Today, I want to talk about investing and convey a message that will convince many of us who currently do not invest to begin our investing journey.
“Investing is the act of committing money or capital to an endeavor (a business, project, real estate, etc.) with the expectation of obtaining an additional income or profit.”
The problem with the term investing is that there is an implication that whatever asset you invest in, you must eventually sell that asset to turn a profit. Whenever I tell a friend or a family member that I have obtained real significant gains on a stock investment, they always tell me to sell the stock that has rallied far beyond market performance.
My response to this advice is always quite consistent; “why would I sell a stock that is crushing the market?”
The more I explain my investing philosophy to another, the more I realize I am not talking about investing, I am talking about ‘owning’ a company or at least having partial ownership in a company through stock purchase. Instead of thinking about investments as temporary places to put your money, think about becoming a partial owner of the stock you purchase.
So, let me restate – today, I want to talk about owning a company and convey a message that will convince many of us who currently do not own a company to begin our journey to becoming a partial owner of a company through buying and holding individual stocks.
So, without any further rambling, let’s begin discussing the different types of people who go to McDonald’s.
The first type of person who goes to McDonald’s are the people that work there – the employees. When I say ‘workers’ or ’employees’, I am referring to anyone who has to go to McDonald’s in order to obtain their standard 2-week paycheck. This includes every worker from the fry-cooks to the general manager.
I want to make one thing clear, there is nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s as McDonald’s employee programs provide a real possibility of becoming wealthy if you are a dedicated worker. If you manage to become recognized and promoted for your attitude, attention to detail, decision making, and customer service skills, then you have a reasonable opportunity to move up the McDonald’s corporate ladder.
But, let’s be realistic, it is pretty damn hard to live a standard lifestyle let alone being able to reach Financial Independence with the hourly wage that McDonald’s provides their workers.
Working at McDonald’s should not be anyone’s life goal, yet so many people end up at similar dissatisfying jobs for extended periods of time throughout their lives. We should all put in the extra effort (and time) needed to get a better education, to learn more valuable skills, or to job-hunt like there is no tomorrow in order to get out of a situation where we have no opportunity for growth.
So, it is pretty clear – we do not want to be workers at McDonald’s.
The second type of person who goes to McDonald’s are the consumers. This category is in which the majority of us fall. Most of us, if not all of us, have eaten at McDonald’s one point in our life.
The consumer bucket is where 99% of the population lies. Whether it is McDonald’s, Starbucks, Amazon, or any other large corporation, most of us are consumers of these huge companies. There is nothing wrong being a consumer of any company, especially McDonald’s – I do love their Big Mac.
The problem arises when we become a pure consumer and produce nothing of value from our own two hands. If we spend our hard earned money for goods and services other companies provide and never produce goods to be consumed, then we will have very little money for our own investitures and goals.
The majority of us spend a huge portion of our lives focusing on developing a single skill that someone will pay us for in order for us to be able to afford everything else in life. Being a consumer is not a bad thing, like everything else, it is important to consume in moderation.
The third, and last, type of person that goes to McDonald’s are the owners of McDonald’s. When I refer to owners of McDonald’s, I am referring to anyone who holds shares of McDonald’s stock (MCD).
Instead of being a worker or consumer at McDonald’s, I think we can all agree it is much better to be an owner of McDonald’s. Once you purchase a single share of MCD, you reap all the benefits of the corporate profits in exchange for the cost of the stock and the effort of buying shares of McDonald’s, which takes less than 5 minutes.
Once you are an owner of a company, you begin to look at your entire working/consuming behavior differently. Now instead of eating at a dreary fast food restaurant for a quick meal, you are supporting a company that you personally own!
I think about all the companies I hold in my portfolio as companies that I am a partial owner of. I am not thinking about when I am going to sell these stocks, rather I am more interested in reinvesting my money in more stocks so I can have a greater stake in the company I am a part owner of.
As large corporations begin to obtain more influence in our lives and in politics, it behooves us as individuals to obtain our fair share of these historically astronomical corporate profits. Most of us spend our hard earned money at these major corporations without ever seeing a penny returned our way.
Think about all the money we have spent on Amazon, but very few of us actually directly own AMZN stock. More than %50 of us have Apple iPhones in our pockets for almost a decade but we don’t own any shares of AAPL even after being a loyal customer. The term ‘Netflix and chill’ has even transformed into its own sexual innuendo, but no one ever says “NFLX and hold”.
Stop being a consumer or a worker and start becoming an owner of your favorite companies!
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