There are several advantages to receiving monthly dividends over quarterly dividends: Compounding takes place quicker; the invested capital is returned faster; there is usually less price volatility of the investment; and many of monthly dividend investments pay dividends that are tax free.
According to the database list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are about a couple hundred different companies that pay dividends monthly, many of which have fairly high yields. Although these investments are often referred to as "stocks," that term is used loosely. These investments are real estate investment trusts, oil income trusts, closed-end bond funds, and closed-end income stock funds, which pay dividends every month.
An example is Gas Natural Inc. (NYSEMKT:EGAS), formerly known as Energy, Inc. It's a distributor of natural gas in Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Maine. It was founded in 1909. The stock pays a yield of 4.6% and sports a price to earnings ratio of 12.5. LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (NYSE:RIT) is an exchange-traded fund that invests in real estate-related companies, including real estate investment trusts. It sports a yield of 6.8%, and has paid dividends since 2002. It is trading at a slight discount to net asset value. The management fee is 0.61%.
Calamos Convertible & High Income (NASDAQ:CHY) has a decent yield of 7.3%. However, the management fee is fairly high at 1.13%. This CEF, founded in 2003, invests in high yield fixed income securities and convertible securities. The MFS Multimarket Income Trust (NYSE:MMT) pays a yield of 7.7%. The stock trades at a 9.2% to net asset value. The company, which has been around since 1987, has a management fee of 0.85%.
Baytex Energy (NYSE:BTE) is an investment trust which generates income from petroleum and natural gas properties. It generates a yield of 4.4%, and has been paying monthly since 2006. The company trades at 20.3 times forward earnings. Realty Income Corp. (NYSE:O), one of the few stocks with a single letter stock ticker symbol, yields 5.1%. This real estate investment trust, which specializes in commercial retail real estate, has been around since 1969. The stock trades at 15.9 times forward earnings.
Provident Energy Trust (PVX) is a Canadian income trust which generates a yield of 6.3% through the marketing of natural gas liquids. It was founded in 1993. Canada's new legislation taxing trust income goes into effect this year. This would tax the trusts at the corporate level in addition to the shareholder level. However, this taxation is probably already built into the price of these Canadian trusts.
The monthly dividend investments you should avoid are the ones with high management fees; the ones with limited liquidity and which trade very few shares each day; the ones that trade at a premium to net asset value; the ones using excessive leverage; and, for municipal bond closed-end funds, beware of the alternative minimum tax.
Disclosure: I did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.