Diversify Your Portfolio With This High-Dividend REIT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- One of the best dividend-paying companies today is anchored in Monmouth County, N.J.

Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. ( MNR) is a 45-year battleship of a REIT whose business model is investing in single-tenant industrial properties secured by long-term net-leases to investment grade tenants.

Accordingly, this stalwart ship provides investors with a total return vehicle that performs well throughout the business cycle. As one of the oldest REITs, Monmouth is a multi-cycle tested company and its consistent performance speaks for itself.

Real estate ownership provides an attractive hedge against inflation, and that is perhaps the most important aspect investors should consider given the current environment. Monmouth has a market capitalization of around $450 million with a current dividend yield of 5.4%. The stock price is $11.11 per share and the company's year-to-date total return is 26.80% (source: SNL Financial).

Recently I was able to catch up with the admiral of the battleship brand: Eugene W. Landy, founder, chairman, president and CEO. In this exclusive interview for TheStreet.com, I was able to gain insight into Monmouth's extraordinary track record of sustainable dividend performance (Monmouth has never cut its dividend).

Brad Thomas: The industrial sector is among the most stable, low-volatility asset classes in the United States (as evidenced by the sector's historical occupancy rates of roughly 88%-92%). How do you feel about the industrial market today?

Eugene W. Landy: The industrial market should strengthen. The amount of industrial space needed varies directly with our gross domestic product. If the gross domestic product increases 20% in 10 years, then the nation should need 20% more industrial warehouse space. There is little new supply being built. Therefore, we are optimistic about the market for our buildings now and 10 years from now.

Thomas: Monmouth is one of the oldest REITs in the United States and the company is celebrating its 45th year as a focused net-leased industrial REIT. How have you been able to weather the storms for so long?

Landy: Our philosophy is that real estate is a great investment vehicle. The basics are in favor of long-term real estate investment. The U.S. population grew 150,000,000 in the last 50 years and will grow another 150,000,000 over the next 50. Inflation since 1982 is 230%. The trend is with you.

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