Creating, maintaining, and frequently checking a watch list of companies in which you would like to invest is an essential part of the dividend collecting process. It’s vital to know which companies you’re interested in before they move into an attractive price range for investing so that when they do you can act. I monitor my companies throughout the month and make my investing decisions at the end of each month. This method leads to fewer decisions and less trading, which for me is always a good thing.
Step One is to identify those companies in which you would like to invest. For me, they must pay a dividend; have a dominant position in its industry or a dominant brand; and have all the hallmarks of being in business for many years to come. Your own experience with brands/companies as well as the S&P 500 is a good place to look for ideas. Most of my targets are large, well-established, multi-national companies. Amgen, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble are a just few examples. Currently there are around 100 companies on my list which is fairly typical.
Step Two is to set up the watch list so that it is easily available to monitor. I use Seeking Alpha for my watch list. It is a free site and you can register with your email address. Then just follow the prompts to create a portfolio (your watch list), save it, and you’re in business. After logging in to the site, just click on portfolio in the menu bar and your list will appear with current updating prices. If you enable email alerts, Seeking Alpha will notify you of any news about your companies. You can also choose which companies on which to receive alerts in the settings menu. Yahoo Finance is another option for setting up a watch list. Both options also have mobile apps.
Step Three is simply to check on your list frequently so that you stay up-to-date with prices. It’s also prudent to create an abbreviated list of those companies that are at or near investing range. Being prepared to act before hand is much better than trying to make decisions on the fly at the last minute.
So that’s it. Nothing difficult. Just requires a little thought/research, pre-planning, and consistent monitoring. Being well organized before the time to make your decisions is the key.