8 best monthly dividend stocks to buy now

Income stocks usually pay shareholders quarterly but these companies pay each month.

  • By Jeff Reeves,
  • U.S. News & World Report
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Many investors are drawn to dividends because they offer a regular flow of cash that doesn’t depend on the market. Chances are a company with a rich history of payouts will keep delivering its regular dividend. Even more appealing, then, are monthly dividend stocks that offer their distribution every 30 days instead of the more typical once each quarter. If you're looking for a steady stream of income in retirement or a regular flow of cash to keep your nest egg growing, a monthly payday could be an attractive fit. Here are eight top stocks that offer good yields, strong operations and monthly income.

Realty Income Corp.

Realty Income (O) is a well-known monthly dividend stock, as its corporate slogan explicitly labels this firm as “the monthly dividend company.” That's not just marketing, either, with an impressive streak of roughly 600 consecutive monthly dividends under its belt. A leading real estate company, this stock funds its consistent payouts through long-term leases of its commercial properties. Realty Income's top tenants right now include national drug stores, familiar convenience stores and physical fitness facilities.

Current yield: 3.8%

Apple Hospitality REIT

Apple Hospitality (APLE) is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, that can fund consistent monthly dividends thanks to regular revenue. But this stock is renting hotel rooms in nearly 250 properties instead of renting storefronts to big consumer names. Apple owns a host of in-demand and upscale properties in regions including New York City, Seattle and Boca Raton, Florida. Growth has admittedly been slower than some other stocks on Wall Street, but a monthly payout and generous yield make APLE worth a look for investors who want reliable income instead of a volatile stock that hopes to deliver on share price alone.

Current yield: 7.4%

Main Street Capital Corp.

Main Street Capital (MAIN) is a business development company or BDC. This means MAIN operates as a kind of investment fund, offering debt and equity capital. Its clients tend to be firms big enough they can't self-finance or go to the local bank, but too small to access the stock market via an IPO or ask a big investment bank to underwrite a bond offering. This class of publicly-traded stock has a mandate to pay the lion's share of profits to shareholders. That's great news for income-oriented investors. With a consistent history of growing payouts, it's worth looking at Main Street as a key part of your dividend portfolio in 2020.

Current yield: 5.7%

AGNC Investment Corp.

If you say AGNC's (AGNC) name fast enough, you'll get a hint as to how it makes money. This company invests in agency mortgage debt – that is, FHA loans that are backstopped by government-sponsored agencies including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the financial crisis of 2008 showed, these mortgages are not bulletproof. However, it does add a degree of certainty to AGNC shareholders that these debts will be partially protected in a crisis, even if not fully repaid. And with a market cap of nearly $10 billion and a dividend yield in double-digits, AGNC is the largest and perhaps most generous stock that dabbles in agency mortgages at present.

Current yield: 10.8%

Shaw Communications

If you don't recognize Shaw (SJR), it's not because this is one of those fly-by-night cellphone carriers with miniscule market share in the U.S. It's because Shaw is a Canadian telecommunications outfit that primarily serves wireless customers north of the border. Its customer base is smaller, but with recent investments in 5G technology, there is potential to keep growing beyond current levels. And more importantly, the monthly bills sent out to its customers help support regular monthly dividend payments that investors can rely on.

Current yield: 4.5%

Sabine Royalty Trust

The Sabine Royalty Trust (SBR) holds interests in oil and gas properties in the United States, from Florida through Texas to New Mexico. Though trading as a stock, the best way to think of this investment is actually as a giant reservoir of fossil fuel instead of a corporation with employees and sales targets. Simply put, as SBR brings oil and gas to market, it passes a share of the revenue back to investors. SBR is highly exposed to energy price fluctuations. It also has little growth potential beyond favorable pricing trends. But as a reliable source of income, SBR has proven energy reserves to generate consistent and significant dividends.

Current yield: 7.4%

Pembina Pipeline Corp.

Another monthly dividends stock in the energy space, Pembina (PBA) is a $19 billion pipeline operator that has total capacity of roughly 3 million barrels of oil across its transportation and storage network. It's safe to say that with a scale like that PBA will find plenty of customers even if the flow of fossil fuels slows slightly in 2020. In 2017, Pembina paid $7 billion to purchase a fellow pipeline operator and is still trying to pay down some of that debt. But there is more than enough cash to go around, including to cover its above-average monthly payouts.

Current yield: 5%

Stag Industrial

Though technically a real estate company, STAG (STAG) is a hybrid investment that is very much a play on the industrial sector as it owns and leases industrial buildings to manufacturers, trucking companies and anyone who needs a big warehouse to conduct business. This niche offers a lot of reliability, as STAG focuses on single-tenant properties with long-term relationships rather than a mall operator that needs dozens of retailers to pay their bills. With an average lease length of nearly five years, investors can have confidence that STAG will have the cash to cover its regular payouts in 2020 and beyond.

Current yield: 4.6%

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