Based on the aggregated intelligence of 160,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, commercial retail REIT Realty Income (NYSE: O) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Realty Income's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Realty Income facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Escondido, Calif. (1969)

Market Cap

$3.2 billion



Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$327.6 million


CEO Thomas Lewis, Jr. (since 1997)

CFO Paul Meurer (since 2001)

Return on Capital (Average, Past 3 Years)


Cash / Debt

$10.0 million / $1.4 billion

1-Year Return



Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG)

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI)

Highly Rated REIT Alternatives

Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR)

Lexington Realty Space (NYSE: LXP)

Winthrop Realty Trust (NYSE: FUR)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 21% of the 488 members who have rated Realty Income believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include pmiloradovich and All-Star whitepapers, who is ranked in the top 5% of our community.

Two months ago, pmiloradovich touched on the stock as a particularly dangerous way to earn income: "I think that too many people are blindly chasing dividends here."

In a pitch from one month earlier, whitepapers elaborates on that bearish line of thinking. Here's an excerpt:

The one thing that stands out to me is the huge payout at 160%. Paying out more than you earn; that sure seems like a recipe for disaster. ... So maybe some people don't care or aren't looking at how long these companies stay solvent, but at how much they can get out of them (in the form of a dividend) today. ... Last, let me disclose that this catches my contrary mind-set. REITs are in style and I like to look for things in style and see if people are overlooking risks and fundamentals.

What do you think about Realty Income, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to protect your portfolio from any undue risk. Staying away from dangerous stocks is crucial to securing your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to flag them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.