The time to invest big is now. Specifically, its time to invest big large cap companies. No matter what type of stimulus is pumped into the U.S. economy, the markets are going to be turbulent going forward. Reducing the unemployment rate and growing the economy is going to take more than a few months. In the meantime, the biggest and largest companies have the strongest balance sheets to survive the bleakest of storms. Best of all, the valuations look attractive.
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Sitting in plain sight is a $100 billion company that earned over $11 billion in profit in 2010 and has over $9 billion in net cash on the balance sheet. Profits in 2011 are estimated to grow from 2010 levels. Best of all, the company returns cash to shareholders each year in the form of a 4.3% dividend. That company is Intel (Nasdaq:INTC). With a pristine balance sheet, you can sleep soundly knowing that dividend is not going away anytime soon. And with the stock trading at a good valuation, share price appreciation may be in store as well. Of the big three "old school" tech titans including Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Cisco (Nasdaq:CSCO), Intel's yield is by far the juiciest. (For related reading, see Dividend Facts You May Not Know.)
As the world's largest economy, U.S. economic health is obviously important to the global economy. Yet other economies around the world are healthy and growing. Global bets like Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), which derives more and more of its revenues each year outside the United States, is healthy bet in this volatile environment. Shares are trading at about $82, off from $116, or 13.5 times earnings. A satisfactory dividend yield of 2.2% comes along with it. Global spirits company Diageo (NYSE:DEO) is another play on the global economy. Although based out of the UK, Diageo is scaling up its growth efforts in areas like Africa, Latin America and Africa. At $75 a share today, the company yields an attractive 4.3%.
Keep It Simple
Now is the time to make investing as simple as possible. Quality, industry dominating businesses are not only trading at good valuations but are returning more and more cash to shareholders via dividends. In tough times, the larger balance sheet will likely protect the dividend and hence the share price. (For related reading, see Reading The Balance Sheet.)
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