Last week, I had the privilege of being a featured presenter at the World MoneyShow as well as a panel member on FOX Business' Making Money with Charles Payne.
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The show was broadcast in front of a live studio audience, which meant the panel took a number of questions from the audience on topics that varied from what’s going on with Greece, how to play Europe and what our favorite stocks are currently. The investor education didn’t stop there: Payne questioned the panel as to how new investors should get started in the market, what our favorite sectors are for 2015, and how a person should construct a portfolio as well as manage it over time.
Getting started means two things -- first, making sure you have money to put to work in the market, which means you’ve sufficient savings to handle a two to three months worth of bills, and are preferably contributing to your retirement plan.
Second, you’ve got to do your homework and that means listening to the data -- economic, industry and company food chain (the company itself, suppliers and competitors) to get a read on what is really going. Some find it easier to get started with exchange traded funds (ETFs) others tend to favor individual stocks.
The bottom line is one way or another, you’ve got to get started one way or another and get on the path to making money with your money.
As for my favorite stock, it's Qualcomm (QCOM). I love the push-pull of the company’s chipset business and high margin licensing-royalty business. The two lead to significant cash generation that has allowed Qualcomm to steadily increase its dividend and fund it stock buyback programs. The core business -- mobile and connective chipsets -- is more fertile than ever as mobile connectivity moves from just smartphones and tablets to cars, the home, wearables, eHealth and industrial markets a la the Internet of Everything.
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On the public company panel that I hosted at the MoneyShow, General Electric (GE) discussed the growth in its Internet of Everything business, and how it sees no slowdown there. As good as Qualcomm’s business is, it’s only going to get better once it closes the pending CSR plc. acquisition that should boost its Bluetooth capabilities and round out its product offerings. One audience member asked about what to do with his Qualcomm shares given the recent pullback. My response was to use it as a buying opportunity to scale into the position while if possible reducing his cost basis in the process.
Another recommendation I shared at the MoneyShow was American Water Works (AWK), the largest publicly traded water utility that is also what I call a dividend dynamo because of its dividend increasing track record. American Water Works is in a great position to consolidate the fragmented water utility industry and benefit from the need to upgrade the U.S. water infrastructure, which received a grade of D- from The American Society of Civil Engineers.
For more actionable ideas for building your portfolio, tune into Money with Charles Payne every week night at 6 p.m. ET.