There’s a select group of stocks that belong to a very exclusive club. To qualify for membership, they have to have increased dividends every year for the last 25 years. Standard & Poor's refers to them as 'Dividend Aristocrats'. Very few companies in the world, and virtually none in Australia measure up to that requirement. Of those that do, most are found in the US or Europe. Elsewhere in the world, the lesser standard of increasing or stable dividends for at least ten years is usually applied. S&P has constructed the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index that contains equally-weighted holdings of S&P 500 companies that have increased dividends every year for the last 25 years (around 50 companies). An investment in that strategy has delivered a total return of 11.5% p.a. over the past ten years, outperforming the S&P 500 benchmark return of 8.1% p.a. In the article below, I look at the performance and make-up of the strategy. Also includes perhaps the closest example of an Australian Dividend Aristocrat.