Stocks With the Highest Dividend Yields in 2021

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Mar. 16 2021, Updated 12:54 p.m. ET

Companies that pay dividends aren't always consistent. Even those that hold steady tend to have fluctuating dividend yields sequentially and year-over-year. These values are based on things like earnings and performance. The payout is a way to reward investors who maintain their stake.

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Which companies are at the top of the list for dividend yields in 2021? 

Best Buy has one of the highest retail dividends right now.

With a 2.46 percent dividend yield, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) offers one of the highest rates for investors in the retail sector. Of course, there are plenty of companies with higher yields, but if you're specifically seeking something in this department, it's a solid option.

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Also, Best Buy has been amplified by virtual voices in recent times, particularly those on WallStreetBets. Many users on this platform are known for their risky bets. Best Buy has a solid hold on retail and e-commerce tech alike (as shown by its nearly 100 percent 12-month trailing return). 

AT&T's dividend is strong in 2021, but the stock is volatile.

AT&T (NYSE:T) has a hefty dividend yield of 6.94 percent. In this case, the company likely provides a large dividend to make up for the fact that its stock has sunk by quite a bit in the security's lifetime. Having been public since 1983, AT&T shares have lost more than 50 percent of their value since the market debut, with 5.8 percent of that loss occurring in the last year.

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High dividends are enough for some investors, but that might not be the case for everyone. 

Altria Group has a winning dividend yield if tobacco fits in your portfolio

Not everyone is willing to invest in tobacco (think about Halal or impact investors). However, those that are willing to take the leap might find solace in Altria's (NYSE:MO) 6.93 percent dividend yield. Also, one-year returns of nearly 30 percent make it a smarter financial move than AT&T's, which offers a similar dividend.

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In addition to owning Marlboro, Skoal, and Ste. Michelle wine, Altria owns a minority stake in Anheuser Busch (NYSE:BUD). 

W.P. Carey combines REITs with high dividends.

W.P. Carey (NYSE:WPC), a REIT company, maintains a 6 percent dividend yield. With a 15 percent one-year gain, the company seems fairly stable in the short term. However, the returns don't seem to amplify over the years (its five-year return is only 13.87 percent). 

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This is where the dividend yield comes in handy for investors seeking a stable security that still reaps rewards. 

Holly Energy Partners to end the roundup

There are numerous high-yield dividend stocks at investors' disposal in 2021. But for those who want to select the highest, Holly Energy (NYSE:HEP) is definitely up there. A 7.18 percent dividend yield competes with the best of them.

A 76.95 percent one-year return might not be enough to make up for the 43.05 percent five-year loss for early investors, but diving in now could mean getting a solid cost basis on a generous dividend stock. 

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