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Our monthly dividend list continues to be one of the most popular lists on our site. Monthly dividend stocks come with a few benefits. Their returns compound monthly instead of quarterly. Those looking for retirement income get paid faster and on a monthly basis, which helps maintain a budget.

Many of the funds and trusts that pay monthly dividends have been hit hard over the last year and offer a good buying opportunity now. We’ve created a small list of diversified monthly dividend paying funds and trusts that have a dividend yield over 5% and have a positive return year to date.

Sabine Royalty Trust (SBR)

Sabine Royalty Trust functions to collect income from the trust’s properties, pay off expenses and distribute income to unit holders. The properties produce oil, gas and minerals.

SBR is up 12.5% year to date and has a 5.87% yield. It has a beta of .7 and has 9% institutional ownership.

Hugoton Royalty Trust (HGT)

XTO conveyed an 80% interest in it’s natural gas properties located in Wyoming, Oklahoma and Kansas under three different conveyances.

HGT is up 8.6% year to date with a yield of 6.2%. It has a beta of .74 and institutional ownership is at 20%.

BlackRock Income Trust (BKT)

The Blackrock investment trust is a closed-end investment company whose goal is to both preserve capital and pay out monthly income. It seeks to do this by investing in a variety of mortgage backed securities and corporate bonds.

BKT is up 8.3% year to date and has a yield of 5.9%. Beta is .1 and institutional ownership is 39%.

Cross Timbers Royalty Trust (CRT)

Cross Timbers Royalty trust derives a majority of its income from natural gas. XTO is the grantor of the trust and owns the 2900 producing properties.

CRT is up 16.35% year to date and had a dividend yield of 6.4%. It has a beta of .62 and has 14% institutional ownership.

Pioneer High Income Trust (PHT)

Pioneer is another closed-end investment trust. Is however invests at least 80% of assets in low-grade, high-yield debt securities, loans and preferred stocks.

PHT has a year-to-date return of 9.2%. It pays a monthly dividend of $.14 giving it a yield of 9.75%. Beta is .75 and institutional ownership is 5%.

Flaherty and Crumrine Preferred (PFO)

The Flaherty and Crumrine Preferred Income Opportunity Fund invests 80% or more of its assets in preferred securities. At least 25% of its total investments are in the utility and finance sector.

PFO has a year-to-date return of 6.8%. It pays a monthly dividend of $.08 per share giving it a yield of almost 9%. Beta is .55 and institutional ownership is 15%.

Western Asset High Income Fund (HIX)

Western Asset High Income Fund invests in debt securities, zero coupon securities, deferred payment securities and pay-in-kind bonds. Up to 35% of its debt securities investments may be in emerging markets.

Hix has a year-to-date return of 4.4% and a monthly dividend of $.08 giving it a yield of 10.1%. Beta is .84 with 11% institutional ownership.

BackRock New York Municipal (BNY)

BackRock New York Municipal seeks to invest in bonds that are exempt from federal and New York state income taxes. Up to 20% of its assets may be in low rated municipal bonds.

BNY is up 12.25% year to date and pays a monthly dividend of $.08 giving it a yield of 6.4%. Beta is .16, institutional ownership is 2%.

BackRock Income Opportunity (BNA)

Blackrock Income Opportunity Trust invests in many different types of bonds. Mostly government securities, mortgage related securities and corporate bonds. At least 75% of its investments must be made in investment grade quality.

BNA is up 3.9% year to date and has a monthly dividend of $.05 giving it a yield of 6.3%. Beta is .17 and institutional ownership is 23%.

Our best dividend stocks list seeks to highlight investments that combine capital apprecitaion and dividend yield to drive total return. Each fund and trust listed here has a total return over 10% so far for 2011.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Monthly Dividend Stocks With A Positive Return