Though the stock market offers few certainties to investors, one fact that can be taken to the bank is that dividend-paying stocks have handily outperformed their non-dividend-paying counterparts over the long run.

If we take a step back and think about the logistics behind a dividend payout, this really shouldn’t be surprising. A dividend is nothing more than a company sharing a percentage of its earnings with investors. That means dividend-paying stocks are almost always profitable, and they typically have time-tested business models. This is why dividend stocks tend to be so successful over the long term, and why they’re so attractive to income-seeking investors.

Dividend stocks are also at the heart of Wall Street’s best-kept, but plain-as-day, secret: dividend reinvestment. Being able to enroll in a

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