When I was working as an Investment Counselor at a $40 billion money management firm, my job was to manage a book of around $150 million. It was difficult work at times - building relationships with 120 clients and making sure that their investment portfolio was working towards their long-term goals was the main task, but we also had to make sure our clients understood what was happening in the capital markets at all times. With the 24-hour news cycle, it's easy in the world today to allow fear and emotion to influence the investment decision making process, and my job was to keep emotion out. Any time there were volatile markets - which is often - it meant long hours and lots of hand-holding.
But like many hard workers out there, there's a reward for the effort. That reward came in the form of quarterly bonuses, depending on how well you performed.
Over the years I developed a system for how to deal with bonuses. When I received them, the very first thing I would do is pay down any interest-bearing debt I had. Period. I'd zero out my credit accounts faster than Usain Bolt in a track race.
Then, I'd allow myself one modest purchase - a plane ticket, a nice new kitchen appliance, maybe some new running shoes. Whatever it was, it could only be one item. That was a hard and fast rule. No exceptions!
Then, with whatever was left over, I would invest it with a long-term approach in mind. I set it in my mind that I would use my bonus money to buy stocks I really liked, companies I believed in, companies I thought would continue to do well far into the future. But here's the thing - I wouldn't invest in those companies with the mindset that I wanted to make a quick buck. I was buying stocks with the vision that 20, even 30 years from now I'd still have shares of the company, and that over the years I was constantly purchasing shares. It was my homage to Warren Buffet, who would surely back such a strategy (and has before).
So, over the course of the six years I worked there, every quarter I'd go through the same routine. At the beginning of my tenure, I chose 3 stocks I liked. They were: Costco (ticker: COST), Visa (ticker: V), and Salesforce (ticker: CRM). To this day, I own those three stocks in my portfolio (amongst other holdings), and I've owned them now for the better part of 12 years.
Here's been my return on each of them:
Visa: a little over +450%
You read that last number right. I've made a 2,000% gain on my Salesforce shares. I made a long-term commitment to a strategy and I've stuck with it, and plan to continue sticking with it as long as I'm a fan of those three companies. I still very much am today.
Investing your bonus can be a lot of fun, especially when you see your bonus turning itself into bonus after bonus after bonus with gains in the stock market. You worked for your bonus, let it also work for you!
Now that you're ready to invest your bonus or any extra cash you have, you need ideas. You can generate fresh ideas right here on Tickeron.com, by using the DivScore feature or engaging with the state of the art Artificial Intelligence you'll find on this website. Explore ideas, pick one that you like, then see it through.