Stock Watching

by Mr. Cheap

I was talking to a co-worker about sports recently, and I admitted to him that I couldn’t care less about any of them. The made the astute observation that you need to be invested in the outcome of the game to care about it, otherwise it was just people doing bizarre things on a play field that hardly anyone could appreciate on their own merits. You have to buy in to the concept that the Raptors winning a game somehow improves your life in order to enjoy watching a basketball game.

I’m not sure about sports, but that’s definitely been the case with dividend stocks for me so far.

I definitely agree with the idea of buying blue-chip dividend payers for the long term (they’re for buy-and-hold, not for day trading). If you’re the type of person who will lay awake at night worrying about share prices, you should avoid the stock market entirely. If however you can buy them, ignore them other then to occasionally tune or add to your profile, the common wisdom seems to be that its a fairly straightforward path to growing wealth.

Instead I’ve been watching my E*Trade portfolio multiple times a day and taking great delights in the tiny movements of Rothmans and Bank of Montreal. After making $350 on my first day of trading I wanted to call up Warren Buffett and taunt him. I was less eager to do so the next day when I lost $200. Suddenly these random numbers that had had absolutely no impact on my life and have been bouncing around many times a day for decades had become very interesting.

I’m *hopeful* that since I watched them raise and fall with equal interest and detachment (when I shared my good and bad news with indulgent friends I prefaced the news with “no this doesn’t matter in any ways, but…”) that I won’t stupidly sell at a loss if they ever take a big drop (I hope I have cash to buy more at that point).

Time will tell, but so far I’ve been enjoying investing in dividends. And as of 10 seconds ago I’m up $320.15!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1

I’m also one of those people who does not like the thought of investing aggressively in the stock market and then worrying at night about my money. I am leaning towards doing what you did, Mr. Cheap, and investing in dividend funds. I like the idea of a buying a dividend stock that will grow over time and with little risk. The strategy is to find companies that you believe will be around for quite some time and with good growth. Keep up your blog– I like it!

2

Quietrose: What stocks are you looking at now or thinking about buying?

3

I am actually having a hard time getting into this (the application is a doosy and is Greek to me!). 🙂 I need to reserach more throughouly how to pick good dividend stocks, but I was leaning towards banks, as I am hoping that they would remain stable over time. Do you have any suggestions for good dividend stocks in the US?

4

I am actually having a hard time getting into this (the application is a doosy and is Greek to me!). 🙂 I need to reserach more throughly how to pick good dividend stocks, but I was leaning towards banks, as I am hoping that they would remain stable over time. Do you have any suggestions for good dividend stocks in the US?

5

I’m thinking about buying some US dividends in my RRSP account actually (since Canadian dividends are taxed more favourably then American, it makes sense for us if we own both to keep the US stocks in our retirement accounts, which are tax-exempt).

I really like banks, which I think the asset allocation people would worry that I’m over-focused on them. If I was putting money into US dividends right now I think I’d lean towards Washington Mutual or Bank of America.

My suspicion (not particularly well researched, so take this with a grain of salt) is that the sub-prime mortgage meltdown has really battered their stock price. Its a short-term problem, which makes then a good long-term buy right now.

Any other thoughts on good US dividends? Anyone have a link to more info about the dangers of over-investing in banks?

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