A whole lot of your success in investing will be because you have an edge.
Maybe that edge is buying a really huge, well-capitalized company that's hard to compete with.
Maybe you use technical indicators on charts to give yourself a statistical edge. I did that with my 401(k). Instead of money going into my mutual funds on the 20th of each month, I'd have the money added to my money market fund and I'd manually add to my mutual funds when the technical indicators gave me an "oversold" signal.
That too was something that gave me a statistical edge over my peers who were contributing the same amount to their 401(k)s.
However, today, I want to talk to you about two super-easy ways to gain an edge in your long-term investing and it doesn't require hardly any work at all.
The first "edge" that I want to talk to you about is the edge of dividends, especially high dividend yields.
The S&P 500 will typically have an average dividend yield around 2 percent — sometimes a bit less and sometimes a hair more.
So I bought some stocks that had 3, 4 and 5 percent dividend yields. They were enormous companies with deep pockets and they'd been around for many decades. I bought the companies and just held onto them. That's all I had to do.
Oh, I look at these stocks about once a quarter just to see how they're doing, but that's about it. Other than that, I literally forget about them and allow them to earn me dividends.
So for just investing in these stocks and forgetting about them afterward, I earned a couple of thousand dollars last year for literally, doing nothing!
When's the last time when a couple of grand came into your hands and you had to do absolutely nothing for it? Well, that's the power of investing in stocks with great dividend yields.
My money was making me money while I slept and while I focused on other sources of income.
Note: If you keep adding to your dividend stocks through the years, you may find out that the dividend income alone covers your living expenses (or at least a huge chunk of it) in retirement.
One word of caution on very large dividend yields. If you're looking at a stock that has a 10 to 15 percent dividend yield, it's typically because the stock is dropping like a rock and the company is in trouble. So don't be fooled by those. Stick to the huge, tried-and-true companies that have deep pockets and have been around practically forever. Pick the ones that yield 3, 4 or 5 percent annually.
By buying them at that high yield, you're likely catching the stock on a huge dip or temporary downtrend anyway. And that's what you want to do: Buy low!
My grandfather, who's never really claimed to be a stock picker, invested in ONE stock and sat on it for decades and it has paid him 4 percent annually ever since. In fact, through the years, it's actually grown because the company expanded its dividend payment. So through the years he's getting MORE income for literally doing nothing but sitting on the stock.
In life there are very few things that you can do nothing and get paid for it. But by just picking the right companies, they'll literally pay you for owning their stock, by paying out dividend checks to you (typically quarterly).
The other "edge" that I want to talk to you about is to not only buy companies that pay a good dividend but also buy stocks that have a stock buyback program in place.
In other words, they're literally buying back millions or billions of dollars' worth of their shares each year. When a company buys back its shares, it reduces the number of shares outstanding for that stock. So your shares become a larger percentage of the overall company than they were before.
Also, the earnings per share goes up because the earnings are spread over a fewer number of shares outstanding. This too can give your stock shares a higher value over time.
When companies are buying back millions of dollars' worth of shares each year, it helps to put a floor in the stock more so than the stock that doesn't have a buyback program in place.
Additionally, buyback programs are a way to add value to your shares without incurring more taxation. When dividends are paid out, they are taxable . . . but again, you made easy profits that literally required no work on your part.
The final benefit I want to talk to you about concerning the edge of high-dividend yields and buyback programs is that it tells you something about the company. If a company doubts they'll have enough cash for the next year, they're not going to spend extra money on buyback programs and dividend payments.
So when you find companies that have the confidence to have these two "edges" in place, it tells you that they are confident about their financial condition and how financially prepared they are for their future. And that's a great thing for you, as a part-owner (shareholder).
What are some of the companies with nice dividends and large stock buyback programs? They're companies like Apple (AAPL), International Business Machines (IBM), General Electric (GE), Intel (INTC) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) just to name a few.
If you'd like to learn even more about stock market investing and gaining a huge long-term edge, then come join me in the Ultimate Wealth Report at www.ultimatewealthreport.com
About the Author: Sean Hyman
Sean Hyman is a member of the Newsmax Financial Brain Trust. Click Here to read more of his articles. He is also the editor of Ultimate Wealth Report. Discover more by Clicking Here Now.
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