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5 Small-Cap REITs for Growth in This Market

Stocks in this article: EXL ROIC WSR STAG ARCP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sometimes small-cap REITs are not always as visible as the big blue chip brands like Realty Income (O), Kimco Realty (KIM) or Simon Property Group (SPG). And, as we all know, the blue chips have been on a tear this year, and many of them have rallied to record highs, especially the larger dominating index fund REIT stocks.

Of course, it is not surprising that the rally is led by the institutional buyers that have a much higher degree of analyst coverage and much lower risk tolerances.

Conversely, small-cap REITs have always been seen as more risky bets than large caps. They often do not have the diverse revenue streams or stable cash flows that allow them to weather difficult economic environments (like their larger-cap counterparts).

Small-cap stocks are also more susceptible to wide swings in price due to lower trading volumes. This greater volatility deters action and often invites selling.

Often I found that the lack of Wall Street coverage and investor interest can also result in shares remaining undervalued -- especially in down markets -- for extended periods of time.

Accordingly, the stocks that "fly under the radar" are offer better positioned for growth over the long term. Due to the decreased institutional support, there's a better chance that the operational health and prospects of these small caps will be underestimated.

The Power of Repeatability

For those investors seeking yield, the difficulty is in predicting the exact dividend policies companies will adopt in the coming years. And as more investors enter retirement and need to replace substantial proportions of their working-years' income by using their investment portfolios, a reliable dividend-yield strategy is a must.

Because REITs distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders annually in the form of dividends, investors are becoming increasingly attracted to the notion of balancing a portfolio with steady and reliable dividend income.

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