Dividend Investors Should Focus On Stocks, Not The Market

The election may be settled, but investors' fears are not. When Barack Obama was first elected, the market plunged on worries of the looming Fiscal Cliff and European concerns. Budget negotiations began on Capitol Hill, optimism returned and the market responded. More recently, Obama's popularity plunged, then the Republicans regained control of the Senate. Is it a stock market, or a yo-yo?

Looking at this CNN Money chart might lead you to believe that "yo-yo" is the more appropriate term:

Fear & Greed Index

fear.jpg[ Enlarge Image ]
Chart courtesy of CNN Money

Where's The Market Going From Here?

In one form or another, I routinely get this question, "What do you think of the market? Where's it headed?" Normally, I politely respond as expected, but occasionally I will startle the person with a reply like, "I don't know. For me it really doesn't matter much." My investing goals are not defined by movements in the market.

Many people define the market broadly as the S&P 500. Very little of my total portfolio is in an S&P 500 index. Its movements up or down have minimal effect on my goals. As a value-based investor in dividend growth stocks, it is in my best interest to have stocks depressed and yields high, at least for the short term. This provides a choice between worthy investments, unlike the market boom years when it was a struggle to find fairly priced stocks.

Focus On Solid Dividend Stocks, Not The Market

Instead of looking at the market and its direction, investors in dividend growth stocks should focus on quality, price and ultimate value. Below are several quality dividend stocks selling below their calculated fair value:

  • The Coca-Cola Company (KO),
  • AT&T Inc. (T), 
  • Microsoft (MSFT), 
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), 
  • IBM's (IBM), 
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)

Continue reading this article on GuruFocus.

Full Disclosure: Long XOM, IBM, CSCO, MSFT, T, KO in ...

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