Learning while earning in the investment world is possible, especially when aiming for dividend-paying companies and other investment vehicles.
Born and raised in sunny South Africa, Chris Harris is one EasyVSTR who is in love with numbers and their story; this includes the constantly exciting and unfolding world of finance.
Beyond what he has learned over the years, for Chris, the journey to learn does not stop once you've started investing, and it gets more enjoyable when you do it with some dividends. To explain how he identifies dividend-paying companies, he says: "I use the price to earnings ratio as an indicator of whether the trading price may be overinflated. I love the insight reports can give into the company's strategy and management direction.
Chris has been fascinated by the financial world from a young age. He bought his first shares in 2012.
"Over the past 10 years, I have been adding, buying, selling and growing my portfolio and my knowledge," he explains.
In the South African market, some of Chris’s favourite companies include Capitec, African Rainbow Capital and Stor-Age.
“I first bought Capitec shares in October 2015 at R597 a share. Their simple and effective concept, driven by a well-oiled leadership team, has pushed them to do well, with likely more growth and product offerings."
“African Rainbow Capital has started to get a grip on its tires. Companies like Rain and TymeBank are adding significant value to the holding company, making the future look very exciting.”
"One of the companies I enjoy while knowing little or less about is Stor-Age; it's a self-storage REIT and has shown steady and compounding growth in its share price and dividend yield, which is currently at around 7%."
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In Australia, focused on energy, food, and finance; Renergen, Commonwealth Bank and Wesfarmers are among the companies included in his portfolio.
"Renergen is a fascinating company listed both in Australia and on the JSE. The company has recently acquired and grown its renewable energy production assets that aim for a lighter carbon footprint. In the years and decades to come, I think we will continue seeing high demand for these."
"I like banks, and Commonwealth Bank has done very well over the last 10 years, with good dividend income and share price growth. It was at one point the sole owner of TymeBank."
"Some industries come and go, but humans will always need food. As our population grows, Wesfarmers is well-positioned to provide products to a stable and growing agriculture industry. We will have to see how climate change may affect this industry as time goes on."
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For research, external factors such as commodity prices are things Chris looks at. With the global dependence shift taking place, Chris says he looks for sectors with steady growth and companies that may be positioned for future gains as the economy evolves and shifts.
And while he may not be invested in mining companies, growing sectors such as tech, finance and property make up his portfolio. According to him, the sectors "may show growth in time to come."
Another way Chris uses to pick stocks involves the comparison of metrics, and where there's a link between the company and industry, this triggers him to dig deeper. To explain further, he says, "I then read their latest financial and annual reports to get an idea of income statements, balance sheets, future plans, and their management's views and outlook."
Markets are associated with volatility and risk, together with rewards. Whether you've got it right the first time or not, "just keep learning," he says, further adding that celebrating wins and learning from losses is part of the game.
"Keep at it, and over the years, you can build something truly special for yourself."
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