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Why now is a great time to be a FTSE 100 dividend investor

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With the FTSE 100 having fallen from its January highs in recent weeks, now is a great time to be a dividend investor. That’s because when share prices fall, dividend yields rise. And right now, there are many stocks in the index with eye-catching yields. Let’s take a closer look at some of the yields on offer.

6%+ yields

According to my data provider Stockopedia, there are currently 15 stocks in the FTSE 100 with ‘rolling’ yields of 6% or higher. Rolling data combines past data and forward estimates to enable a like-for-like comparison of ratios between companies with different reporting dates.

In this bracket, we have names such as Lloyds Banking Group, National Grid, Legal & General Group and GlaxoSmithKline.

Personally, one of my top high-yield stocks is Legal & General Group. The company has increased its dividend for seven consecutive years now and has robust dividend coverage. Analysts expect further dividend growth this year.

5% yields

There are also currently 10 stocks in the index with rolling yields of between 5% and 6%. Adding together these stocks and the 6%+ yielders, a quarter of the stocks in the index currently yield over 5%.

In this yield range, we have names such as Royal Dutch Shell, Aviva, HSBC Holdings and Rio Tinto.

I quite like Aviva’s dividend prospects here. The company released a bullish trading update in November, signalling that it was upgrading its growth, cash and dividend targets. I’m expecting some big dividend payouts to come in the near future from the FTSE 100 insurer.

4% yields

Furthermore, there are currently 11 stocks in the FTSE 100 that have rolling yields of between 4% and 5%.

In this bracket, we have names such as British American Tobacco, WPP, ITV, and BHP Billiton.

Both WPP and ITV stand out as offering strong value right now, in my view. Both have been sold down heavily in the last year on the back of poor sentiment towards the advertising sector. But with low valuations and yields of close to 5% on offer, I believe these stocks could be worth a closer look.

Peace of mind investing

On top of the high yields on offer from the FTSE 100 right now, there are plenty of other reasons why dividend investing is a fantastic strategy at the current time. One such reason is the peace of mind that dividends provide when global markets are falling.

All too often, investors place way too much focus on the short-term price movements of the stocks they own. If a stock falls 10%, they panic, and sell out.

But the dividend investor has a different mindset. This investor is less concerned with short-term price movements, and more focused on building a long-term income stream. Does a 10% share price fall affect his or her income stream? Unlikely. If anything, it may provide an opportunity to buy more income.

Investing with a focus on dividends makes it considerably easier to stick to an investment strategy over the long term.

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Edward Sheldon owns shares in Royal Dutch Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds Banking Group, ITV, WPP and Legal & General Group. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings, ITV, Lloyds Banking Group, and Royal Dutch Shell B. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.