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No. of Recommendations: 10
How do you know when to stop dripping?

How...? When you begin to ask yourself this question:

The problem is that I'm afraid with the amount I'll be paying each month, I won't be able to pay my bills.

I'm new to DRIPping as well, with three new DRIP's coming my way within the next 8 weeks or so, so I understand your enthusiasm.

When I first began, I created a list of roughly 3 companies I wanted. Then I realized that I wasn't too fond of one of the companies once I researched it, but I quickly replaced it with another. Then my eye caught another company, then another, then another, and so on...

Pretty soon I had a list of roughly 20 stocks to look at. All companies I had heard of before, but never researched. Then I began adding more companies to the list, until it became mammoth. I didn't know where to stop. It was fun learning about all these new companies -- and somewhat addicting -- in a hunter-gatherer kind of way...

Then I realized that I was buying companies, not collecting Baseball cards. So I started to pare down my list by putting them in a priority list -- eventually I began crossing companies off the list wondering why I ever thought of buying this or that...

Now my list is down to five companies on my "for sure" list. My goal is to have signed up for six DRIP's by the end of the year. And if things work out the way I planned, I'll have my dividend payments stretched out so I have two payments in each month -- an almost bi-weekly schedule, if possible.

I feel like I need to stop and think about what I'm doing

If you feel like you have to stop, then stop. Really. Don't buy a company on impulse today that you may regret owning next year.

And like OperaBob said, you don't have to make payments every month -- that's why they call them OPTIONAL cash payments. You can set your plans up, then add to them when you feel comfortable.

After all, look at the Fool's own DRIP portfolio -- it's been running since 1997 and it only has 5 companies...! You'll have nine companies before the end of your first year...

Don't feel you need to rush into things all of a sudden because you've come across some extra money. Knowledge is power. Take the time to learn before leaping in headfirst.

Personally, there was a moment in time a few weeks back that I was willing to just buy into five or six companies "just to get started". But I'm glad that I stopped myself from doing so because I was able to properly create an investment strategy and have more confidence in the companies I will be owning for the next 20 or 30 years.

Anyways, I'm rambling now. Good luck with your investments.

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