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The Confusion Over Stock Dividends

The Confusion Over Stock Dividends
Photograph by Fausto Giaccone/Anzenberger/Redux

Did anyone bother to notice that the Standard & Poor’s 500 index quietly hit an all-time high this week?

All-time high, that is, if you were good and reinvested your dividends, as all self-respecting brokerage firms give you the option of doing. Great Recession and jobless recovery be damned: You’d be ahead of where you were when the market set its high in October 2007 (otherwise, sans dividend reinvestment, the index remains about 10 percent off that peak).