Have you ever wanted to invest in the company that makes Cheerios? My 18 month old niece absolutely loves Cheerios, and so do adults and millions of children alike. What about investing in brands like Green Giant and Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Progressive soup and Yoplait? Amazingly, you can own a piece of all those brands by buying one stock. General Mills (ticker: GIS) is a diversified food producer that has a large portfolio of popular brands here in the US as well as world wide exposure. The company has a long history of consistently paying quarterly dividends. It has also been raising the dividend every year since 2004. This is a solid consumer staple stock with a great track record of rewarding investors. Read the company prospectus if you are interested in investing in the future of these popular brands. If you decide to invest in General Mills there are a number of great methods to buy without paying excessive brokerage fees. Here are a few ideas:
- If you are looking at making GIS a long-term holding purchasing through the Direct Purchase Plan is a great option. This DRIP style plan allows you to invest with no brokerage fees except a one-time setup fee. The company pays all the purchase fees, and Dividends can be reinvested without penalty as well. You will be liable for selling fees, but the cost should be moderate. Wells Fargo manages the General Mills DRIP plan. Wells-Fargo Shareowner services can be reached at 1 (800) 670-4763.
- A second method to invest in GIS is through a standard Brokerage account. Fees are dependent on the broker. However, with a brokerage account you can earn extra income on shares through writing covered call options if you have enough shares or you can trade the shares more quickly if they need to be liquid. Some brokerages also offer free dividend re-investment on certain blue-chip stocks. Ask your broker if they offer that service for companies such as General Mills.
- Another great way to capitalize on the success of General Mills, but also diversify your risk is to purchase the new Global X Food ETF (ticker: EATX). This Food ETF invests in the largest and best run blue-chip food producers such as Kraft Foods (ticker: KFT), Heinz (HNZ) and several other large diversified food holdings. The ETF is part of the Global X series of ETF funds. It has an expense ratio of .65%. EATX is traded like a share of stock in your brokerage account, but is similar to a mutual fund in how it diversifies risk across a series of companies.
Please read the prospectus before investing in any company, stock, ETF or mutual fund.