You know that every dollar you invest has the chance to multiply for you, making you richer. That's why we invest. But too often, we don't maximize the dollars we invest. We invest in ways that cost more than they need to. Here are some ways to enhance the power of your investing:
- Don't ignore dividends. Too often, we think of stable, established dividend payers as boring stocks that won't go anywhere fast. That's wrong-headed thinking. Investing in dividend-paying stocks can be extremely powerful. Learn more in this Mathew Emmert article and in his other offerings. You can also grab a free trial of his Income Investor newsletter to see which income-generating stocks he's recommending. A few past recommendations are Heinz
(NYSE:HNZ)and La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB).
- Reinvest your dividends. You can do this by investing via direct investing plans or dividend reinvestment plans ("Drips") -- learn more about them. They generally permit you to have your dividends from a stock reinvested in additional shares (often fractions of shares) of the stock. So instead of your account being credited with $17 in a given quarter, you'll end up with a little more stock, which over time will generate its own dividends. Another way to reinvest dividends is through your brokerage. Some offer this option -- check with your broker. I speak from experience here -- I made a good bit of money investing in J.P. Morgan Chase
(NYSE:JPM)via a Drip plan years ago.
- Speaking of brokerages, make sure that the one(s) you're using meet your needs and don't cost much more than they need to. Our Broker Center can help you evaluate brokerages, and it offers a handy comparison table of the brokerages that support the Fool. You could be paying $5 or $12 per trade, for example, instead of $25. These costs add up.
- Look at more than commission costs when checking out brokerages. Different brokerages will have different charges for mutual funds, bonds, and other things. Add up the fees you expect to pay and see who charges you less, offering decent service. (Our Discount Brokers discussion board can help you on this score.) Consider consolidating your brokerage accounts under one roof, too, to save money.
- Evaluate fees when shopping for mutual funds, also. They vary widely, even on index funds (which we heartily recommend). That said, don't focus solely on fees, because one fund that charges a little more than another fund may be vastly superior, overall-performance-wise. Consider a free trial of our Champion Funds newsletter to see which funds we've recommended as outstanding performers.
- Finally, as tax season shifts into high gear, know that the cost of investment materials (such as newsletters and magazines) may be taken as a deduction. Learn more in our Tax Center, which features lots of information and tips.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.