One of the most important lessons that all investors learn is that time can be their biggest advocate or their mightiest enemy. Time is what allows the value of smart investments to double, triple, or gallop even higher over the long run -- and the earlier an individual begins saving and investing for their future, the more likely they are of reaching their personal retirement number and having enough capital to last throughout their retirement.
Thus, it's only natural for parents to want their kids to have things as good or better than they did, financially speaking. This is why parents across the U.S. have been, or have considered, buying their children stock. In theory, the earlier parents start their children on the path to investing, the more time and compounding can work to their kids' advantage.
Of course, it's also helpful if you can get your children interested in investing, which is something that's sometimes easier said than done. Kids want to be kids (and sometimes adults want to be kids), so getting them to think about how the value of a business might increase over time may not excite them. However, if you can find businesses that interest your children and ignite their passions, then you'll have a far better chance of teaching your children an important lesson about investing, as well as kick-start their financial future.
Three stocks even your kids might find cool
While there are a broad spectrum of stocks for parents to choose from for their kids, the following three stocks could prove to be great long-term investments -- and chances are your kids will even find their business models and/or products to be "cool."
In my opinion, nothing is more synonymous with cool for children than Disneyland and anything Disney (NYSE:DIS) related. Not coincidentally, kids' love for Disneyland and Disney products is what supports this entertainment empire, making it a potentially attractive long-term investment.
One reason Disney is so wildly successful is its ability to cross-sell its items. Disney movies and television shows forge an emotional attachment for children with their favorite characters, spurring sales in Disney stores, online, and in Disney-themed parks. Disney understands that catering to families and kids is an experience, and experiences are very hard to price on a monetary basis. This means Disney often retains substantial pricing power on its experiences (and you only need to take a historical look at Disney's theme park price inflation to see how true this is).
Disney also, arguably, has two of the most important movie franchises on the planet: Marvel and Star Wars. In fact, watching a new Star Wars movie on the big screen can make today's adults feel like kids again. In domestic markets Star Wars: The Force Awakens has generated $934 million in sales compared to an estimated budget of just $200 million. It's taken in another $1.13 billion in foreign markets for a combined haul that's approaching $2.1 billion as of March 30. It only takes a few hits like this to really move the needle for Disney.
Lastly, Disney's brand is one of the most recognizable in the world and ranked 13th on Interbrand's 2015 list of the 100 most valuable brands in the world. Disney brands create lifelong emotional attachments and are a good way of bonding families across multiple generations – and no price tag can be placed on this.
For these reasons parents may want to consider picking up some Disney stock for their kids.
Kids tend to like unique things and products, which means companies that can provide an exclusive product will likely be of interest. In my opinion, I believe automaker Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) could fit the bill.
The selling point of Ferrari is its exclusivity. Ferrari's aren't cheap, often sporting six- and seven-digit price tags, meaning they're often only for well-to-do individuals. The thing with marketing to wealthier individuals is that they're less affected by economic fluctuations, meaning Ferrari has a tendency to be far less affected when U.S., EU, or global recessions hit.
By a similar token, Ferrari's exclusivity, and its ability to market to well-to-do persons, also means it boasts superior pricing power compared to its competition. By capping its production growth to ensure quality and exclusivity, Ferrari is able to boost its top- and bottom-line on a near annual basis by simply passing along price increases to the consumer. And best of all, the consumer is willing to absorb the price increase.
Ferrari, which is a recent spinoff of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is also paying a dividend equal to a 1.2% yield. That may not sound like much now, but as Ferrari slowly expands production and leans on its pricing power, it could have the potential to double its dividend over time.
There are few things on Earth with the "cool" factor equal to a Ferrari, and this could be the perfect stock to get your kids interested in investing.
Another company that parents may want to consider buying for their kids is TASER International (NASDAQ:AAXN), a manufacturer of taser devices and on-body cameras.
On the surface, TASER isn't a stock you'd probably consider as a fundamentally attractive long-term investment. It's sporting a forward P/E in excess of 40, which is more than double the industry average, and it doesn't pay a dividend. Reinvesting dividends is where compounded gains can be achieved over time. However, TASER does have unique attributes that make it an attractive company to possibly buy and hold over the long term.
For instance, TASER is the de-facto market leader in non-lethal taser devices and on-body cameras for law enforcement. There aren't too many non-lethal options for law enforcement to employ when it comes to subduing potentially dangerous subjects, so TASER provides what could be a vital solution to protect officers and reduce the use of deadly force. With minimal competition, TASER should presumably continue to pick up new contracts and grow its after-sale service revenue.
Additionally, TASER provides its AXON on body camera for law enforcement as an added protection to both officers and suspects. As of the fourth quarter, TASER announced that 30 major city law enforcement agencies had purchased its on-body AXON brand cameras, and that gross margins for these cameras has jumped to 46.1% from 9.7% in the prior-year period. Once again, as service revenue grows, margins should improve.
TASER is a long-term play that I'd bet your kids would find to be pretty cool.