These are risky times for investors. We are still suffering from a financial crisis and global recession. One way to ride out the turmoil is with blue-chip stocks that keep raising their dividends.

Companies that have a history of consistently raising their dividends have outperformed the market over time. They will survive and thrive no matter what happens in the economy. The best part? They put a growing stream of cash in your pocket. Plus, steady dividend growth helps counter inflation, which could rear its ugly head as a result of rampant government spending.

You want to invest in dividend-paying companies that are dominating players in their industry. These market leaders can easily raise prices to keep up with inflation – or lower prices to crush their competitors. Recessions and downturns actually make them stronger, because the weak players in their space are flushed out and they gain market share.

Invest in the 800-pound gorilla! Here are some of my favorites:

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)
The Coca-Cola Company (KO)

Keep in mind that the current rally could run out of steam and we could experience a major market pullback in the near term. Therefore, you may not want to take a full position in these stocks right now. Take a position over time by buying in small lots. Or wait for a market pullback to get a better entry price. These are some of the highest quality stocks around, but they are not immune to a market sell-off.

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