This being the â€œYear of a Million Dreams,â€ I thought it would be apropos to finally take the plunge and have something special to pass on to my heirs, other than my collection of WDW napkins. However, I had no idea how to go about acquiring the shares. I guess I could have called a brokerage firm or a financial institution, but I doubted they would want to deal with me since I had so little money to invest. I have also seen those sites that sell a single share of Disney stock, but the price of $100+ scared me. Luckily, after doing a web search I came across the Walt Disney Investment Plan (WDIP), which is administered by Disney. I would soon learn it would be as easy as bibbity, bobbity, boo to fulfill my dream.
Before I get into the all the details, let me warn you that investing in any stock is a gam-ble, as millions of people find out every year. Donâ€™t invest any money you canâ€™t afford to lose. That said; let me give you the particulars. First of all, you must invest a minimum of $1,000 with the WDIP. After a one-time fee of $10 and a small per share fee, Disneyâ€™s agent will purchase for you as many shares as possible given the market price on the day they purchase them for you. The purchase will be many days after you have completed your application through the mail, and your check has cleared. In my case it was 28.175 shares of common stock out of the 1,981,000,000 more or less that are outstanding, which means I own about 0.00000001422% of the Walt Disney Company. Wow!!! In comparison, Roy E. Disney owns about 16,000,000 shares!!! Once you join the WDIP you can then invest as little as $100 through a monthly investment plan, or invest when you like. You can also sell your shares at any time after paying the attendant fees.
On the WDIP any dividends you earn are used to purchase additional shares of Disney common stock, once again at the market price after the dividend (please note that Disney did not declare any dividends for years and years and only recently have they done so) is declared. For you Disney history buffs, the initial shares of stocks sold for $13.88 on 11/12/1957.
What are the perks of owning Disney stock? In a single wordâ€”none!!! A long time ago being a Disney stockholder meant you got free or reduced priced tickets to the theme parks, even if you only owned one share of stock. Sadly, those days will never return. I guess knowing that I helped buy a napkin or two at WDW is perk enough.
Well, there you have it, a brief, but hopefully helpful, description of how you too can own a piece of the Mouse.
P.S. With the sale of the Disney radio stations I am now the proud owner of two shares of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation (CDL). I am becoming quite the tycoon.