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The “Sweet Spot”: 15 Mid-Cap Dividend Stocks to Buy

Mid-cap stocks are an overlooked and underappreciated area of the market for long-term dividend growth investors.

These companies, generally defined as stocks with market caps between $2 billion and $10 billion, have delivered tremendous performance in recent decades. According to data provided by the Schwartz Investment Counsel, a $1,000 investment made in the S&P MidCap 400 Index on March 1, 1984, would have been worth $74,159 at the end of the first quarter of 2018. For comparison's sake, the same $1,000 investment made in large caps and small caps, respectively, would be worth only $38,155 and $31,567.

Mid-cap stocks have delivered the highest risk-adjusted returns over the past 20 years relative to small caps and large caps, according to Matthew J. Bartolini, CFA, Head of SPDR Americas Research at State Street Global Advisors.

Mid-caps generally can grow faster than their larger peers (or be acquired more easily) because of their nimbler operations. However, they also tend to enjoy greater diversification, better access to capital, and more proven management teams compared to small-cap companies. Some mid-caps also offer generous payouts, landing on research firm Simply Safe Dividends' list of the best high-dividend stocks here.

Here are 15 of the best mid-cap dividend stocks right now. Each company yields more than 2% and has a long history of paying uninterrupted dividends.

National Health Investors

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Market value: $3.1 billion

Dividend yield: 5.2%

National Health Investors (NHI, $73.74) is a play on America's aging society. Specifically, the real estate investment trust (REIT) owns a diverse portfolio of skilled nursing and senior housing properties. The firm's 225 properties are run by 32 operating partners located across 33 states.

The firm's leases usually have an initial term lasting 10 to 15 years and hold the tenant responsible for taxes, maintenance and utilities - often referred to as a "triple net" lease. The result is a high-margin stream of cash flow for National Health Investors,

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