This article is guest posted by MoneyEnergy.
Now that we all live in Web 2.0, maybe we can talk about the “old” web and the “old” way of making money online. So what is the old-fashioned way to make money online? I’m talking about the simple and profound methods of electronic dividend reinvestment. Here’s what you do:
- Research your stocks online
- Get an online brokerage account
- Make an online trade (24/7, any time of the day!)
- Login and watch your numbers grow electronically each quarter
- Receive electronic annual reports and save trees
It’s that easy! You can even pay with electronic funds that you’ve earned from other online money streams:)
I’m only being half-sarcastic. I do get really excited about automatic dividend reinvestment, and these days it does happen electronically. And I do think that with all the hype about newer, better, shinier ways of making money on the internet, we shouldn’t forget about all the great changes that have taken place in the world of online brokerages, either.
First of all, the fact that there even ARE discount brokerages where you can trade online – and in many cases directly, as though you were on the trading floor yourself – says a lot about how far we’ve come. Streaming quotes and real-time news updates means those few pages they print in the back of the business section of every local newspaper are a big waste. Does anyone read those anymore? Why? I suppose if you’re at the coffee shop with no laptop or wireless access, it might be of trivial interest.
Second, the proliferation of online brokerages has really brought the pricing down. In the U.S. especially, there are brokers where you can trade for free under certain conditions. Places like E*TRADE even allow for direct trading of foreign securities on foreign exchanges (i.e., not through ADRs). This is a totally new and revolutionary development.
Third, with all kinds of electronic payment services like PayPal, and the ability to access quotes and your brokerage account through Blackberries and other mobile devices, you can be trading anytime, anywhere. For some people this is already be old hat. I think it’s still quite revolutionary. It contributes to the rising “do-it-yourself” trend in investing and frees the individual from the shackles of the old Financial Advisor.
Needless to say, the entire cottage-industry of daytrading would be impossible without these basic electronic, mobile capabilities that we’ve too quickly come to take for granted. I’m no day-trader, but there are many who are able to make a side income this way.
So what’s the moral of the story? When you think about blogging for dollars, don’t forget to ride the growing profits of some of those concrete companies in the physical world – names like General Electric, Nestle, Bombardier, whomever. Think of it as diversification. Blogging and SEO can be hard work. Dividends are more passive than almost all of the other forms of “passive income” thrown about online. How’s that for 2.0? ;)