Another differentiator for Realty Income is the fact that the company is one of just a handful of REITs that increased dividends during the Great Recession. In fact, Realty Income has
never cut its dividend; the company has paid and increased dividends for more than 19 years. Next year, Realty Income will also be a candidate for the exclusive S&P Dividend Aristocrat classification (with 20 years in a row of paid and increased dividends).
In Realty Income's 2012 Annual Report, Lewis explains the driving force of "The Monthly Dividend Company":
"As always, we do what we do, so we can all continue to enjoy monthly dividends. This is not just a mission, but a passion for all of us who work at Realty Income."
"For our part, we will continue to work hard to provide you with monthly dividends that increase over time."That's music to my ears ... and that's why Oh-Oh-"O," it's magic ... and that helps me sleep well at night. Realty Income: The Monthly Dividend Company
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @swan_investor This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.