I retired from elementary school teaching in May, 2011. Today I'm an avid low desert gardener, researching varieties of peaches, plums, pears, apples and tomatoes that can survive and produce fruit in Arizona's 105˚+ summer heat. Now I'm researching dividend growth investing to find ways that invested savings can yield dividends the way orchards and gardens yield fruit. The real question is whether a beginner can successfully select stocks with dividends that can survive the ups and downs of today's economy. To find out, I rolled my tiny 403(b) over into an IRA and bought my first shares of MCD in May 2012.
July, 2013: I've sold most of the mutual funds in my IRA and invested the proceeds into dividend paying stocks: AAPL, INTC, MCD, PAYX, ABT, JNJ, AEP, PEG, CAT, COP, PG, GIS, KO, O, AFL, NSRGY, ABBV, and KRFT. The one year total return is a tad above 6%, the dividend yield is about 3.3%, and the portfolio's Beta is 0.7
In the garden, I'm trying to grow three varieties of blackberries, two papaya seedlings, a pummelo seedling, tromboncino squash, and miniature butternut squash vines.
The USA is in trouble due to a broken federal political system, corruption that is less sinister and more systematic, lobbyist control of everything, and free markets used as an excuse to make money off people's misery. Despite this fact, I want to survive and (in parallel) I want to see humanity progress so I'll just do my little part and hopefully I have some success. If anyone here is truly seeking "alpha" status then you are guaranteed to fail as it only happens to those not looking for it. "The crow doesn't choose the crow life, the crow life chooses the crow" -- The Lord Of Crows. I cannot help my cynicism but I enjoy humanist moments plus I also really like a good laugh since, as you may know, humor is one of the most important aspects of life.