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No. of Recommendations: 8
I will be receiving a lump sum payment in the next few months and want to invest it in income producing stocks, REITS, etc. Problem is I have no experience in investing so I am in the process of trying to educate myself. My goal is to take this lump sum and invest it so I may retire now. if I can get a 5 to 6% return on my money I will have no problems having enought to retire on.

To get 5 or 6% you have two choices: REITs or Risky.

I'm not into risky so I can't help you there. But I am into REITs so I can offer up a few for you to look into.

I own more stocks than are listed here, but these are the ones I feel comfortable recommending. When you do your due diligence you'll find about half of the stocks are utilities and the other half REITs. I feel utilities are safer (if you pick them carefully) and I like REITs because they pay high dividends. There's also a bank stock in there because I'm trying to diversify.

I own the following stocks through both an online broker and DRIP plans:
PNY 24+ years of increasing dividends.
(Gives 5% discount on reinvested dividends through its DRIP plan.)
WTR 10+ years of increasing dividends.
(Gives 5% discount on reinvested dividends through its DRIP plan.)
SO 54 consecutive years of paying dividends.
PGL 9 years of increasing dividends.
ASO 30 years of increasing dividends.
ATO Good solid dividend paying utility stock.
KSE Good solid dividend paying utility stock.
WRE 34+ years of increasing dividends.
FRT 37+ years of increasing dividends.

We have an active utility board here at TMF:
Industry Discussions / Energy & Utilities

And we have an active REIT board here at TMF:
Industry Discussions / Real Estate Inv. Trusts: REITs

I highly recommend you read them both regularly.

Beware Full Service brokers their commissions are wealth killing! If you know what stocks you want to buy an online broker like Ameritrade ($10.99 a trade) or Scottrade (about $7 I think) beats the heck out of $35 to $75 a trade.

Also, if full service stock brokers (Charles Schwab, Edward Jones ($75!), Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Salmon Smith Barney to name a few) make their money by persuading you to sell one stock to buy another (Commissions). They won't recommend dividend paying stocks because you'll just hang on to them and collect the dividends.
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