I'd suggest first starting with an index fund (passive only) or perhaps take advantage of SPDR and QQQ or types of vehicles to diversify risk. As for the Foolish 4 (Dogs of the Dow,) over the long term they tend to outperform the DOW as a whole because they would fall into the "Value" stock category, which over time has outperformed the index. But this is too technical for my tastes as someone who is investing for my retirement (decades down the road). I'd only invest in individual stocks if I considered it entertainment. I don't expect to beat the S&P 500 or Nasdaq 100 over the next 30 years, but I do enjoy the whole process of tracking stocks and companies so I have decided to buy individual stocks. If you consider spending hours and hours and hours a month researching companies and reading Forbes, then by all means buy AND HOLD LONG TERM individual stocks, but if this is not "fun" to you, stick with passive index funds, growth funds, etc. ONLY PASSIVE FUNDS!!!
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