What is the “American Retirement Company?”

Sniffing out the teaser pick from Brian Hicks' The Wealth Advisory

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 27, 2014

“Since going public in 1994, this small company has single-handedly outperformed Exxon, Microsoft, McDonalds, the S&P 500, and the Dow Industrials… COMBINED!

“In that period, it out-gained both gold and silver 8 to 1…

“It crushed General Electric’s return of 462% nearly 10-fold…

“It beat the once-largest company in the world, Cisco Systems, by 220%… and the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, by 493%…

“It paid its shareholders (mostly retired Americans) more income than the combined dividends of Target, Lowe’s, and Coca-Cola…

“And how about the world’s greatest investor? Yes, it even outperformed Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway by 485%!”

How’s that for an intro, eh? We all know that “past performance does not guarantee future results,” but it’s impressive nonetheless.

So what’s this all about? That intro is from a teaser pitch by Brian Hicks for his The Wealth Advisory newsletter… and it makes a nice counterpoint to the current frantic chatter about IPOs … here’s a bit more:

“On October 18, 1994, one of the greatest investments of the last 20 years went public on the New York Stock Exchange for a mere $8.70 a share.

“Only Apple has had a better return.

“It barely got any attention from big Wall Street firms — after all, it was a microcap stock… the smallest of the small. So it’s no wonder a measly 405,000 shares traded the day it debuted… and its stock never got above $8.77.”

So what was this mostly ignored company that went public 20 years ago and has had such remarkable returns for investors? Hicks calls it the “American Retirement Company” and loves the stock, and thinks it’s “about to get better.” Here’s more from Hicks:

“It’s been one of the best-performing investments of the last twenty years!

  • Every $0.25 invested in the “American Retirement Company” at the IPO has turned into $11.26… every dollar has turned into $45.07.
  • It has paid more dividends (per 1,000 shares) than pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and “big blue” IBM.
  • It has increased its dividend payout every single year it’s been public.
  • And the company has never posted a loss… even during the financial crisis of 2008–2009.

“And guess what? It’s about to get better.

“You see, the company’s business is in such high demand, it’s posting a 44% increase in annual revenue over last year’s. It’s the highest revenue in its history.”

So who’s the company? It’s a landlord. Here are some more clues:

“The ‘American Retirement Company’ is the nation’s largest supplier of space.

“That’s right, commercial real estate.

“It owns and rents out enough office, retail, factory, agricultural, and warehouse space to fill up almost 10 Pentagons. Or to put it another way, it owns so much commercial real estate, it’s equivalent to 1,076 NFL football fields…

“… the company has paid 241 consecutive monthly dividends since going public in October 1994. It has never missed a dividend payment. Ever!

“The “American Retirement Company” is so reliable and trustworthy, my parents purchased it based on what I told them.

“And I want you to own it too… and start collecting monthly dividends just like my parents.”

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So who is it? Well, there is a whole passel of other clues in the spiel from Hicks, which you can see here if you’re curious, but he’s teasing a longtime income investor favorite that many of you have probably heard of: Realty Income (O)

Realty Income is an extremely shareholder-focused REIT that owns primarily small shopping centers and pads that are occupied by fast food restaurants, pharmacies and similar kinds of tenants, primarily national and regional chain stores. Over the years they’ve also expanded and acquired other kinds of properties, including auto dealerships and wineries, but the core of the company i