There are two things that income investors want from their dividend stocks: stability and dividend growth.Realty Income Corp (O) is all about both of those qualities.

The front page of its website is a testament to how much it values its ability to deliver a solid dividend, year in, year out, regardless of the economic climate. It doesnt talk about what it does; it talks about how it delivers income and growth, quarter after quarter.

Here are some of the impressive figures O stock has delivered:

  • 548consecutive monthly dividends paid.
  • 74 consecutive quarterly dividend increases
  • 17% compounded annual average return since 1994 (through 12/31/2015)

Its no wonder O is part of the elite Samp;P High-Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index.

And when you look at a list of Os top 20 tenants, you see why this real estate investment trust keeps delivering.

Companies like Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc(WBA), FedEx Corporation(FDX), Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR), Diageo plc (ADR) (DEO), Rite Aid Corporation(RAD), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(WMT) and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc(AMC) make up some of that roster. And this is just the short list. O boasts more than 230 different commercial tenants in 47 different industries, across 49 states as well as Puerto Rico.

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That means even if a big client starts to fade for example WMT is closing a number of US stores in 2016, and some are likely Realty Incomeproperties O stock has plenty of cushion. It can even prep those old WMT properties for one of its current tenants.

Realty Income just announced that it had once again increased its dividend this quarter from 0.1985 per share to 0.1999 per share. Sure, thats only a 0.7% increase, but its the fact that it has grown its dividend for more than 18 years. That takes some doing, especially when the markets fell apart during the financial crisis.

The point is, this is one company that takes its dividend seriously.

Os current 3.9% yield may not get you on the edge of your seat, but given todays volatility, knowing you have a safe, solid and growing dividend with a proven blue chip REIT, it will certainly help you sleep at night.

Also remember that Os tenants are some of the top US firms in a variety of industries. As the US economy grows, so will the aspirations of its tenants, which means increasing business for O.

In the past 12 months the stock is up 13%, which is impressive. And the market trend at this point favors slow-growth stocks over high-growth stocks, so O is in a sweet spot. But it may take some time to consolidate at its current price and maybe slip back a bit.

The best strategy is to grab a partial position now, and if it doesnt come down in the next month, step in again. Then just sit back and let the dividends flow.

Richard Bands Profitable Investing advisory service helps retirement savers outperform the market without losing a minute of sleep along the way. His straightforward style and low-risk value approach has won seven Best Financial Advisory awards from the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Foundation.

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