I’m all for rich vegans. Wealth and veganism in my mind are not anathema to each other. In fact, I think the more rich vegans we can create the greater reach we can have in educating and informing the general public at hand.
With that in mind, I’d like to suggest how you, as a working stiff vegan can create great future wealth for yourself and your loved ones and the animals. I believe the best way to do this is to invest in stocks.
This is what I am doing, and I’ve been doing reasonably well recently. I do this for a couple of reasons. The first being to create a retirement nest egg that will allow for a life of comfort when I am not working anymore and hopefully doing good work for veganism.
The second reason is so that I might leave something behind when I depart this mortal coil for the continued growth of veganism.
So, how am I doing this? I am doing it by investing primarily in dividend paying stocks that are undervalued. The following is not investment advice, just my general approach. I hope it might help you start investigating investing for yourself.
What I do is create a list of companies and products that I like and use. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, Nike, and Tesla are just some current examples.
Unfortunately, none of these companies are undervalued at the moment. That begs the question. How do I determine when a company is undervalued?
I generally seek to buy stock in companies when they are at least at a 1 or 2 year low in price. Ideally a 5 year low. On top of this, I look at the P/E ratio. I’m not looking for a specific number as much as looking for the company I’m interested in to have a P/E lower than it’s industry peers.
Below is a screen grab I took of Value Line’s research on AAPL (Apple). I access Value Line through my library membership. You might be able to as well. As an aside, your library might have great benefits like this. I’ve been able to cut down on my magazine subscriptions thanks to my library subscription:
You can see that AAPL has a P/E ratio lower than the Industry Average. But let’s look at the chart price:
This is a 5 year chart of AAPL’s price. You can see that Apple is not far off from it’s 5 year high. As such, Apple is not a buy for me at these prices. I probably wouldn’t consider AAPL until it broke around $125.
The key to making money in the stock market is PATIENCE. You need to be patient when buying and you need to be patient when selling. My thoughts on the matter is that it is better to wait for a good price than to chase upward momentum. This is why it is useful to have a good handful of stocks you’re interested in.
I also believe in never selling, or being loathe to sell at the very least. Certainly don’t sell at 52 week lows.
Other things you need to consider when buying stocks is how secure is the company. This is not as hard as it sounds. But it’s important, especially when you’re buying your stocks at low prices, when everyone thinks the company is on the brink of annihilation.
Let me give you an example. You have 2 uncles, Fat Pat and Slim Jim. Slim Jim is a deadbeat. He’s in out of jobs all the time and he’s got debt up to his eyeballs. Fat Pat has paid his car and his house off and he’s got a little nest egg that’s growing. He also knows how to live within his means. He has very little debt.
If you had the chance to give Fat Pat or Slim Jim $10,000 with the understanding that you could take 1% of their future earnings indefinitely, who would you invest that ten grand in?
Fat Pat right. This is how you invest in companies too. You want to see little debt relative to earnings and you ideally want to see those earnings increasing year over year.
I’ll be honest with you. It requires a mindset. You can go years seeing your stocks go down in value. But if you understand the business and you’re a customer even, then it’ll be easier to stick with your investments during the down times.
Of course, as a vegan, you need to invest in companies that you are comfortable using or buying from, from a vegan perspective. For me, that means that pharmaceuticals are out of the question because they have to test on animals. I’ll also not invest in tobacco companies because they too test on animals. Fast food companies that are heavily invested in selling animal products, like McDs are out of bounds for me too.
But honestly, there are a lot of companies that make good investments for vegans. If you want some ideas as a place to start, you can check out Dataroma which watches what the super investors like Warren Buffet are buying and selling.
Drip Investing is also another good resource. You can download a spreadsheet that tracks all the companies that raise their dividend for at least the past 5 years.