After last week's 500+-point tumble in the Dow Jones Industrials, Dan Genter of RNC Genter Capital Management and Jill Evans of Alpine Funds say a company's dividends deserve as much attention as, if not more than, its total return.
"It's really becoming the weapon of choice right now, to get through this market," Genter told CNBC. "What you're seeing is that there's been a significant re-assessment of risk by investors, and clearly, they want to reduce their risk, and reduce the volatility."
Evans pinpoints several different themes in the dividend picture.
"[One is] the global growth theme, and we look for regions and areas where we see the global growth continuing," she said. "We...look domestically for growth stories and cash-flow stories that are not...necessarily tied to economic growth, for example, in some of the niche health-care names."
"More and more, we're seeing technology stocks that are very attractive," Genter said. "Taiwan Semiconductor, Microchip Technology, you're seeing a lot of different areas now as more and more companies are paying dividends and increasing dividends, it's really opened this area much wider to investors."
His selections are not limited to technology.
"Capital goods, if you look at Eastman Chemical, for example," he added. "Health care, Johnson & Johnson ; I think I'd be very cautious in the financial space, but looking at some of the quality names, looking at JPMorgan Chase and US Bancorp, which pays about a 5.1 percent dividend...you can get a very broad sector diversification with a lot of these stocks that are available."
Also on his list are Enerplus , Leggett & Platt, and VF Corporation.