The Walt Disney Company (DIS), The Coca-Cola Company (KO), Google Inc (GOOG): Beginner Investing

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Congratulations! Taking on the stock market can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t need to be that way. By starting with companies you already know, investing for beginners is much more manageable. Let’s take a look at four familiar companies that you could start your portfolio with today.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

Source: mydisneyadventures, via Wikimedia Commons.

Most people associate The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) with two things: its amusement parks and its movies. Although those two are certainly parts of Disney’s empire, they actual only account for 44% of its business.

Instead, the biggest part of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s success comes from its media networks: the Disney Channel, ABC, and ESPN. ESPN and the Disney Channel, in particular, are big hits around the world. So when you buy shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), you’re buying a part of all these things: the TV stations, the theme parks, the movies, and the toys sold from the movies.

An added bonus of investing for beginners is the realization that some companies pay you to own their stock. It’s called a dividend. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) paid its shareholders $0.75 for every share they owned last year.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)

Source: Hariadhi, via Wikimedia Commons.

Ask anyone who has done extensive travelling and they will tell you: The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s brand is everywhere. In fact, Interbrand — a company that studies the value of brands internationally — says that Coke’s brand alone is worth almost $78 billion. That’s the largest of any company in the world.

And Coke owns a lot more drinks than just its signature The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) products. Sprite, Fanta, Fresca, Vitamin Water, PowerAde, Dasani, Honest Tea, and Odwalla juices are all owned by The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO). As long as the world is thirsty, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) should be doing just fine. And like Disney, Coke plans on paying its shareholders a dividend — in the latter’s case, $1.12 in 2013.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Source: Antonio Zugaldia, via Wikimedia Commons.

It would be hard to find someone who hadn’t found the answer they were looking for by “Googling it.” The company is synonymous with Internet searches, but it also has lots of other products you are familiar with: Gmail, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) maps, YouTube, and the Android operating system on smartphones.

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