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My question is about receiving dividends in a taxable account. When opening a new investment account, is it best to NOT reinvest the dividends automatically, but collect the dividends for a few months or for a year and then invest the total dividends into the stocks of my choosing? It seems that it will help track the cost basis easier.

The account will NOT have any tax advantages like a 401K or IRA, so if I sell something many, many years later; I will have an actual basis and not an estimate of cost basis for each stock or position I buy.

I am wanting to collect growing dividends to use as income for myself when needed, reinvest the collected income if I don't need it.

I know dividends from ETFs are not reinvested but if I buy dividend paying stocks or REITs in this same account, those dividends can be reinvested automatically.
Those who are already investing to collect a monthly or quarterly income, how do you handle the dividends?

I'll be starting in cash. Instead of the individual dividend aristocrat stocks, I'm thinking of starting with SDY and DLN, both are dividend ETFs. What other items should I consider in this portfolio for income? Preferably items that do NOT use a K-1 please.

Many thanks,
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