Many investors understandably prioritise a decent income on their share market investments above all else.

However, it’s no use blindly buying shares that offer high yields if the value of your capital falls to leave your investments underwater.

Smart investors then look to stocks that offer high yields, with a solid outlook for capital appreciation over the medium to long term. The key is to only buy quality businesses with strong outlooks on reasonable valuations.

Below I have three businesses to buy for income and potential growth out to 2018.

Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE) is the technology business that provides leading financial services firms data feeds for trading, portfolio management and other financial planning operations. Its dominant competitive position and attractive economics mean it ticks the boxes as a solid growth prospect. A recent Brexit-inspired fall in the share price means shares look reasonable value at $10.80. The yield is a partially franked 4.2% with analysts’ forecasts for steady growth in dividends out to 2018.

Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) is the US-focused shopping centre operator with a number of large development projects in the pipeline including the flagship World Trade Centre New York development. The group is expertly managed by the founding family with a long-term focus and defensive earnings base. This is undoubtedly one of the best businesses on the ASX in my opinion. Westfield expects to pay between US 32.5 and US 34.5 cents per share this financial year. This puts it on an FX-adjusted yield in the region of 4.3%. Shares look a buy.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) as the operator of the Coles supermarket chain will need no introduction to investors. Coles has been delivering consistent same-store sales growth that bodes well for the short-term outlook. It also operates the super successful Bunnings Home Improvement chain, with plans to build a similar business in the UK. I expect this endeavour will prove a success and a recent Brexit-induced dip in the share price presents a buying opportunity for smart investors. Shares sell for $39.60 and the yield is a fully franked 5%.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of Westfield. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

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. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.