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The stock market decline on Monday is a helpful back-to-reality development for all the newcomers to investing over the past 18 or so months.

Stocks went straight up after the pandemic crash of March, 2020, and a pullback of significant size is inevitable. We don’t know whether the plunge that started the week is the beginning of this event, or just a blip. But a market shakeout is coming.

Brokers will have their hands full when it happens. Their websites will be flooded with orders to trade stocks and their phone lines will be swamped by jangly-nerved clients having their first taste of a market plunge. One positive in all of this is that investors will have a chance to buy stocks at lower prices than we’ve seen lately.

Got your shopping list ready? I do. I have a list of dividend-growth stocks I’m following in a Globeinvestor.com watchlist.

My investments are held in a mix of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and individual dividend stocks chosen for dividend growth and yield. I use the Globe Investor watchlist to help identify opportune moments for buying more of those dividend stocks. Just as an aside, I make regular automatic investments into my ETF holdings.

What I’m looking for in dividend stocks are price declines that move yields into an attractive zone for particular stocks. Falling stock prices drive up yield, and vice versa. To track both yields and dividend growth, I use the “dividend view” on the watchlist.

A Google search can help you compare current yields for a stock with its historical levels – try something like “Enbridge historical dividend yield.” Note: Most investing websites charge for data like these, but offer some features for free or on a free-trial basis.

Patience will be needed to buy stocks in a falling market. Investors sometimes feel angry when they can’t place a trade at an optimum moment in a fast-moving market, and that’s legitimate. But there’s no getting around the fact that the negatives of do-it-yourself investing include access risk, which means not being able to trade at the exact time you want to.

Avoid trading at market open and close to minimize the chance of frustration and consider using your broker’s mobile app instead of a slow-loading, data-heavy website.

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