Scott Stokas spent two years at Realty Income, first as an associate of acquisitions, and later as director of acquisitions. In the latter position, his responsibilities included sourcing potential transactions and negotiating and structuring investments. Here, Mr. Stokas shares information on becoming a Realty Income shareholder.

The simplest way to become a Realty Income shareholder is to buy shares through either of two programs: Direct Stock Purchase or Dividend Reinvestment. Wells Fargo Shareowner Services operates these investment plans, which are available to new and existing investors and can be accessed either online or by mail.

The Direct Stock Purchase program allows investors to buy shares of Realty Income through the company’s transfer agent, Wells Fargo. This program is designed for investors who would like to make either a one-time investment or continuous investments in Realty Income. 

The Dividend Reinvestment program allows a shareholder to purchase additional shares each month with the dividend received from Realty Income. Either the entirety or a portion of the dividends can be reinvested monthly.

Realty Income pays monthly dividends to shareholders. The company owns over 3,000 commercial properties, mostly rented under long-term leases to commercial enterprises such as retailers, distributors, and entertainment venues. To learn more about investing in Realty Income, visit


Scott Stokas possesses nearly a decade of experience within the financial and commercial real estate industries. Currently, Scott is VP, Acquisitions for Pontus Capital where, in addition to structuring investments for the company, he oversees Pontus’ environmental impact and green initiatives.

As part of its corporate responsibility measures, Pontus Capital makes an effort to promote energy conservation, paperless operation, and the recycling and reuse of materials. In terms of energy conservation, Pontus Capital has implemented a number of energy-saving practices in the office, such as turning off computers and lights nightly, and setting office equipment to use Energy Saver modes. Pontus Capital employs 100-percent recycled paper, and encourages its employees to utilize duplex copying and printing. To further reduce paper waste, Pontus Capital also shares files, company news, and other information on a wireless network.

As vice president for acquisitions at Pontus Capital in La Jolla, California, Scott Stokas evaluates, structures, and executes acquisitions of real estate and structured finance securities. He holds both the Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.

With the wide range of securities available in different markets, it is critical that the financial professionals who sell securities to the general public have a thorough understanding of markets and securities, as well as a deep grounding in ethical considerations.

There are many different licenses issued by either the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Futures Association (NFA), or the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The two most important licenses necessary to do business as a stockbroker are the Series 7 and the Series 63 license, both administered by FINRA. Many states require both licenses.

The Series 7 license is earned by passing an exam of 260 questions, 250 of which count toward the score. Candidates are given six hours to complete the exam, which covers several areas, including prospecting, evaluation of clients’ financial situations and objectives, record keeping, and appropriate client communication.

The exam for the Series 63 license takes 75 minutes and consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, 60 of which are included in the score. These questions evaluate a candidate’s mastery of state securities laws and regulations, in addition to fiduciary obligations and ethical practices.