If you have a bit of cash to spare, whether £3k or any other sum, a great way to put it to work is to invest in FTSE 100 dividend-paying stocks, then leaving it to grow for the long term.
Here are two FTSE 100 dividend stocks yielding more than 6% a year that I would consider buying right now.
Global advertising giant WPP (LSE: WPP) has been through a torrid time, following the forced departure of driving force Martin Sorrell, until April 2018 the FTSE 100’s longest-serving boss.
The WPP share price was also hit by a downturn in advertising, and fears that Google and Facebook will suck up too much activity, but it is starting to make a tentative recovery, up 18% over the last year. It is also back on the acquisition trail, recently buying US marketing consultancy Xumak.
New chief executive Mark Read is roughly halfway through a three-year recovery plan, and is enjoying some early success, winning new brands including Instagram, L’Oréal and Vodafone. Its third-quarter update, the most recent, reported major wins including Mondelez and eBay, while revenue from continuing operations climbed 5.2% to £3.29bn.
It is growing strongly in most parts of the world, notably South East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, but continues to struggle in its key North America market, which accounts for a third of the group’s total revenues. WPP recently sold a 60% stake in its Kantar business for £1.4bn, using the money to pay down debt and return money to shareholders through buy-backs.
WPP’s recent problems are reflected in a cut-price valuation of 10.8 times earnings, while you get a generous forecast yield of 6.2%, covered 1.6 times by earnings. In 2021, those earnings are forecast to rise 8%, another sign that WPP’s future now looks more promising.
Mining giant BHP Group (LSE: BHP), formerly BHP Billiton, is a massive global operation with a market cap topping £89bn. It produces key metals such as copper and iron ore, as well as coal, and also has extensive oil and gas exploration and development capabilities.
Recent share price performance has been disappointing, with the stock down 5% over the year. The BHP share price faces several headwinds, right now. Commodity giants rely on China for much of their demand, and could take a hit from a coronavirus-related slowdown. Concerns over global growth will also weigh on demand for copper and iron ore, while its fossil fuel energy operations could also come under pressure due to climate concerns.
Yet new CEO Mike Henry reported a continuing solid operational performance in the group’s most recent operational review, which saw BHP on track to deliver slightly higher production, amid strong petroleum and copper exploration programmes.
Again, the stock is available at a discounted price, in this case 11 times forward earnings, and a yield of 6.2%, covered 1.5 times by earnings. If the economy picks up later this year, now could be a good entry point for both stocks.