I plan on investing in dividend stocks, and using the DRIP method to take advantage of compound interest. I will turn 18 years old in September of this year, and plan on investing the $5000 that I have saved up into different dividend stocks. I have 11 on my radar, including the NOBL dividend aristocrat index fund. My only reasoning for having that fund is to be a part of my portfolio that will be a continuous, stable fund. The other companies are stable, but the chances of the NOBL fund failing are slim to none, and still bring in a 1.8% yield as of now. This is lower than most of the companies I am looking at, but still provides a good reassurance. I will also add that I will not invest in these 11 with my $5000, that will come later on. I would probably choose 2-3 stocks to invest in with my starter money. However, I have been looking at real estate too. When I graduate college at 21 and commission into the Army, I will receive a decent paycheck. It will be approximately $3200 a month, along with a $1000 monthly housing allowance. By age 25-26 I would be receiving $4400 a month after taxes, with a $1500 monthly housing allowance. I plan on buying a duplex or triplex then since I will be making more than enough money to pay the bill, and I can rent the other side out to cover most of the mortgage anyways. I see the potential to invest in real estate past that first duplex, but I understand that the more I invest in real estate, the more I take away from my dividend portfolio. My goal would be to devote my monthly stock funds (that I would invest from my paycheck, not the dividends themselves) to real estate for a time, and then hopefully I could have a snowball effect for each one separately. Use the income I get from my rental properties to buy more properties, and use the dividends I receive to buy more stocks, along with a certain amount each month that I will add to my dividend portfolio. As a beginner investor, (I really haven't even begun yet, I am simply researching) what would you guys recommend? Is it more beneficial to stick with only one? Or could it potentially be more profitable to invest in both? Honestly, my primary problem with real estate is simply the risk. Real estate is probably the best debt to have, but what if your properties don't rent? It could quickly stack up depending on the amount of properties and debt you have. I hear of real estate investors that have millions of dollars in debt, but they make more on the return than the interest rate so they are still profiting. But what if 3 or 4 of your houses are vacant, and remain that way for a couple months? That could add up quick, and make it almost impossible to pay for.