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So, you have you’re debt paid off and you have your emergency fund done. You have a house and savings plans put in place for vacations, home improvement, and kids.

Now, at the bottom of the list, we have gotten to you — 2012 gets to be the year where you begin to build your wealth, dream a little, and play in the big leagues. When we begin talking about the stock market, we are talking the big leagues. You now are playing in a world where people can lose $50,000 without noticing, where $1 million gets made and nobody cares, and hedge fund managers manipulate the market for their portfolios.

Now, if you’re ready, let’s dig in.

Stocks that people are looking at right now to grow their money are the old standbys. McDonald’s stock grew last year for this very reason. People are looking into stocks that pay out a dividend. These  are called dividend-paying stocks. Traditionally, you will find these in what we call the cash cows of stocks — McDonald’s, Bob Evans, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to name a few.

The wealthy tend to stick to even more traditional stocks which are called utility stocks. First off, utilities are extremely important and have seen a large influx of investors — especially the gas companies. More so, these “wonder stocks” also pay great dividends. Ones that you may be interested in are: Amerigas Partners paying 6.46%, Niska Gas Storage Partners at 14.37%, Suburban Propane Partners paying 7.11% , Duke Energy Corp. at 4.65%, and PP&L Corp. at 4.87%. These are just a few that you may like.

The reason why the wealthy invest in dividend stocks is because each quarter the stock pays a dividend based on how much you have invested. This dividend can be reinvested to buy more stock. When the stock price is lower, you buy more stock. When the price goes up, you make money on the amount that you own. In a market like this, where the stocks go up and down each day and there isn’t a lot of money to be made in the short term, these are great investments buys for those just starting out. And when you turn 65, you will have a nice pot of cash awaiting you.

Anna Domzalski is a staff writer for the Financial Bin. Anna will soon begin her role as Dean of Financial Bin University and will conduct online budgeting classes beginning in February 2012. She can be reached via email at [email protected].

Make sure to pick up your copy of Entrepreneur Intervention: Triumphs & Failures of Entrepreneurs today. Let these 28 individuals share their trials and tribulations with you as they embarked on starting and growing their own companies. It is available on Amazon in paperback and for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Sony Reader.