Stocks to buy

7 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold for Steady Returns

One of the best ways to protect your portfolio, and generate consistent income is with monthly dividend stocks. In fact, with inflation starting to slowly cool off, some of the top beneficiaries, with respectable yields are real estate investment trusts (REITs). Even better, REITs tend to pay higher dividends than your average equity.

Even analysts at Wedbush are bullish on REITs these days. In fact, Richard Anderson says a number of REITs are still offering inexpensive entry prices after recent pullbacks. Two, the analyst noted that “US REITs tend to outperform after a round of higher interest rates. The combination of higher rates in a more stable environment is beneficial for these stocks,” as quoted by TipRanks.com. All of which should serve as a powerful catalyst for the following monthly dividend stocks.

That being said, let’s take a look at seven of the top, high-yielding REITs you may want to strongly consider buying and holding for the long term.

Realty Income (O)

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With a current yield of 5.76%, Realty Income (NYSE:O) – or The Monthly Dividend Company – just declared a dividend of 25 cents. That’s payable on Dec. 15 to shareholders on record as of Nov. 30.

Granted, the real estate investment trust (REIT) dipped in the second half of the year, but you may want to use that weakness as an opportunity with O, one of the most reliable monthly dividend stocks.

For one, with inflation starting to show some signs of cooling off, its tenants should start to see improving discretionary spending. Two, Realty Income has been around for more than 50 years and managed to survive and still thrive. Three, with 13,100 properties, it’s still seeing strong demand, with an occupancy rate of 99%. 

And, it has some of the most reliable tenants on the market, including Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Walgreen’s (NASDAQ:WBA), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), BJ’s (NYSE:BJ), CVS (NYSE:CVS), Walmart (NYSE:WMT), and Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) to name just a few.

AGNC Investment Corp. (AGNC)

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Another one of the top monthly dividend stocks to consider is AGNC Investment Corp. (NASDAQ:AGNC), a REIT that invests in residential mortgage-backed securities, where principal and interest payments are guaranteed by the U.S. government or a U.S. government agency. Plus, the REIT carries a yield of about 16.4% and just declared a cash dividend of 12 cents per share

Analysts like the REIT here, too. Bank of America, for example, just raised its price target on AGNC to $8.75 from $7.50. Barclays’ analysts also initiated coverage of the REIT with an “equal weight” rating, with an $8 price target. 

Even better, as noted by Motley Fool contributor Sean Williams, billionaires have been investing heavily in AGNC, as well. That includes Steven Cohen of Point72 Asset Management, who picked up 991,743 shares; Israel Englander of Millennium Management, who picked up 941,022 shares; and Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, who picked up 129,160 shares.

Agree Realty (ADC)

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There’s also Agree Realty (NYSE:ADC) – another one of the top monthly dividend stocks to consider. With a current yield of 5.16%, the REIT has seen better days, too. But again, use weakness as an opportunity – especially with inflation starting to cool off. Plus, not only did ADC just increase its dividend for the 13th consecutive year to 24 cents, CEO Joey Agree bought 4,000 shares on Oct. 2 for about $215,400. 

At the moment, ADC has 43 million sq. feet of space, and 2,084 properties that it leases to reliable, investment grade tenants. In fact, some of its biggest clients include Walmart, Tractor Supply  (NASDAQ:TSCO), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), CVS, Dollar General, Hobby Lobby, Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW), Home Depot (NYSE:HD), and BJ’s Wholesale to name a few.

Earnings haven’t been too shabby either. Third quarter adjusted funds from operations (FFO) of $1 beat analyst expectations by a penny. It was also up from 96 cents year over year. Revenue of $136.8 million was also above estimates for $135 million. 

Wells Fargo initiated coverage of ADC with an overweight rating, with a $70 price target. The firm noted the ADC REIT “seeks to cultivate a recession-resistant Net Lease portfolio tenanted by e-commerce resistant operators,” and is the firm’s Top Pick in Net Lease REITs, as noted by TipRanks.com.

Main Street Capital (MAIN)

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With a yield of 6.85%, Main Street Capital (NYSE:MAIN) is a private equity firm that provides financing to small and midsize companies that can’t often secure funding from traditional institutions. And while that can expose it to clients with less than perfect credit, MAIN still carries a solid yield for shareholders. In fact, it just boosted its monthly dividend to 24 cents. 

That’s payable Jan. 12 to shareholders of record, as of Jan. 4. It’s payable on Feb. 15 to shareholders of record, as of Feb. 7. Plus, not only has MAIN increased its dividend for the last 12 years, it pays out 90% of its free cash flow to shareholders.

STAG Industrial (STAG)

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Next up, STAG Industrial  (NYSE:STAG), which leases industrial properties, like warehouses and distribution centers to e-commerce companies, for example, and has benefited from consumers shifting to online shopping. It also carries a yield of 4.09%, and just announced it’s paying a dividend of 12 cents to shareholders on Dec. 15 to shareholders of record, as of Nov. 30; and on Jan. 16, 2024 to shareholders of record, as of Dec. 29.

While the REIT was forced to pause its acquisition of industrial properties thanks to sky-high interest rates, it’s again ramping up its efforts. In the third quarter, for example, the REIT acquired about a dozen properties for over $204 million, as noted by Motley Fool contributor Matthew DiLallo. It bought another three for about $67.4 million in October, as well.

Earnings have also been solid. In the third quarter, the REIT’s core FFO per share of 59 cents beat expectations for 57 cents. Revenues of $179.3 million were also better than estimates calling for $175 million. Better, according to Bank of America analysts, “Industrial real estate appears to have reached an inflection point and is poised to bounce up next year as the sector normalizes in the wake of the pandemic,” as noted by Seeking Alpha.

Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE)

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With a yield of 5.86%, Apple Hospitality REIT (NYSE:APLE) currently owns about 224 hotels in 87 markets throughout 37 U.S. states. And while it did have a painful start to the year, it’s been on the run since bottoming out in late March. 

Helping, some of its top tenants include hotel chains such as Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) and Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H) – most of which are benefiting as more people go on vacation. APLE also just declared a monthly cash distribution of 8 cents per common share – payable on Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 30. 

Global X Super Dividend ETF (SDIV)

Or, take a look at the Global X Super Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:SDIV). With a 12.67% yield and an expense ratio of 0.58%, the ETF pays out a monthly dividend. It holds 103 stocks spread across mortgage REITs, financials, energy, materials, utilities, industrials, and consumer discretionary. 

Some of its top holdings include Omega Healthcare (NYSE:OHI), Starwood Properties (NYSE:STWD), Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE:ABR), Annaly Capital (NYSE:NLY), Chimera Investment (NYSE:CIM), and Medical Properties (NYSE:MPW) to name just a few.

On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Ian Cooper, a contributor to InvestorPlace.com, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999.

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