Apollo Investment Corporation (NASDAQ:AINV) is a stalwart in the business development company sector. As one of the earliest BDCs on the market, Apollo Investment has a storied history -- and a beastly, 9% annual dividend yield. Since IPO, Apollo has returned more than 80% to investors, assuming dividends were reinvested.

Apollo Investment's dividend is the by-product of more than 100 private equity and debt investments, managed externally by Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO). Some, however, are more important than others. 

In the following slideshow, I break out its five largest investments, their yields, and their size relative to the total portfolio. The last slide shows the company's historical realized gains or losses as a percentage of assets at each year end, which helps explain the returns you don't see in the dividend alone -- gains or losses from the sale of its portfolio investments. 

The Businesses Behind Apollo Investment Corporation from The Motley Fool

Jordan Wathen has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apollo Investment.. 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.