Dividends Key During Volatile Markets: Legg Mason's Cohen

The key for investors in a volatile market is dividends, dividends, dividends, Hersh Cohen, of Legg Mason Clearbridge Appreciation Fund, told CNBC Thursday.

Cohen spoke with CNBC at Morningstars 2010 Investment Conference, in Chicago.

He said while the stock market has behaved abysmally, dividends have gone up 6 percent a year compounded over the last decade.

Cohen added that the dividend yields are almost as high, or even higher, than 10-year Treasuries.

Cohen’s picks are Travelers, Wal-Mart , Kimberly Clark , Heinz and 3M .

Another money manager at the conference, Abhay Deshpande, of First Eagle Funds, said his company has about 30 percent hedged on both the euro and the yen in its global portfolio.

Among First Eagle’s holdings are the Japanese companies Shimano , which manufacturers bicycle parts, and Fanuc, an industrial robotics company.

Both companies sell the vast majority of their products outside Japan. Fanic exports 20 percent of its goods to China.