I believe that in the long term dividend growth stocks will provide solid returns while being less volatile than the market in general. It's not flashy and it's not a get rich quick scheme. However, when 40% of the long term total return on stocks is from dividends and around 100% of the total return from stocks over the last 10 years is due to dividends, meaning negative price appreciation, they offer the best way to set up the core part of your portfolio.
I had been thinking of writing a post on the reasons why I chose dividend growth stocks to be the core investment philosophy that I follow but Tim McAleenan said it in one of the most clear and concise articles possible. His article "The Beginning Days of Dividend Growth" sums up why I believe dividend growth stocks are solid for someone just starting out or someone that's already in retirement.