Walmart is a legendary American retail brand that was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Although it started with just a single location in Rogers, Arkansas, Walmart has ballooned to more than 11,000 stores across nearly 30 countries worldwide. A meteoric financial rise such as this typically gets the attention of investors. If you find yourself wanting to get your hands on some of this equity, we go over your options below.
How to Buy Walmart Stock
For those who prefer skipping the middleman, direct investment is your best route to take. At Walmart, these services are readily available through the Computershare system. In order to complete a direct purchase of Walmart shares through this medium, you’ll need to create a login. Should you have trouble using Computershare or you’d rather buy stock over the phone, you can also call 1-(800)-438-6278. To stay up to date with the latest shareholder information, you can download the Walmart Investor Relations app on Apple, Android and Windows phones.
Should you receive dividends from your investment, you can choose either to deposit them in your bank account or reinvest them in more Walmart shares. Computershare allows investors to join the automatic dividend reinvestment plan through its online and phone-based platforms. Check out the fee schedule associated with Walmart direct investments here:
|Direct Investment Fees & Minimums|
|Minimum Investments||– Initial investment: $250 or 10 monthly automatic deposits of $25 |
– All other investments: $50 check deposit or $25 online bank debit
– Maximum investment: $150,000 annually
|Purchase Fees||– One-time enrollment fee: $20 |
– Each one-time online bank debit: $1 + $0.05/share
– Each check deposit: $5 + $0.05/share
– Automatic bank account withdrawal: $1 + $0.05/share
– Returned check/rejected ACH debit: $20
|Dividend Reinvestment||– All costs covered by Walmart|
|Stock Sale Fees||– Each batch and market order sale: $25.50 + $0.05/share |
– Fees are paid via the proceeds of your sale
Although the above method is the simplest way to become a Walmart shareholder, investment accounts at brokerages are much more common choices. While you could theoretically invest in a number of companies through their direct investment plans, brokers will do all the legwork for you. On top of this, brokerages have their own fee schedules, meaning you will often skip the financial nuances of direct investments. The widespread selection of stocks, ETFs, bonds and other investments available through these firms is perfect for anyone looking to customize their portfolio and invest according to market trends.
Stock trades at brokerages come in two forms: limit orders and market orders. If you’re content with the current price of a stock, you’d enact a market order for the number of shares you want. On the other hand, limit orders let you preset a specific price a stock must hit before your account triggers a purchase.
|Brokerage Firm||Trading Fees||Minimum||Best For|
|$0||$0||– Mobile/online traders |
– Self-sufficient investors
|Merrill Edge |
|$6.95||$0||– Bank of America account holders |
– Customer support users
|TD Ameritrade |
|$6.95||$0||– Online traders |
– Customers who value support
Investing can be intimidating, as you are essentially gambling your hard earned money. The guidance of a financial advisor can go a long way in quelling that nervousness, as they usually have ample experience handling investments. Many advisors will even let clients dictate what investment types they want their portfolio to include. So if Walmart stock is something you’re interested in, communicate that to your advisor.
The caveat of working with an advisory firm is that they have higher fees than both brokerages and direct investment plans. However, financial advisors will almost always build clients a holistic financial plan in conjunction with their portfolio. This ultimately drives the cost of their services up, making them potentially unattainable for lower-level investors.
Overview of Walmart
Of Walmart’s 11,000-plus stores, half are within U.S. borders. There are about 1.5 million American employees working for the company, making it one of the most prominent employers the country has ever seen. In addition to its many Walmart locations, the company owns and runs Sam’s Club, a large wholesale chain. Without factoring in Walmart’s earnings, Sam’s Club saw an impressive $59 billion in revenue over the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Beyond this, Walmart is now involved in the e-commerce business:
|U.S./International Retail Stores and Distribution Centers||– Walmart Supercenters |
– Walmart Discount Stores
– Walmart Neighborhood Market
– Over 150 U.S. distribution centers
|Sam’s Club||– Membership-based wholesale club |
– 600 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
|Walmart U.S. eCommerce||– Jet.com |
– Proprietary e-commerce fulfillment centers
Walmart’s Financial Profile
Walmart, or WMT as it’s known on the New York Stock Exchange, has consistently reported strong financials for a half-century. Although the dawn of internet retail has taken a bite out of Walmart’s earnings, the stock still retains its blue-chip title. More specifically, this indicates that Walmart stock offers reliability based on its past performance. For many investors, this is incredibly important, as the volatility that typically accompanies stocks can make them hard to stomach, especially over a long period of time.
It can be hard to visualize what the long-term returns of a stock can be. But according to a study from Howmuch.net, if you had invested $1,000 in Walmart stock in 2007, it would’ve been worth roughly $1,931 a decade later. The study goes on to illustrate that this beats out the likes of Coca-Cola and Pfizer.
Should You Buy Walmart Stock?
Walmart faces plenty of competition in today’s retail world. Department companies like Target have long been Walmart competitors. But the increasing power of new-age retail brands like Amazon adds in an entirely new set of considerations if you’re a prospective investor. Walmart’s aforementioned jump into the e-commerce business is a clear move to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. However, it remains a difficult task to shift your business model when you’re such a large company.
So at this point, Walmart doesn’t offer as much upside as some of the contending tech and retail stocks, but it does provide a certain level of stability. The company has proven it can achieve sustained success, and it has a substantial brand awareness. This leaves Walmart stock as a solid equity investment that would fit well in the portfolio of a risk-averse, long-term investor. If you plan on reinvesting your dividends, Walmart is also a great choice.
Tips to Become a Better Investor
- Do you have a rough idea as to how much you can invest? SmartAsset’s investment calculator can help you decipher exactly what your investments could turn into over time. All you need to know is your initial investment amount, how much and how often you can contribute, the rate of return you expect and when you want to begin withdrawing money.
- Delving into the depths of the market is a quick way to improve your investment game. This includes becoming familiar with various investment types, risk-adjusted investment strategies and more. The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool will pair you with as many as three advisors in your area that can help you in this venture.
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Wolterk, Yahoo Finance, ©iStock.com/AndreyPopov