4 Monthly Dividend Stocks for a Steady Income Stream

Monthly dividend stocks are growing in popularity. They offer investors all the benefits of traditional dividend-paying stocks, like predictable income, capital appreciation potential, and a buffer against market volatility.

monthly dividend stocksBut they have an added perk: They send out payments each month rather than on a quarterly basis.

More and more companies have taken note of dividends' importance to investors. Within the broad-based S&P 500 Index, 83.7%, or 420 issues, pay a dividend. All 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average members do.

A growing number also recognize the value of delivering dividends to shareholders on a more frequent schedule. Indeed, income-hungry investors find a monthly payout appealing for a more regular income stream.

Here are four monthly dividend stocks that issue payouts 12 times a year...

Monthly Dividend Stocks: Four Top Picks

Monthly Dividend Stocks No. 1: JMP Group LLC (NYSE: JMP) is a full-service investment banking firm based in San Francisco. Founded in 2000, JMP provides investment banking, sales and trading, and equity research. Clients include institutional and high-net-worth investors. In just 11 years, JMP earned a reputation as a premier institutional brokerage and middle-market investment banking platform.

The company just declared cash distributions of $0.037 per share for the months of April, May, and June. In total, the three monthly payments equal a cash distribution of $0.11 for Q2 2015. That's a 6% increase from the prior quarter and an 85% year-over-year increase.

Shares, up 4.2% year to date, yield 5.6%.

Monthly Dividend Stocks No. 2: LTC Properties Inc. (NYSE: LTC) is a healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Westlake Village, Calif. It invests in senior housing and long-term healthcare properties.

LTC's portfolio consists of 89 skilled nursing properties, 102 assisted living properties, 14 other senior housing properties, two schools, and a parcel of land under development.

LTC just declared monthly cash dividends of $0.17 per share payable on April 30, May 29, and June 30. Shares, up 2.06% year to date, yield 4.63%.

Monthly Dividend Stocks No. 3: Power Shares S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (NYSE: SPHD) aims for investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield of the S&P 500 Low Volatility Dividend Index.

Top 10 holdings among the fund's 50 are AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Centurylink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), CME Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CME), People's United Financial Inc. (Nasdaq PBCT), Kraft Foods Group Inc. (Nasdaq: KRFT), HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM), Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI), and Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI).

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SPHD will pay a monthly dividend of $0.093 on April 30. That's up from $0.088 a year ago.

Shares are up 1.1% year to date and 30.8% since the fund's October 2012 inception.

Monthly Dividend Stocks No. 4: Realty Income Fund (NYSE: O) is a publicly traded REIT. It invests in the U.S. commercial real estate market. Founded in 1969, Realty Income is based in Escondido, Calif.

In January, Realty hiked its payout for the 79th time since going public in 1994. On April 14, the company declared its 538th consecutive monthly dividend. The $0.1895 distribution represents an annualized amount of $2.274 per share.

The company's monthly income is supported by the cash flow from more than 4,200 properties owned under long-term lease agreements with regional and national retail chains and other commercial tenants. The company continues to be an active buyer of net-leased properties nationwide.

Shares, up 3.48% year to date, yield 4.6%.

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