Now back to our regularly scheduled programming: Ahhh, investing for the common man. Despite the turmoil of our current economy, it is our right...nay, our duty to prepare ourselves financially to take care of ourselves and our families without the assistance of the government. Now, wouldn't it be nice if you owned, say, Coca-Cola? Man, I sure would love to own my own company worth millions to billions of dollars. So, I bought one. In fact, I bought a number of them. You can own pieces of companies in the form of stock. Owning stock makes you part owner of most any company you can think off. For instance, I own McDonald's stock. As a shareholder I commonly tell people behind the counter that I own the company and then run out with my food without paying. This is one of many benefits. Over this post and the next I will give you two ways to get started in investing. For now, here is my first method:
If You Have $2000 In Savings Right Now
I pick $2000 as an arbitrary sum but it is going to make you an immediate $50 thanks to me. We are going to grab some high tech gear to prepare for our Wall Street takeover; paper and pen. Now, make 4 boxes on that paper and put the figure $500 in each one. We are going to pick 4 companies to invest in at $500 a piece. I want you to pick big companies. Huge companies. Companies bigger than the muffin top on the lady that sat next to you on your last flight. Yes, that big. Go to finance.yahoo.com and do a little research on the companies you made a list of. I picked Wells Fargo, McDonald's, ConocoPhillips, and General Electric. Even better if the company pays a dividend. That means they give you a piece of their earning in the form of a check. So not only do you win when the stock price goes up, you win when you get your check. But I'm going to show you Charlie Sheen style winning. First, you need an account to buy the stocks from. Here's where I make you $50. If you sign up for a Trade King account you will get $50 FREE using my link. I recommend Trade King because it only costs $4.95 a trade. Meaning you pay $4.95 to buy a bunch of one company's stock, or to sell it. Heres the link:
Now, having done a little reasearch on your companies you want to buy enough shares of each one that the total amount of shares plus the $4.95 fee is under $500. Once your trade is complete you will own 4 different stocks for under $2,000. You now have an investment portfolio. As for drinking Tiger's Blood like the Sheen-man himself, you need to email customer service and tell them you want all your stocks enrolled in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRiP). This is FREE! Everytime your company pays a dividend it is automatically reinvested in that company to buy more shares. That means for the rest of your life that stock will just keep buying more of itself until you look like the rich guy in Monopoly.
Don't worry about checking your stock everyday. If you picked a company that will always be there (i.e. Amazon or Walmart) it will eventually get higher and no matter what you are making dividends. Keep a close look at your finances, save up, and when you have another $2,000...rinse and repeat. I recommend staying with these four until you have invested a total of $2,000 in each one. Then you may want to look at branching out. I'm happy to answer any questions you have.
Running from a McDonald's Employee,