By: Dividend Sensei
The financial media is full of reasons for investors to be pessimistic. These include: political turmoil in the White House, large geopolitical risks, threats of a trade war with China, rising interest rates, and worries that America’s almost 10 year economic expansion is coming to an end.
However I consider myself a realistic optimist and thus like to remind my readers that focusing so much on short-term risks is a great way to end up missing out on the incredible wealth compounding power of the stock market. After all since 1871 the S&P 500 has generated 7% annualized, inflation adjusted total returns, meaning doubling your real buying power every decade. That period of time included numerous catastrophes including: dozens of recessions, major depressions, world wars, and a flu pandemic that killed 5% of humanity.
Which is why I’d like to point out three major positives that create a golden age for investors, including anyone looking to achieve long-term financial independence.
We’ve Never Had Better Access To Information
I started investing at the age of nine, back in the waning days of the tech bubble. Over my 22 year investing career I’ve literally tried every get rich quick trading scheme imaginable including:
- Day trading
- Momentum trading
- Currency trading
- Option speculation
- Penny stocks
Looking back on my financial life I can’t help but think that had I had access to the kind of solid, quality investing information and financial advice that we have today I could have avoided spinning my wheels for so long. In fact I’ve made, and lost, several small fortunes over the years. Which is why I’m so excited that today investors have access to a plethora of world class information, often at little or no cost. This includes financial sites that I’ve worked for or currently write for like: The Motley Fool, Simply Safe Dividends, Dividend Sensei.com, and Seeking Alpha.
Then there’s countless great blogs like Ben Carlson’s A Wealth of Common Sense and Morgan Housel’s amazing articles over at The Collaborative Fund. There’s also numerous excellent financial podcasts including: no less than five from The Motley Fool, Animal Spirits (with Ben Carlson), NPR’s Planet Money, Slate Money, and NPR’s The Indicator. And of course we can’t forget all the amazing books that are now available, including in audiobook form:
- The Snowball: Warren Buffett And The Business Of Life
- The Intelligent Investor: by Benjamin Graham (Buffett’s mentor and the father of modern value investing)
- One Up On Wall Street: by Peter Lynch (legendary value investor who crushed the market by 7% a year from 1981 to 1995).
These provide entertaining and high quality information, not just about individual investments, but also a well rounded education in the fundamentals of good long-term investing, business, and the US and global economy in general. In other words for anyone whose hungry to learn more about the world and how to gain financial independence over time, there has literally never been a better time to be alive. But wait it gets better. Knowledge without a means to put it into practice is worthless. Thankfully there too you and I have never had it so good.
I'm an Army veteran and former energy dividend writer for The Motley Fool. I currently write for both Seeking Alpha, Simply Safe Dividends, and DividendSensei.com My goal is to help all people learn how to harness the awesome power of dividend growth investing to achieve their financial dreams, and enrich their lives. With 22 years of investing experience, I've learned what works and more importantly, what doesn't, when it comes to building long-term wealth and income streams. I'm currently on an epic quest to build a broadly diversified, high-quality, high-yield dividend growth portfolio that: 1. Pays a 5% yield 2. Offers 7% annual dividend growth 3. Pays dividends AT LEAST on a weekly, but preferably, daily basis