The 3 Biggest Fool.com Trends of 2010 (GLD, LMT): "Theme No. 3: Dividends.
Of our 15 most-read articles on Fool.com this year, seven were dividend-oriented, including The Best Dividend Stock. Period., the most-read Fool story of the year. Readers couldn't get enough dividend commentary -- which is strange, because dividends have typically been associated with boring, slow-growing stocks.
So what changed? All signs point to fears of the Fed's policies -- that they'll result in high inflation and a devalued dollar. Companies that not only pay but increase their dividends are a powerful hedge against inflation. It's a good sign for shareholders of a company like Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), which increased its dividend in 2010.
Takeaway: The broad stock market notched a double-digit gain and the recession was officially declared over, but there are lingering concerns about unemployment, the dollar, and the economy at large. In uncertain times, owning financially strong stocks that pay dividends can hedge against inflation and downward dips in the stock market -- because that dividend check will continue to come, quarter after quarter."