I'm not dogging on your idea, I think it's great that you've taken initiative and put your retirement into your own hands without getting ripped off by large institutional investors and their fees. My one critique would be that you should never buy a stock just because they pay dividends. There are companies that take out debt in order to pay their dividends (look at some of the car companies). Do you think a company that does this is a "sollid_company?"
As for BP, I'm long on them as well. But, I'm long not because of the dividend (although that's great) but because of the fundamentals of the company and because it's undervalued.
Moog, I totally agree with your thought, "My one critique would be that you should never buy a stock just because they pay dividends......."
Besides, the dividends I picked companies that I believe are solid companies in terms of growth/earnings/management/longevity. When you pick your own equities to invest in, then you can pick both dividend payers and solid/prosperous companies. And, of course, it's important to diversify; no telling when a BP-like disaster could occur to any one company.