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"In general quality dividend stocks are less risky than many other financial instruments, and they are certainly less risky that a newbie learning about trading options with actual money (as opposed to doing it phantom style for a year to see if they know anything about it)."

In general, you'll live to 80 plus. Of course, in specifics, you could get run down by a raving lunatic tomorrow on your way to the grocery store.

If you invest in INDIVIDUAL assets, including one house, or a handful of stocks, or a handful of bonds, you expose your self to danger. You can insure your house against catastrophe (most of them) but likely you have no insurance against a fall in value. Or Earthquake or volcano damage. Maybe not even flood insurance.

For individual stocks, unless you play games with options, you are exposed to BP type risks. One disaster, and 'poof'. Same for crisis, and GE went down the drain. A stock that had paid dividends for eons and raised them faithfully.

WCOM took over MCI..which was actually paying a small dividend. It gobbled up another 50 companies along the way, many of them making money. WCOM was a ponzi scheme...and fell apart once the curtain was pulled back.

Folks got creamed on WHOOPS bonds. THen folks were screwed by the government on GM Bonds....and Ford bonds.....royally. GM Bonds.....for 70 years paid interest on time. Then 'poof'....


"(WCOM was never what anyone would call a quality stock."

For 2 decades, folks made millions .....if they sold before it crashed...


"Those sorts of things can happen to any single stock. A dividend oriented ETF can smooth that out nicely, although as we saw in 2008, there's no guarantee of anything in life. "

Yes, you don't want to own 'just a few' stocks. Just one wipeout for whatever reason (their nuke plant blows up? a competitor has a better solution at half the price? There is a major food poisoning episode? The government puts in price controls on medicines? ).......

Buy a mutual fund, or own at least 20 different dividend paying stocks, in roughly 5% proportions.

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