A few weeks earlier, my partner sent me an email telling me how interesting it would be to write an article about the difference between dividend investing and making money online. He thought it would be fun as I’m a big fan of both dividend stocks and making money blogging. But there is a law out there that says that great minds think alike. Well if I’d do my post today ignoring this law, I would have to ignore Dividend Ninja’s guest article on Young & Thrifty: Website Income Vs Dividend Stocks: Which One Come Out On Top?
I was stunned that someone had the same idea but was 10 times faster than me to write an excellent article ;-). My comments on the site were that I thought it would be easier to make money through dividend investing than through a website. But this is for Mr and Mrs anybody. But what I didn’t say is:
If you know what you are doing; you will make a LOT more money through websites than through investing!
You want to know why? Here are a few reasons:
The growth potential with a company is usually pretty limited compared to the growth coming from a website. The main reason is that the company being listed on the stock market has already grown for several years before issuing its first IPO. Therefore, you are buying a company that has already gone through its most beautiful growth years. For example, private investors that were able to invest in Google in Year 1 or 2 would have made 100000% on their investment as compared to those who got into the stock after its first IPO. The same story is about to repeat with Facebook in a few months. I doubt that FB will see such incredible growth in the upcoming years. Now, you can expect a double digit growth (that is still interesting) but you’ll never see triple, 4 or 5 digit growth as it has in the past.
The potential growth is usually even worse for dividend stocks. In order to be able to pay dividends, a company must be stable and also willing to sacrifice a part of its growth potential since it is distributing cash flow to its investors instead of using this money to grow even faster.
On the other hand, a website is usually a very small property. And what do all small properties have in common? They have a huge potential for growth! So this is whyUSgrowth is slower thanChina’s. This is also why my son learns more things and learns them faster than me ;-). Websites have this potential to grow by 20% each year for several years. Just take my company’s revenue since I started:
2009: $33,412 (+253%)
2010: $74,854 (I’m excluding important sales in this year) (+124%)
2011: $114,158 (+52%)
I’ve recently mentioned that you can buy a major website for 36 times the monthly income. Some people told me that I was a nutcase. Fine. But when you think about it, this is some incredible return on investment! Forget the blogger’s or pity individuals’ perspectives for a moment and focus on an investor point of view: You have $50,000 to invest. Your first option is to buy a stock (or a group of stocks) paying a 4% dividend. This will generate a $2,000 dividend payout each year + the potential of seeing your portfolio grow over time. If you are a top notch investor, you will most likely get a 8% investment return over the long run (4% dividend + 4% in capital gains).
Why do I count only 4% in capital return? Because, historically, the stock market shows an investment yield of 9% (before fees and taxes). So unless you are the next Warren Buffet, you won’t be able to score over 8% after a period of 5 – 10 years. The main reason why you can’t score higher is due to the lack of information and comprehension. You are limited to your own little brain reading financial statements. You are not in the company, not managing the business and don’t have the feel of the company.
Now, consider a second investment proposition and look at a blog or a group of blogs to be bought for $50,000. At 36 times the monthly income (and you are not getting a deal at that price!), you will get a yearly dividend of $16,666. This is more than EIGHT TIMES your dividend investment. The best part is that you can expect a much higher growth from the value and income generated from the same sites due to the reasons explained in point #1.
The only thing to consider is that you need to spend time to manage the website. But technically, a minimum of 5 hours per week would be enough to keep the revenue as is. Therefore, if you “pay yourself” $25/hour, you are now down to a “dividend” of $10,166 per year. This is the same as a 20% dividend yield. Even better, if you are smart enough, you’ll find someone that you will pay $125/week to manage the site for you. I can send you a few names of good bloggers that would be glad to it ;-).
As I previously mentioned, you don’t get hold of every single little detail about each stock you own. You can read the financial statements but you can’t get in touch with every CEO to know what is truly going on within the companies’ walls.
This is something you can do when you own your site. You get access to all the stats and can see in a heartbeat if there is any problem with it. Better knowledge leads to better risk assessment. On the other hand, if you don’t know what you do with websites, this can be highly dangerous too! Always invest in something that you understand, says Buffett!
I’ve been telling you that investment sucks during the whole article but it doesn’t mean that I don’t invest in the stock market. In fact, I’m maximizing my RRSP account each year because I think it is good to have a great diversification across all your assets. But to be honest, my RRSP account is my “B plan” along with my company shares. So if I have another $10,000, guess where I would put it ;-). But what about you? What would you do with $10,000?
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