One place low-risk investors can take refuge is low-risk dividend stocks in reliable industries – like health care giant Abbot Laboratories (ABT) with its 3.4% yield, or in energy giant Exxon Mobil (XOM) with its 2.5% yield. Those nice payouts ensure that you'll see some returns on your investment even if things stay rocky on Wall Street. And since dividend stocks added $6.4 billion to payouts in the first quarter, the cuts we saw during the recession appear to have been reversed by many stocks.
But contrary to popular belief, dividend investors don't have to limit their hunt for high yields to domestic stocks. While it's true that the top 10 Dow dividend stocks all have yields of 3% or better, there are many ADRs that trade on U.S. exchanges that rival the same dividend yield but offer even greater upside potential for shares. It's the best of both worlds --– the high dividends of low-risk U.S. blue chips but with the power of global investing.
Let me show you a few examples with three exciting foreign dividend stocks with high yields:
#1: Mobile Telesystems (MBT): This global telecommunications company is a wireless provider company serving Russia and Eastern Europe, with approximately 91.33 million subscribers. It has a hefty yield of 4.7% -- but a market cap of over $22 billion, so it's not like this is a volatile small-cap that is apt to make big dividend changes on a whim. As Russia becomes more wired and retools its economy for the 21st century, this telecom stock is likely to see booming growth.
#2: Telefonica (TEF): Though based in Spain, TEF has over 200 million subscribers in Europe, South America and China, making it the third-largest mobile phone operator in the world. It's 6.0% yield rivals the Dow Jones component stocks with the highest dividend yields -- Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), which offer yields of 6.3% and 6.4%, respectively. The difference is that TEF has a foothold in the world's fastest-growing markets.
#3: Total (TOT): Total is the world's fifth largest energy company. While its $130 billion market cap is a fraction of Exxon Mobil (XOM), the company pays more than double the dividend yield -- 5.3% to XOM's 2.5%. What's more, that's actually higher than the interest coupon TOT is paying on its latest bond issues. That means this hefty dividend yield is here to stay.
As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned here.