

Williams-Sonoma needs no introduction to the retail community as one of the major home-furnishings retailers. And it’s a retailer with a strong online presence. Williams-Sonoma manages to generate half its sales from its ecommerce platform.

While its 33-cents-a-share dividend — which is a 1.7% yield — doesn’t seem impressive, it’s only a 40% payout of earnings. The company has also managed to up its dividend for five straight years now. Assuming that the housing market continues to improve, the demand for furniture and home goods will also improve — a net positive for Williams-Sonoma.

Shares trade ex-dividend on Jan. 22.

Top Dividend Stock  No. 5: C.R. Bard (NYSE: BCR)

C.R. Bard is the only dividend aristocrat on our list. Its quarterly dividend of 22 cents a share represents just a 0.5% dividend yield. But this company has upped its dividend for 43 straight years. What’s more is that its dividend payout ratio is just 10.5%.

C.R. Bard designs and makes medical and surgical devices. The beauty of C.R. Bard is that it has a big opportunity to tap into the medical-devices market in emerging markets. Currently, emerging markets only make up around 10% of its sales, but the company continues to make investments in these areas.

Shares trade ex-dividend Jan. 22.

Collect Dividend Income Every Month! 

We’ve put together a simple calendar that pulls together all the market’s best dividends into a single, easy-to-read document. One look, and you’ll be able to set up a 12-month dividend stream for regular income every month. Click here to see the full details.

Published by Wyatt Investment Research at