Saw this forum on another website and glad I found another forum other than Seeking Alpha to post on. One of my hobbies is investing and talking about investing. I enjoy looking at numbers, I have since I was a kid, but they get more exciting when a dollar sign is in front of them. I'm 25 and started investing when I was 16 . My strategy has evolved over the years from buying only the S&P 500 through SPY or investing in the Vanguard Total Market iIdex (VTI) into picking individual stocks. I'm pretty vanilla on what I pick: the stock has to pay a dividend above 1.5%/year and raise it at least once every two years to perk my interest. However, I don't like casinos though I feel the urge every once in awhile so I've played around with options from time to time--I'm down a few hundred overall on these but have some great stories. My believe is dividends are the way to secure a future retirement/prosperity. Almost seems too good to be true that someone would give you 1.5% return on your money plus an annual raise on top of that through dividend increases. The tax advantages round everything out and make them my favorite income stream. For anyone that wants to make fun (I heard most of them: "you invest like my grandmother", *snore* *snore* "Oh wait, you were telling me what stocks you owned") I've put my major holdings (more than 300 shares) below: GE LYB HRL UNP DIS--people gave this to me otherwise I would not buy it, violates my rules LMT NP PFE XOM CB WFC I love stock suggestions as I don't know every company out there. HRL was a tip back in 2012 and I owe several thousand dollars to that gentleman's tip, so bring them on.