As bull market slows, go for dividend income

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

As the S&P 500 stalls at record highs, it looks like price appreciation could start to take a back seat to dividend income as this bull market matures.

The S&P's price change for 2015 through the end of May was 2.36 percent, but the benchmark's total return was 3.23 percent. Dividends accounted for almost a third of that total return, which would be the highest amount on an annual basis since 2011, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The $94 billion paid out by S&P 500 companies in the form of dividends in the first quarter was a record, the latest data show.

If investors just buy the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, they will get a 2 percent dividend yield over the next 12 months. But if they want to be more aggressive, they could more than double that dividend income by picking the right stocks.

Here's a way to do that.