Grab some shares of McDonalds (MCD) now and you might not have to work there in retirement.
You can say what you want about how morbidly unhealthy the food is, or how they market to kids, but they do know how to grow the value of your investment. The fast food icon, which is actually the world's sixth most valuable brand, and the second most valuable food related brand, second only to Coca-Cola, has been around forever and is showing no signs of going away. What makes McDonalds shares such a good place to have your money invested? Let me count the ways...
1. The Food Tastes Good
Ok, I happen to believe that Brussels sprouts taste good as well but you can't pull up to a shiny window and order a 6 pack of sprouts with dipping sauce. The taste of McDonalds food appeals to many convenience seeking people, and they adapt their menu well to cultural tastes in any country they operate. It's quick, it's predictable, it's convenient, and it satisfies.
2. They Market To Kids & Adults Don't Really Mind
Oh, what a bonus for a two year old to get a free toy out of a drive through trip to the golden arches. Perhaps Mom & Dad will feel better getting the optional apple slices instead of fries with their happy meal. They have play gyms inside their stores, they sponsor kids sports, they give loads to charity, they are armed with a team of on-staff cartoon characters including Ronald and whatever movie Disney is pumping this month. McDonalds is basically a well-honed marketing machine that neither 'Super Size Me' nor 'The Subway Diet' can stop.
3. The Fundamentals
Mmmm, the dividend growth, just makes my mouth water. They've raised their dividend each and every year since 1976. They just recently raised it by 10%, at a time when other company's CEO's are eating Quarter Pounders and liking it, to cut costs wherever they can. McDonalds annual sales growth has been very consistent, their EPS growth over the long term has been great, and they generate returns on equity in excess of 15% most years. All this while maintaining a moderate debt level of $0.76 per $1.00 of equity.
4. The Future
The key to this companies future lies in management and adaptation. They've proven in the past that they are able to adapt to changing tastes and customer preferences. As they move through the developing world I am confident that quality of life improvements will go hand in hand with the need for convenient food that the kids like too.
Buy McDonalds in any economy. This is not a recession stock. Don't let that analyst with Big Mac sauce on his tie fool you.