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Weekend Edition – Time for Investors to Catch a Breath

It was good to see the markets recoup some of the previous days' losses as we wrapped up what has been one of the most volatile weeks I can remember.

The volatility has been a boon for business television, with the LA Times reporting this week that daytime audience for CNBC jumped 68%, while the nighttime audience spiked 111%. Fox Business saw viewers spike 258% during the daytime and 162% at night. At least people are paying attention to what's going on!

Unfortunately, not all of the pundits gathered on the checkerboard of camera boxes (and usually screaming over each other) can relay the right advice to investors. You'd think that the recent 20% dip in the market indexes would've brought about a good amount of caution, but instead analysts stormed "to the rescue" with a slew of stock upgrades.

It certainly was a busy week for us here at Dividend.com, as we made literally hundreds of ratings changes within the universe of around 1,600 dividend-paying stocks we cover. We understand how crucial it is for individuals to put money to work and create new income streams, so our laser focus is on making our "Best Dividend Stocks" list as solid as it can possibly be. We often hear from baby boomer subscribers who use our service to help find income-producing stocks, which have come back in vogue considering the poor interest rate returns that money market accounts, bank CD's, and similar vehicles current provide.

Of course, we have younger subscribers as well that count on our research. It's important to invest for your retirement at a younger and younger age, which brings to mind a recent study I came across. The Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc., found in a recent survey that 45% of individuals between the ages of 35-44 have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. For the 45-54 age group, the percentage barely drops to 44%. I do my best on a daily basis to motivate readers to put their money to work, and I hope it makes an impact.

Here's a little story from my life that helps sum up the current economic climate. I brought my vehicle into my local trusted mechanic this past week for some regular maintenance. When I went to pick my vehicle back up, my mechanic friend looked absolutely exhausted. He told me his business has never been as busy as it is now, citing the trend of people holding on to their cars much longer than they used to. As anyone who's owned a car knows, the older a car gets, eventually the more major problems are bound to pop up. He then relayed an interested story about how Saturn car owners are paying the price for the General Motors ( GM ) bankruptcy. GM owned the Saturn brand and as part of its reorganization, had to shutter its Saturn business completely. The company then divvied up the remaining Saturn replacement parts among several different distributors. Because of how unorganized this process was, when my mechanic friend has to service a Saturn vehicle, it now takes him anywhere from 5-7 days just to get a replacement part (compared with other car companies, which can usually next-day a part over to him). Plus, since the Saturn parts are so scarce, the prices are usually much higher than those of other vehicles. It's pretty ironic that GM (which was bailed out by the government/taxpayers and given a clean slate) would just let Saturn owners get hosed this badly, especially considering how Saturns were supposed to be hassle-free in terms of pricing and service. You would've thought GM would have handled such a popular brand shutdown a bit better than that!

As I was leaving the shop, my mechanic asked me where he should put his money these days, and I told him dividend stocks (of course). Since he's self-employed, I also mentioned he should consider investing money into his thriving business. If he's that busy, I told him, he could bring another set of hands or two on board and keep his shop open on Saturdays. If he can invest $1000-$2000 a week in new salaries and net an extra profit of $1000-$2000 a week by servicing more cars, it certainly makes sense.

As I always say, making your money work for you is the best way to build wealth. Keep looking to invest in quality income-producing dividend stocks and if you are able to invest in yourself and your business, there is nothing wrong with that either.

Thank you for sharing part of your weekend with me, and please be sure to pass this post on to anyone you think we can get inspired and educated about money, building wealth, and using common sense to do so.

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

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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