Does your cable company make your blood boil? Turn the tables and let the company make you some money for a change.
The electric company, your cable provider and your mortgage lender: All are collecting your hard-earned money month after month. And they may be making your life miserable, too, between increasing rates and nearly nonexistent customer service.
Rather than resign yourself to simply sending money to companies you don’t particularly like, turn the tables and let your least favorite firms make you some cash. Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson explains in the video below.
Take a minute to see what Stacy has to say, and then keep reading for more on this moneymaking strategy.
Make money with smart stock decisions
Just because a company is making money off your back doesn’t mean you can’t also make money off it. As Stacy explains in the video, his stock in ConocoPhillips has increased more than 100 percent since his purchase in 2009. It’s up 124 percent, to be exact, as of this writing. And that’s only one of a number of major stocks he owns that have seen their value double, or even triple, since he purchased them.
Interestingly, even the companies we seem to universally hate keep on making money. Check out the three-year gains on pay TV and Internet providers, which all seem to consistently rank near the bottom of the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
- Dish Network — 153 percent.
- Time Warner Cable — 130 percent.
- Comcast — 130 percent.
- DirecTV — 85 percent.
Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future gains, and while these percentages were accurate at the time of this writing, they could change before publication.
The fact is we may not like these companies, but the Internet and cable are not going anywhere any time soon. Same goes for electricity, gas-fueled cars and personal banking. Sure, even a big company can go under, but businesses operating in fields such as these are likely to keep making money because they provide services and products needed by the vast majority of the population.
3 tips to buy stocks the right way
Once you’ve decided you want to get in on these companies’ profits, you need to be smart about it. Here are three tips to help you out:
Do your research. Don’t buy a stock because I said it had a great three-year return. Don’t buy a stock because Stacy Johnson has it in his portfolio. Don’t buy a stock because you got a hot tip from a co-worker.
Instead, do your own research. Check out the quotes from stocks that interest you. Consider their historical performance and then do an online search about the company to see if there is any sign of troubled waters. For example, is the company being sued or was its latest product release a bust?
Decide the best way to buy. Now, you need to decide how to buy. If you have a lot of money to invest, you probably want to connect with an investment professional. However, if you’re planning to start small, read this article on four ways to invest without much money.
If you’re determined to buy individual stocks, buying directly from the company may the cheapest way to go. Otherwise, a number of online brokerages make it easy to buy and sell stocks. NerdWallet has a review of three of the biggest players to help you pick the right company.
Stick it out for the long term. When you buy and sell stocks, you almost always pay a fee. The online brokerage company might charge only $4.95 or $9.95, but that can add up quickly and cut into your gains.
But more importantly, the value of stocks goes up and down on a daily, and even hourly, basis. Trying to time the market is a surefire way to lose your sanity, as well as potentially your money. Make your picks and then resist the urge to move your money around unless you think the company is starting a long nose dive or is on its way to going under.
If that makes you nervous, you may have too much money in one particular stock. You may want to spread out your money across multiple stocks or, better yet, mutual funds. Diversifying is the best way to reduce your risk of a catastrophic loss.
For further reading on the subject, check out this article on how to get into the stock market safely.