Like most people, I'm a sucker for a good headline. That made me easy pickings over on Yahoo! Finance the other day when I came across Robert Kiyosaki's "Lazy People Don't Get Rich."
"Allow me to be politically incorrect: The No. 1 reason people aren't rich is because they're lazy," he writes.
He then goes on to single out honesty and ambition as the two traits that will enrich you. I'm cool with that, but just because you're lazy doesn't mean you're not honest or ambitious. As long as you exert enough effort to get started saving and investing, being lazy can actually make you richer.
Don't believe me? I'll prove it.
Buy and hold vs. buy and scold
Investors tend to be an active bunch -- often to their detriment. Consider the new metric Morningstar
The initial results are surprising. In many cases, investors did worse than a fund's performance data would have you believe. That's because investors are impatient. They went chasing after returns after a fund's best years were behind it. Consider Janus Capital Group's
There are some meaty implications here, but the one I want you to focus on is that this makes the seemingly lazy "buy and hold" mantra a more attractive approach than running around the marketplace with an itchy trigger finger. In the end, you may do better doing less.
In comes the income
The virtues of laziness are particularly obvious once you start adding dividend-paying stocks to your portfolio. That's because the longer you hold, the more money you'll have to line your pockets -- even if the stock doesn't go up. While Citigroup
Sounds good, right? But get this: It gets even better if you're willing to be lazier.
If you're too lazy to cash those dividend checks, you can let that money automatically buy you an even thicker slice in your stocks through dividend reinvestment plans, or DRIPs. Hundreds of dividend-paying companies offer DRIPs as a way to reward their shareholders in Rip Van Winkle mode. And as Dr. Jeremy Siegel showed in The Future for Investors, reinvested dividends vastly improve your returns. From 1871 to 2004, reinvested dividends accounted for "97% of the total after-inflation accumulation from stocks."
And many companies offer DRIPs for you to profit from.
You don't even need to place an order with your broker to buy shares of Wendy's
We make lazy look good
It's easy. You can let your investments do your investing for you as you take a nap, walk the dog, or watch your dog take a nap. If that sounds like an attractive strategy to you, you might also consider joining Income Investor free for 30 days. Lead analyst Mathew Emmert focuses on finding the best dividend payers to help you be a lazy investor. And if you find yourself earning better returns and having more time on your hands after you subscribe, well, then you'll have Mathew to thank. Click here to learn more.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz won't kick a lazy afternoon out of bed. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. Bank of America is an Income Investor choice. The Fool has adisclosure policy.