From June of 1990, American States Water has been an excellent investment by just about any metric you could identify. The California utility is perhaps one of the most understandable businesses in the world: it is a water utility. It sells a product that customers will die without. The dividend has been going up for 50+ years. Those are wonderful, wonderful, characteristic traits. Since 1990, every $5,000 invested into American States Water would have turned into $69,000, for a total return of 12.35% annually.