Want to become more financially independent? Supplementing your income through investments can be a great step in that direction. Investing in stocks for the long haul is a wonderful way to build wealth for years down the road. But unless those stocks pay dividends, they aren't going to do much to help you pay your bills in the short term.
If you want some frequent cash flow you can count on along with your capital appreciation, then consider investing in either LTC Properties (LTC -0.61%) or TransAlta Renewables (TRSWF -0.71%). Their monthly payouts make these some great investments that can be excellent sources of recurring income for your portfolio.
1. LTC Properties
Real estate investment trust (REIT) LTC Properties offers investors some great exposure to healthcare while also providing some valuable diversification. It has more than 170 investments across 27 states, with half of its properties being senior housing and the other half being skilled nursing facilities. While the REIT generally uses sale-and-leaseback agreements, it is also involved in a broader mix of arrangements, including joint ventures and providing financing solutions to other companies.
That diversification is valuable for investors who don't want to invest in a business that is entirely dependent on rent payments. While rental income does make up the bulk (approximately 80%) of its income, about one-fifth comes from the interest it earns from mortgage loans, along with other sources of income.
With incredible 90% gross margins and net income normally coming in at 50% of revenue, LTC has been producing some great results for investors in recent years. Its payout ratio sits at 92% of funds from operations (FFO), which is a metric REITs use to evaluate their performance, based on its most recent quarterly results for the period ending March 31.
A high payout ratio might be a concern for many stocks, but REITs have to pay out at least 90% of their earnings to shareholders, so this doesn't necessarily present a problem for investors. That being said, the company is coming off a quarter in which its revenue of $40 million declined by 13% year-over-year. LTC noted that it had reduced rent and interest escalations during the period to help companies still struggling with the effects of the pandemic. However, with the economy still in its recovery stages and LTC maintaining strong profits despite many of its operators and partners struggling, it's a great sign that the business is resilient enough to keep its dividend payments going.
LTC stock currently yields 5.9%, and investing less than $21,000 into this business would be enough for you to earn $100 every month from its dividend. This is a relatively safe way for income investors to collect a great yield.
2. TransAlta Renewables
TransAlta Renewables pays a lower yield at 4.4%, but that's still well above the S&P 500 average of just 1.4%. Plus, as with LTC, you will receive a payment every month. This is also one of the few dividend stocks you will find that possesses some great long-term growth potential. As its name suggests, the company invests in renewable energy, and operates solar, wind, hydro, and gas facilities. According to analysts at Facts & Factors, the global renewable energy market could be worth more than $1.9 billion by 2026, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 8.3% until then.
Investors are going to need to be patient with TransAlta. The company's revenue has been stagnant over the years, and its top line of 436 million Canadian dollars in 2020 was down 2% from the previous year. This is undoubtedly a long-term play for growth investors, as it may take some time to get consumers to switch to renewable energy. However, with an attractive dividend yield, there's definitely some incentive for investors to hang on to the stock in the meantime.
Although its payout ratio currently sits at more than 100%, TransAlta's dividend doesn't look to be in any danger, as its free cash flow over the past 12 months has totaled CA$256 million -- more than the CA$237 million it paid out in dividends during that time. In each of the past five years, the company's free cash has been strong enough to support its payouts.
TransAlta hasn't boosted its dividend payments for several years, but what's important is that its current dividend looks to be sustainable. To earn $100 from this stock, you will need to invest close to $27,300. However, there's a lot more than you can earn from this investment over the long term -- demand for renewable energy isn't likely going anywhere but up, and the company is in a great position to benefit from that.