In the world of personal finance, there are several important concepts that we must know when looking for ways to grow our savings. In this sense, investing is an interesting way if you want to make a profit on your assets in a few months or years.
What is an investment?
We can say that the definition of investment is a specific amount of money used to buy goods with the aim of increasing their value over time. That is, that its value is higher compared to what it had initially and therefore generate profits, either in the short or long term.
There are many types of investments, even now cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are one of the profitable investment niches. Read more if you want to get more information about investing on Bitcoin.
And what do we mean by “goods”?
Well, to shares of a company, raw materials, and even the famous cryptocurrencies, basically what you invest in. But don’t worry, in the next part we will explain the possible types of investment and thus you will better understand what specific assets you can invest in.
But first, to finish understanding the concept of investment, let’s look at an example. The actions can be compared to having a plant at home, in which we invest time to take care of it and thus ensure that it flourishes or bears fruit in the future.
Examples of investment according to their types
In recent years, a wide variety of financial resources (or as we mentioned before, “assets”) have emerged where you can invest your money for future profits. Below we will show you the most common investment options and some examples:
In the case of shares, the investor buys a part of the company or enterprise, becoming a shareholder. The ultimate goal of the shareholders is to make money through the profits generated by the company.
But… How to buy a share?
Currently there are several ways to buy shares, however in this section we will talk about the most used.
- Stock market: it is an institutional market in which people officially exchange, buy and sell goods.
- Crowdfunding or collective funding: in this case, a group of people decide to put their money in shares that are in their initial stage, that is, those that are not listed on the stock market.
Surely you are well aware of the risks of investing in the stock market, but… What advantages and benefits does a company investor have when buying shares of this company? Bonuses, gifts, training and even discounts can be some of the advantages of being a shareholder. We find out below.
One of the most common questions from people who approach the world of the stock market and investment is: Why should you invest? The risk associated with investing in the stock market and the possibility of losing the capital saved requires that investing offer tangible benefits. Financial education largely helps to convey in a simple way the answers to why we should invest our savings.
Advantages of being a shareholder of a listed company
We’ll start with the benefits that are best known to everyone and then we’ll take a look at other lesser-known benefits.
1. Obtain a return on capital saved
When we buy shares we are channeling a financial flow from savings to investment. This allows the money saved by families (private savings) to finance business projects that can generate wealth and employment. All this in exchange for the hope that this investment in projects will produce a return derived from the growth in value of the company or from the distribution of the benefits of the project, what we know as a dividend.
2. Manage to beat inflation
Several studies have shown that in the long term, investing in the stock market has been the most profitable way to increase our wealth, far above investing in bonds, gold or real estate. Inflation in the last century has not stopped growing, clawing at our wallets and silently diminishing our purchasing power. Using an inflation calculator we could see that $13,300 today would be equivalent to $1,000 in 1920. In the image you can see the evolution of the historical rates of the IPC
3. Have shares of a company
Not all people were born to be businessmen or entrepreneurs, but the stock market allows us to be part of a business project and select which of them we want to be part of. You have to know that each company has millions of shares and as shareholders, although we are part of the business project, our power to influence the company’s decisions will be quite limited. Although some associations of minority shareholders have managed to influence business decisions, in large companies it is the investment funds or controlling family who have the greatest power in the General Shareholders’ Meetings.
4. Receive part of the profits of the company
One of the issues that most interests investors and more so now that financial independence and the search for passive income are so fashionable. Listed companies at the end of their fiscal year, if all goes well, will normally have a profit and it is the decision of the Board of Directors to distribute this profit in the form of a dividend.
An important point is that not all companies distribute dividends despite having profits and prefer to reinvest them in the growth of the company. There are also other companies, especially in mature sectors, that have a sustained history of distributing dividends over time, even on an increasing basis.
Benefits of being a shareholder
In this part of the article I want to mention several benefits that many shareholders are unaware of when they buy shares of a company. I mention some of the most frequent benefits for the shareholders of companies.
Premiums for attendance at Meetings: several companies to encourage the participation of shareholders in the General Meeting of Shareholders give a small economic premium. This economic premium is considered as return on movable capital and is based on savings with a 15% withholding. This premium can be in cash or in kind.
Gifts for being a shareholder: several of the large listed entities offer various gifts for attending the General Meeting or just for being shareholders. In the pre-crisis period, these gifts were quite interesting, but over time they have decreased due to cost cuts by these entities. Even so, the gifts are maintained and for many minority shareholders it continues to be a hook to attend these meetings.
Investor training: this initiative is not as common in our country, but various companies have developed a comprehensive training program on stock market investment for their shareholders.
Reduced or zero commissions when buying company shares: some companies, especially banks, remove commissions from their broker only for purchases of company shares.
Advantages and discounts for shareholders: having such a high volume of shareholders, several companies offer discounts for purchases, travel, insurance, etc. only for shareholders.
What other benefits does your company offer you for being a shareholder?