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No. of Recommendations: 2
Keeping accurate records over a period of decades is virtually impossible for normal people. You can't even use any kind of computerized records or computer spreadsheet. The programs to read the data will be obsolete in just a few years time. And all it takes is one time of forgetting to enter a quarterly transaction and you have incomplete data.

DRIPs were an arguable solution for something that was a problem years ago, but isn't anymore. To wit: high brokerage commissions.

It doesn't make much sense to me, either. A DRIP says that you see no better investment than this one company. But this is rarely (never?) the case.

These problems are in direct contradiction to one another.
On the one hand, you'd have to be so lazy that you don't bother to look for better stocks to own---you make a one-decision choice and never revisit it.

On the other hand, you are also so meticulous that you religiously keep track of every divident that is credited to you over a period of many years. In the case of a DRIP, you don't even get a check that you must cash, just a notice that the dividend was paid and how many shares you received in lieu of the cash.

FWIW, my dad was teh first and my mom was the second. She was anal-retentive to a fault in recordkeeping. But after 20 years it was impossible to figure out their actual overall cost basis for their PG&E stock.

Your own shortcomings do not apply to everyone else.

We are talking about a Spreadsheet with three columns (6 if you want to keep track of sales) - date, cost and shares. That's a 5 minute activity perhaps monthly (if you have a monthly dividend paying stock). As Lorenzo2 mentioned, one can use the year-end summary to enter and verify the share data.

If you are afraid your software will be obsolete, use one of Web tracking tools (icarra is one).

The was an often-repeated Fool article about how an investor turn a $2000 Pepsi (PEP) stock investment into $150,000+ investment via DRIP. If I recall correctly, about half the shares were accumulated via the DRIP. I am sure there are other similar examples.

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