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Market Wrap-Up for June 20 (PG, SO, WAG, COL, MPC, USO, more)

I used to dread days like today back in my active trading days. There was absolutely no edge whatsoever for taking positions, knowing the reaction to the Fed decision could go either way. Most of the time the moves would be big, so if you were an adrenaline junkie, this was your moment (to likely lose money). Fortunately those years are long gone and investing for income has been the right recipe to build real wealth over time.

Looking at today’s early movers, Procter & Gamble (PG) saw seeing investor selling following the company’s lowered guidance this morning. We have liked the name in the past and will take a closer look if selling gets overdone and the valuation risk/reward measures up.

Wall Street analyst calls are making some waves as the early trendless tape looks for leadership. On the upside, positive analyst chatter had stocks like Applied Materials (AMAT), and Marathon Petroleum (MPC) rallying. On the downside, cautious notes had names like Rockwell Collins (COL), Southern Co. (SO) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) ending in the red. Oil (USO) prices got hit hard as inventory supply numbers out today were quite bearish.

Savers Still Being Penalized

As market watchers awaited word from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on where interest rates/economic growth were headed, I went out on a limb (sarcasm) by saying we wouldn’t see anything different from last time, and that was pretty much correct. The Fed issued some commentary about extending “Operation Twist” and the script of record low interest rates remained unchangeded, and likely will not change for the foreseeable future.

Savers certainly have nothing to be grateful for regarding the Federal Reserve’s consistent policy of keeping interest rates at abysmally low levels. Many individuals, young and old, continue to choose to either sit in cash or instead to give their money to the bank. The bank, in turn, “generously” pays them 1.41% on average for a 5-year CD (according to today’s numbers posted on Bankrate.com). What does the bank do? They take that money and invest it themselves, earning a much higher rate of return.

For the “safety and security” of earning almost nothing, individuals continue to forfeit their ability to create better returns for themselves. High-yield dividend stocks (think in the 3% to 7% range) are clearly a better option than CDs and savings accounts in the current environment — and will continue to be for several years to come.

Thankfully, many of our readers have taken my message of wresting control over one’s nest egg to heart. This process isn’t difficult at all. All you need is an online brokerage account, money being saved and automatically deposited into the account, reading great investment research sites like ours at Dividend.com, and the persistence to do put your money to work weekly, monthly, and year-after-year.

The Early Morning Advantage

New research from the University of Toronto came up with an interesting and not surprising finding regarding adults’ sleeping habits. It appears that morning people, who rise around 7:00 am, are happier and more energetic than people who prefer to get out of bed around 10:00 am.

These findings aren’t at all surprising to me. I’ve spent my life waking up to alarm clocks (usually very early in the morning for the better part of the last 25 years), without the services of the snooze button. I know many people like to hit “snooze” to squeeze in a bit more rest time, but I fear some do so because they aren’t looking forward to the day ahead of them.

From running my own food business to running my own capital as a trader, I always had a great reason to get up and out of bed. This trend has certainly continued with running the day-to-day of our Dividend.com site as well.

I’ve always been an advocate for waking up early. I find it’s much easier to get things done that way. Not everyone needs to wake up as early as I do, however. The real key is that when you do wake up, you should have a firm plan as to what you want to accomplish that day. Great musicians, for example, don’t need to wake up early to perfect their craft, but they will often stay up into the wee hours of the morning in order to get things done. So you see, rising early isn’t a must — as long as you’re willing to stay up extra late.

In conclusion, you have to be willing to put in the time in order to be successful. Preparation is also key to get you off and running each day. This process has worked wonders for me in my life, and I know it’ll do the same for you.

An Important Note Regarding the Best Dividend Stocks List

We want to make sure everyone understands that the stocks on our Best Dividend Stocks List are the names we currently like for new investor capital, regardless of what date the stock was first recommended on. If and when a stock is removed from the list, we will clearly state whether the stock should be sold (which is rare but occasionally will happen), or simply held in one’s account until we see a better entry point or catalyst.

And here’s one last thing to remember about what we do here at Dividend.com: it’s not just the names that we recommend that can help you build wealth, but also the things we try to steer you away from that are just as important. Forget about speculative or penny stocks, chasing unprofitable IPOs, and listening to the manic talking heads in the business media!

Our Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks eBook Has Arrived!

We just debuted our brand new 275-page eBook, exclusively on Dividend.com! In this digital-only book, we look ahead to 2012 and the main factors that could affect dividend investors. A $39.95 value, the eBook is a free download for paid Dividend.com Premium subscribers.

Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks contains a full economic forecast for 2012, including in-depth analysis on 65 of the biggest dividend stocks out there. It’s a great way to get prepared for your investing next year! So head over to the Dividend.com Premium homepage now to download your copy.

A Dividend Capture Strategy for Active Investors

We now offer complete U.S. dividend data for all Dividend.com Premium members, so anyone that focuses on “Dividend Capture” trading strategies should have plenty of good stuff to research each day. Just check our enhanced Ex-Dividend Calendar, which is the best in the business, to search for upcoming payouts.

Speaking of dividend capture, Dividend.com Premium members can also access a 9-page report we published on the essential elements to any successful dividend capture strategy. Be sure to check it out here on the Premium homepage.

Dividend.com’s Very Own National TV Commercial Has Debuted

Our first-ever television commercial! has started running on CNBC and the feedback has been wonderful. If you haven’t seen the link yet, you can check out our commercial here.

Thanks for reading everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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