Most stocks pay dividends on a quarterly basis, but you can find equities that will pay you each month. If you reinvest dividends, you can grow a position more quickly by buying shares each month. For those who invest in dividend stocks for income to live on, monthly dividends make it easier to keep up with monthly bills.

Beware of companies that declare an aggressive monthly dividend simply to attract investors. Instead, look for companies that have a sustained history of making monthly dividend payments, along with a track record of sustainable revenue and income growth. (See also: What You Should Know About High-Yield Dividend Stocks.)

Below are our five top picks for reliable companies that pay monthly dividends. All figures given are current as of August 11, 2017.

1. Realty Income Corp.

Realty Income (O) has been paying monthly dividends regularly since 1995. This is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with some 2,600 rental properties, primarily in the retail space. Revenues have grown steadily for the last four years, and income has remained positive throughout the same period.

The share price has been dropping since late April 2017, but is may have found support at around $54 per share. It has gone up to $57.11 as of this writing. Investors could see some growth along with income if the turnaround continues.

  • Avg. Volume: 1,696,464
  • Market Cap: 1$5.68 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 49.76
  • EPS (TTM): 1.15
  • Dividend & Yield: 2.54 (4.43%)
  • 1y Target Est: 59.6

2. Shaw Communications Inc.

Shaw Communications (SJR) has managed to grow its dividend for more than 10 years. This Canadian cable company currently pays a dividend of 4.37%.

The stock has been in an uptrend since December 2016, and has seen increased buying on high volume in 2017. It appeared to be forming a base at around $20 per share. It broke upward from that base, but fell sharply. It has since recovered and is moving upward.

Net income has been up over a four-year span.

Shaw Communications owns a fiber network and provides services for WiFi, digital phone, and broadband customers. Cash flow suffered from 2013 through 2015, but turned positive in 2016.

  • Avg. Volume: 518,209
  • Market Cap: 10.75 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 26.92
  • EPS (TTM): 0.81
  • Dividend & Yield: 0.89 (4.37%)
  • 1y Target Est: 23.71

3. Pembina Pipeline Corp.

Pembina Pipeline (PBA) has a reliable monthly dividend, but does not have the long track record of growing its dividend that other stocks on this list have. This is because oil prices have been in a slump. However, the company has grown its dividend for the last five years. It currently pays more than 6%.

PBA's stock price has been climbing steadily since February 2016. This stock makes the list because of the possibility that oil prices will rise through the rest of 2017. Though the company does not deal directly in oil, demand for its services could pick up as drilling and exploration improves. PBA could be a good prospect for both long-term growth and monthly income.

  • Avg. Volume: 355,128
  • Market Cap: $12.93 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 32.97
  • EPS (TTM): 0.98
  • Dividend & Yield: N/A (N/A)
  • 1y Target Est: 41.45

4. Gladstone Commercial Corp.

The second REIT on our list is Gladstone Commercial (GOOD), which has a history of regular monthly dividend payouts since 2005. GOOD invests in commercial real estate and focuses on renting space to small- and mid-sized companies.

The company has seen revenue growth for the past four years, and income has kept pace with revenues. The stock has been in an uptrend since February 2016.

  • Avg. Volume: 215,654
  • Market Cap: $574.63 million
  • PE Ratio (TTM): -319.82
  • EPS (TTM): -0.06
  • Dividend & Yield: 1.50 (7.18%)
  • 1y Target Est: 22.75

5. Gladstone Investment Corp.

Gladstone Investment (GAIN) has grown its dividend for over five years. GAIN focuses on buyouts and recapitalizations of companies. The five-year growth rate of the dividend, plus the prospects for a robust buyout market going forward, make this a reliable monthly income stock.

What appears to be volatility in Gladstone Investment's share price is actually dividend payout dates.

  • Avg. Volume: 182,431
  • Market Cap: $311.02 million
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 6.47
  • EPS (TTM): N/A
  • Dividend & Yield: N/A (N/A)
  • 1y Target Est: 9.50

The Bottom Line

Just as you need income monthly, so do companies. When a company pays a dividend each month, that is money it cannot use to grow. (See also: Introduction To Dividends: Investing In Dividend Stocks.) To make up for this consistent outflow, companies that pay monthly dividends must have strong cash flow and stable business models.

Choose your monthly dividend stocks based on due diligence about the companies themselves, and not merely on the basis of a high monthly payout. Each company that issues a dividend has an ex-dividend date. You must own the stock before that date in order to receive the dividend.

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