3 Top Dividend Stocks to Buy Today for a Lifetime of Passive Income

Many investors like to own stocks that pay passive income to their shareholders. The amount of dividend income can be insignificant at first, but after a few decades of growth, those dividend payments start to add up, especially if you chose stocks of growing companies with a history of increasing their dividend.

Many of the world’s strongest businesses pay regular dividends. Three Motley Fool contributors were asked to come up with their top pick for investors looking for a predictable stream of income from their investments. Here’s why they selected Realty Income (NYSE: O), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), and Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX).

This company should pays a high yield, and monthly

Jennifer Saibil (Realty Income): Realty Income has an exclusive status that applies to a select group of stocks: It pays a monthly dividend. That’s an unusual and valuable benefit for passive income investors and especially retirees.

But that’s not the only feature that marks this real estate investment trust (REIT) as an ideal dividend stock. It’s high-yielding, which is often the most celebrated aspect of a top dividend stock. It yields about 6% at the current price.

Realty Income also operates a business with stability and reliability. It owns more than 15,000 properties globally, and it has adequate funds to acquire new ones and stay in growth mode. It’s well diversified, with 1,300 clients across 86 industries, and 82% concentrated in retail. Its top tenants are predominantly in essentials categories, with grocery stores and convenience stores in the top two spots.

Realty Income runs an efficient business that’s managing well despite inflation and a dismal real estate market, and it maintains an occupancy level of around 98.6%.

Although it hasn’t been immune to the impact of high interest rates, it’s demonstrating strong performance, with $0.30 in earnings per share in the 2023 fourth quarter and $1.01 in adjusted funds from operations. Realty Income has paid 646 consecutive monthly dividends — that’s more than 53 years — with 106 consecutive quarterly increases, and it’s not in any…

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