Lets talk stock. Many of you may be wanting to dabble in stock in the future, and honestly today would be a great day to jump in (more on that later). Stocks are a great thing to tinker with while at work if you tend to be on hold a lot like I am. So let’s get started.
1. Find a Platform to Trade with- I use Robinhood. It’s an app, it is free* and so far I have incurred zero fees from it these past 5 months. Honestly it is great except it takes a few days for money to transfer between trades. So lets grab that and then throw some cash from your bank account into it. I started with $500 bucks to try this whole stock thing out.
2. Lets Start Shopping- Stocks are all about risks. Since we are in this to make money, I am going to recommend that we look to long-term investing for the most part. That means no trying to bet on shorts or any other gambling moves. Lets find stock that will grow over time given what we know about the world and what we see of the stocks past performances. My portfolio is pretty small, but I will name off my main stocks and explain why I chose each.
a. Phillip Morris (PM)- Big Tobacco. Right off the bat we are going with sin stocks. PM is great because it is only international (no dealings in US), so all those third world children that smoke while barefoot in that textile plant are making sure this stock does well. And well it does. This stock pays out a decent dividend and when you look at its history it has continually done better than the stock market as a whole. Cigs still sell during recessions, and when gas prices go down there is a direct correlation to cigarrette purhases going up. This is a very safe play if you dont mind sitting on money for the next few years and watching it grow.
b. NiSource (NI)- We all are aware that oil and gas have been in the dumps, but you wouldnt know it if you looked at this stock’s history (the big drop last year is from it splitting from Columbia Gas, and didn’t adversly affect holders of the stock if you were wondering). This is a great company because much of their value isnt from the gas but from people leasing gas lines to transport it. gas will always have to move from place to place and homes are still going to need heat. I am very confident that your dollar amount will grow if you invest in this, that is why I have a couple hundred in it currently.
c. ECA and BCS- Encana (ECA) is a risky bet that I have taken. I am betting oil recovers and if it continues to do so this stock will increase in value. If not I lose money. Its a flip of a coin, but hey this is a form of gambling after all. BCS, Barclays, is a British bank that just got thrashed by the Brexit and I totally bet the wrong way on. That said, I am very tempted to buy more of it since it dropped 7% today and banks tend to be resiliant and eventually bounce back.
3. Other Important Things- Stocks arent a guaranteed win money thing. That is why I am still playing with less than a $1000 bucks. That said, I am up 17% from the start of the year because of playing mainly safe bets and occasionally taking the ECA and BCS risk.. If you are going to take a risk though, I suggest the following: 1. evaluate why you think a certain market will grow (for example I felt ECA would bounce back from it’s 3 dollar low and it is now in the $7s). 2. Make sure you look at the company and think they are a ‘strong’ company (for example I bet on BCS and was wrong and lost money...for now). If you picked a good company they should overcome the challenge of the market and still eventually be a good investment. Warren Buffet has stated that he only makes purchases if he feels the company will be worth more in 5 years or so (obviously paraphrased). You should use the same logic. 3. Never bet what you arent willing to lose. We are gambling after all.
4. Why Now- Well, Why not. Stocks will teach you about the global economy and ideally help you with longterm growth of a more diverse retirement portfolio. Also, Brexit has the market in a frenzy and buying when the market is down is the best time.
tl;dr Buy stocks and you will feel like an adult and want to read those stupid number charts in the newspaper