I’ve been building a portfolio geared toward generating passive income for over a decade. While it doesn’t yet produce enough income to offset my expenses, I’m getting closer to financial independence with each investment that generates income.
Three dividend stocks I’m currently loading up on are Realty Income (NYSE: O), Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW), and W.P. Carey (NYSE: WPC). All three offer above-average current income streams that they should be able to continue growing in the coming years. That makes them no-brainer passive-income stocks.
1. Realty Income: Made for this
Realty Income stands out for its ability to produce durable passive income. The real estate investment trust (REIT) has made 625 consecutive monthly dividend payments throughout its history. Better yet, it has increased that payment 116 times since its public listing in 1994, including for more than 25 straight years, earning it the distinction of a Dividend Aristocrat. The company has grown its payout at a 4.4% compound annual rate.
The REIT currently offers a dividend yield of over 4%, well above the 1.6% yield provided by an S&P 500 index fund. That high-yielding payout is on rock-solid ground. It has a diversified portfolio of stable income-producing commercial real estate, primarily focused on the retail and industrial sectors.
Meanwhile, it has a conservative dividend payout ratio of around 75% of its adjusted funds from operations (AFFO). That provides a cushion for the dividend while enabling the REIT to retain cash to acquire more income-producing properties. To top it all off, Realty Income has one of the best balance sheets in the REIT sector.
That strong financial profile should enable Realty Income to continue growing its portfolio, rental income, and dividend. The REIT has a vast opportunity set to continue making acquisitions, since there’s an estimated $12 trillion of owner-occupied real estate in its core markets. With an above-average payout that should continue growing, Realty Income is ideal for those seeking to generate passive income.
2. Medical Properties Trust: A healthy payout
Medical Properties Trust offers an even more attractive dividend yield that clocks in at over 6.8%. That payout is also on a firm foundation. The healthcare REIT owns a large portfolio of hospital properties leased to healthcare systems under long-term leases that provide it with stable rental income. Meanwhile, the REIT pays out a reasonable 80% of its AFFO to support its big-time dividend.
The hospital owner has had a lot of success growing its dividend over the years, notching its ninth straight yearly increase in 2022. It should be able to continue growing its payout in the future. Medical Properties has a solid balance sheet, giving it the financial flexibility to continue purchasing hospitals.
Meanwhile, it foresees a vast opportunity set, estimating that there’s more than $1 trillion of owner-occupied hospital real estate in the U.S. alone. Future deals should enable the REIT to keep growing its dividend.
3. W.P. Carey: Steady grower
W.P. Carey offers a dividend yield approaching 5%. The diversified REIT supports that payout with a large portfolio of income-producing real estate. It focuses on owning operationally critical properties leased to tenants in various industries, including office, industrial, warehouse, retail, and self-storage. This portfolio supplies the company with very stable rental income.
The REIT pays out a reasonable percentage of this income via its dividend (around 80% of its 2022 AFFO) and has a solid investment-grade balance sheet. These factors give it the financial flexibility to continue acquiring income-producing real estate. W.P. Carey expects to purchase $1.75 billion to $2.25 billion of properties in 2022. On top of that, the REIT acquired a non-traded REIT it managed in 2022 for $2.7 billion, further enhancing its real estate portfolio while simplifying its business.
W.P. Carey’s growing real estate portfolio has enabled the REIT to steadily increase its dividend. It has given its investors a raise every year since 1998. That growth streak seems likely to continue in the future.
Ideal passive-income stocks
Realty Income, Medical Properties Trust, and W.P. Carey have several crucial features that make them no-brainer passive-income stocks. They pay above-average dividends backed by rock-solid financials that seem likely to continue growing in the coming years. That’s why I continue loading my portfolio with these REITs in the hope that they’ll help me eventually meet my goal of becoming financially independent.