BP (LSE: BP) is one of the UK market's most trusted dividend stocks and so is its blue-chip peer GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK). Together these two FTSE 100 dividend champions are are responsible for a huge chunk of the total value of dividends paid out to UK investors every year, and thanks to their predictable income streams, BP and Glaxo could be the perfect stocks to help you retire early.
Get ready to retire
For most investors building enough wealth to be able to retire early is the dream.
Dividends are possibly one of the most helpful tools investors can use to help reach this target. Indeed, by reinvesting your dividends, you can accelerate wealth creation via the process of compounding where money creates more money.
Glaxo is the perfect example of how dividends can turbocharge your wealth. Over the past three years, shares in Glaxo have returned 12.9% in capital growth alone, turning £1,000 into £1,129, hardly the sort of returns that will help you retire early.
However, if you include reinvested dividends the shares have turned £1,000 into £1,450 according to data from Morningstar. A 45% return over three years is an impressive performance. This figure is even more impressive when you consider the size of Glaxo and its position in the market. Usually it's high-growth small caps that are responsible for such lofty returns.
BP has also produced market-beating returns for its investors over the past few years when including dividends. Over the past three years, shares in BP have returned -0.06% excluding dividends. Including reinvested dividends, between February 2013 and the beginning of this year, the shares produced a total return of 52.5%, turning £1,000 into £1,525. These are the sort of figures you just can't ignore.
Will the returns continue?
The big question is, will these returns continue?
Well, over the past three years both Glaxo and BP have struggled with their own respective business headwinds. Both companies maintained payouts to investors during these period and now, the two FTSE 100 giants are back on the path to growth. With this being the case, the dividends now look much safer than they have been for several years. For example, after earnings per share grew 35% last year, Glaxo's dividend is now covered 1.3 times by earnings per share, up from a low of less than one in the year before.
For the past three years, BP has reported a cumulative loss per share but despite this the group has paid out a total of nearly £1 per share to investors. City analysts expect payout cover to return to 0.9 times this year and then 1.1 times by 2018 so going forward, the dividend looks much safer than it has been in recent years.
Time to buy?
Despite their dividend and returns histories, shares in BP and Glaxo currently yield more than 1.5 times the market average -- great news for income seekers.
Specifically, shares in Glaxo currently yield 5% and BP yields 7.2%. Based on the performance over the past few years, I'd say these yields are here to stay.
The key to wealth?
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Rupert Hargreaves owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended BP. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.