Before You Write Wal-Mart Stock’s Obituary

In the 1990s, no stock contributed more to the earnings per share growth rate of the S&P 500 than Wal-Mart stock. It had been an elevator upward delivering 16% annual earnings per share growth throughout the decade, fresh on the heels of delivering 31.5% annual growth between 1972 and 1990. From 2000 through 2012, the party continued, as Wal-Mart grew earnings per share from $1.40 per share in 2000 to $5.02 in 2012. Although the best gains came to Wal-Mart’s early investors, participating in the growth of the business between 1972 and 2012 had been a blessing for any investor that chose to buy Wal-Mart outright instead of investing in something like an index fund.

The past three years have not been as kind to Wal-Mart shareholders. Between 2012 and 2015, earnings per share have exactly come down a bit. Wal-Mart made $5.02 in 2012, and … Read the rest of this article!

Why Visa Stock Rises Faster Than American Express

Visa and Mastercard are distinctly different from other credit card companies like American Express and Discover Card. When you swipe something on your Visa or Mastercard, you are not actually using cards issued by Visa or Mastercard. The card itself is issued by a bank or financial institution somewhere, and the Visa and Mastercard brands represent networks that the issuing card joins. Anytime you make a purchase, the merchant has to pay a fee to the issuing bank by the end of the day, and the financial institutions have to share this fee with Visa and Mastercard.

Visa was created by Bank of America back in the 1966 to act as a way for banks to collect more from non-check purchases than the rising Mastercard which was an open-loop system created to electronically transfer funds. The important takeaway is that the Visa and Mastercard networks were created to make transactions … Read the rest of this article!

An Introduction To Canadian Dividend Investors

Somehow, this site developed a strong Canadian audience. There are as many Canadian readers here as readers from the state of Georgia, which is a little perplexing to me because I can at least understand why people from Atlanta end up here—practically every investor there owns some Coca-Cola, and I have enough posts on that to bring ‘em in through the search engines. But I don’t know that much about Canadian stocks and the international rules regarding taxation, although I appreciate the country’s underappreciated banking history that does not get nearly the amount of global acclaim that it deserves.

I once attended an investment conference hosted by the great great grandnephew of an early 20th century American president, and all he did was rave about his investments in Canadian bank stocks. He said that they had a superior culture to American banks because there is less pressure to act … Read the rest of this article!

Royal Dutch Shell For IRA Income Investors

It is historically unusual for Royal Dutch Shell to yield over 6%. This is a company with a very long history of having a fair value that also corresponds to a dividend yield between 5% and 6%. Given how well the American stock market has performed over the past six years, it can be wise to take a look at any large company that appears to be offering a discount.

Royal Dutch Shell does $360 billion in sales per year. Hershey, which I covered yesterday, is worth $15 billion in its entirety. To get a feel for how large Royal Dutch Shell is, you could convert the amount of crude oil and natural gas that Royal Dutch Shell sells annually to the ability to buy the entire Hershey business 24x over. It is, without a doubt, massive.

Now, when people talk about being value investors, they often express a desire … Read the rest of this article!

My Big Investing Mistake of Omission

One of my favorite speeches of Charlie Munger, which Warren Buffett co-opted when he spoke at Florida University, was the story of how to turn $40 into $5 million. It was a story about Coca-Cola stock, and the conditions that can lead to super large financial rewards based on modest financial investments. The premise is this—you need a product that is super cheap to make and possesses enough brand equity that people will buy it deliberately on a regular basis.

Even before I encountered this story, I knew that the beverage industry has been a very lucrative place to make money if you want to make an initial investment and then grow richer in the coming years without having to do anything. Diageo, Anheuser Busch, and Brown Forman all have long records of growing profits per share and dividend payouts that are significantly higher each decade than the previous.

Pepsi … Read the rest of this article!