Last but not least, was Weingarten Realty Investors ( WRI). Cramer had Drew Alexander, CEO of Weingarten, on MadMoney during the Dec. 5 show. As Cramer pointed out, Weingarten has a necessity-based platform that provides for a durable dividend record. Weingarten has a market cap of around $3.25 billion with shares trading at $26.77. The company's dividend yield is 4.33% and the year-over-year total return is 28.22%.
Forced Dividends Are the Best Dividends
The attraction to the safe havens of REIT dividends is the fact that there are no options for these companies to pay or not to pay a dividend. By law, they are forced to do so to retain their REIT status. Alternatively, non-REITs have a choice in how much to pay out in dividends. With the threat of the uncertainties in the year ahead, the non-REIT payers may likely choose to conserve cash and very possibly cut dividends in 2013 or at least not increase them.
Real estate held through a REIT offers tax efficiency and it is an investment in an income producing, hard asset. By comparison, most investors in paper based, fixed income instruments like bonds fear inflation and rising interest rates. But, for REIT investors, those factors often are not sources of fear but rather can bring rewards. Real estate actually tends to be a good inflation hedge via rising rents and asset values. More importantly, intelligent investors should consider the anchor (the dividend) and the buoy (capital appreciation) as the fundamental ingredient for a "sleep well at night" stock. Booyah and Happy New Year! At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.Follow @swan_investorThis article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.