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Are you your own worst enemy?

There is no shortage of investment literature. It usually breaks down into investment theory (time value of money, risk free rates and the like) and the newer field of behavioural finance.

Once you have a decent grasp on the former, my bet is that it’s the latter that’ll determine your success or failure.

So here’s my question: why are you paying attention to what the market thinks?

Do you avoid the list of the most shorted stocks, like iSentia Group Ltd (ASX:ISD), Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX:DMP) and Aconex Ltd (ASX:ACX).

Do you check to see whether your portfolio went up yesterday? And versus the market?

Why?

You’re trying to beat the market.

So you have to — by definition — be different to the market.

And yet, you look to the market (in the short- and medium-term) for validation?

I understand why it’s tempting. And we’ve all been there, so it’s not a criticism. But if more people understood that simple reality (and mentally and emotionally prepared themselves for the rough ride), they’d be much, much better off.

Of course, for those who want to lower volatility a notch, dividends help. You get a regular cheque (real money, not just a portfolio on a screen!), helping keep the choppy waters just a little calmer.

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This company's dividend is almost the stuff of legends. Since it started paying dividends in 2007, it has increased its payout to shareholders every single year, a run that includes 21 consecutive dividend increases.

Based on the last 12-months of dividends, its shares are currently offering a fully-franked 4.8% yield, which grosses up to almost 7% when those franking credits are included. And in stark contrast to the likes of Commonwealth Bank and Telstra, this company just increased its dividend by over 13%, and guided for 2017 profits to grow by 20%!

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Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips (TMFGilla) has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of ACONEX FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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