Last week, S&P upgraded Healthcare Trust of America's (NYSE:HTA) investment grade credit rating to BBB, with a stable outlook. S&P specifically cited Healthcare Trust of America's well occupied, on-campus medical office building portfolio, conservative credit metrics, and the successful progress of the company's in-house asset management and leasing platform as rationale for the upgrade.

As an owner of Healthcare Trust of America, the S&P upgrade confirms my stock picking decision as one based on sound value investing principles. In other words, it's my goal to own high-quality REITs that offer a steady dividend with the prospects for solid share price appreciation. Healthcare Trust of America is now only one of four health care REITs with a rating of BBB or higher; Ventas, Inc. and HCP, Inc. both have an S&P rating of BBB+ and Health Care REIT is rated BBB.

Recently I visited HTA's corporate headquarters in Scottsdale Arizona to provide you this exclusive Motley Fool interview with Scott Peters, CEO of HTA.

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Robert Thomas owns shares of Health Care REIT, Healthcare Trust of America, and Ventas. The Motley Fool recommends Health Care REIT. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.