Yes, I believe that dividends are important for a balanced portfolio. I believe this because if you're investing in a stock, you should be looking at more than just the price of the stock itself. You should also be looking at whether or not the company is paying out dividends to its shareholders.
If you're an investor in a company, then you have a say in how that company is run—you can vote on things like executive compensation and capital projects. If you're receiving dividends from that company, then it's only fair that they share some of their profits with you as well, right?
Dividends are usually paid out quarterly and are calculated by multiplying the number of shares owned by each shareholder by their proportional ownership stake in the company (so if you own 1% of all outstanding shares, then your dividend payment will be 1% of total earnings). This makes them very easy to understand and track over time so that investors can see how much money they've earned off their initial investment over time—and it gives them an incentive to keep investing in stocks so they can keep earning those dividends.