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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Anytime you find someone more successful than you are, especially when youre both engaged in the same businessyou know theyre doing something that you arent. - Malcolm X

One of the most common traits of successful RIAs is succession planning. Sometimes a robust business continuity plan helps attract new clients while retaining the existing ones. Below is one such real-life example from a partner Ill call Peter.*

Peter was a high school teacher until he realized that his true passion lay in the financial advisory space. At the age of 32, he quit teaching and launched his own RIA. Given his middle-class upbringing, he did not have any networks to tap into for clients, so he decided to leverage what he did besteducate others. He started developing a curriculum and began an aggressive marketing strategy for his financial educational seminars. He tailored them to various client nichesretirees, divorcees, business owners, etc., and gradually his business began to pick up. After two years, he had 100 clients with approximately $120 million in assets under management. He hired an administrative assistant, but otherwise ran a very lean shop. His life was good and he was enjoying what he was doing.

But then his business began to stagnate. Even though his seminar attendance continued to be high, lead conversion to clients was decreasing. He was puzzled. He tried to edit the materials to make them more current; he tried other marketing strategies including digital and even hosted a few client events. Business improved a bit but did not really pick up the pace he was expecting.

That is when he decided to reach out to his existing clients through a survey and get their feedback on what was working and what was not. The response shocked him. Seventy-five percent of his clients said they felt uncomfortable referring prospects to him because of two reasons:

  • They thought he was at capacity and could not handle any more clients; and
  • They were not sure what would happen to their accounts if Peter got hit by the proverbial bus.

And, even though the majority of his clients had most of their assets with him, he was usually not their only advisor. There was a second advisor in the picture for over 80 percent of his clients.

This was a rude awakening for Peter. All along he had taken it for granted that, given his age, his clients would not be concerned about his continuity plan or his ability to service them. But now that his lack of a continuity plan was hindering his business, he decided to act on the feedback and look to add to his team. Luckily, he found an advisor two years out of college working at the local branch of a national bank. Kevin, the new advisor, was disgruntled with the banks wealth management policies and processes, had the requisite training and credentials and, most importantly, a style that complemented Peters very well. They quickly built a rapport, and in six months, Peter hired him. Three months after that, Peter began introducing Kevin to his clients and training Kevin on his seminar strategy.

And, the results started to show. Peter and Kevin picked up an additional $50 million in assets in year 4 (compared to only $20 million in year 3). And unsurprisingly, 50 percent of those new clients came through referrals from existing clients. A couple of them even mentioned to Peter that they had been waiting for him to have someone else working with him, so they could feel secure in the continuity of his service.

Five years after launching his RIA, Peter had grown it to $250 million in assets with a competent advisor working alongside him. He felt ready to take on the world and continue growing the business.

What can we all learn from Peters experience?

  • A succession plan is not just a tactic to ensure continuity of your existing clientsit is a tactic to attract new clients and new business from existing clients.
  • Clients may never ask you directly, but they are always worried about the What if scenario, and a successful advisor always has a robust solution to mitigate these worries.

*All names and locations have been changed to protect privacy.

Anita Venkiteswaran is a Vice President at Focus Financial Partners where she is responsible for business development and acquisition activities.

The competition watchdog has imposed penalties of almost $1 million in total on 10 financial advisory (FA) firms for infringing the Competition Act. The decision is the first of its kind made against firms in the financial services industry.

The 10 were found to have engaged in an anti-competitive agreement in 2013 to pressurise their competitor iFast Financial to withdraw its offer of a 50 per cent commission rebate on competing life insurance products on the website.

iFast is the parent of online unit trust distributor Fundsupermart.

RALEIGH, NC, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --Junxure ( President Greg Friedman today announced the fourth annual Junxure Advisor Conference to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver on September 29-30, 2016. Junxure is an industry-leading CRM solutions and technology firm for financial advisors.

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