Dividends provide a return on investment, which is much more stable than relying on capital gains. Investors who select quality dividend paying companies with long histories of dividend increases can ignore the day to day fluctuations in the markets. As long as the company is paying the dividend every month/quarter like clockwork, and can afford to do so, any declines in stock prices will be more of an opportunity to buy stocks at a discount than a reason to be worried about putting food on the table. Dividend investors are thus essentially getting paid for holding on to their stocks. They could choose to spend those dividends on everyday expenses, or they could choose to buy more shares when the time is right.