The Motley Fool Take
Walt Disney recently kicked off a new fiscal year with an earnings decline due to an unusually weak movie-release schedule. But 2019 is looking up.
For one, Disney’s recently launched ESPN+ streaming service reached 2 million paid subscribers, and the company is poised to launch a similar streaming service called Disney+ later this year. Both will help offset the negative impact of cord-cutters on its broadcast business.
Meanwhile, its big-screen releases this year include Captain Marvel and a live-action version of Dumbo in March; Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame in April; a live-action rendition of Aladdin in May; Pixar’s Toy Story 4 in June; a live-action version of The Lion King in July; Frozen 2 in November; and Star Wars: Episode IX in December.
Assuming Disney’s pending $71.3 billion acquisition of most of the assets of 21st Century Fox goes as planned, it will own a 60 percent stake in Hulu, up from 30 percent, along with properties such as Avatar, National Geographic and Marvel’s Deadpool, Fantastic Four and X-Men franchises.
With a price-to-earnings ratio in the mid-teens and a growing dividend recently yielding 1.5 percent, Disney is an appealing candidate for the portfolios of long-term investors. (The Motley Fool owns shares of and has recommended Walt Disney.)
Ask the Fool
H.D. asks: Should I file to start collecting my Social Security benefits early, on time or late? What is best?
The Fool responds: You can start collecting benefits as early as age 62 and as late as 70, and your “full retirement age” (66 or 67 for most of us today) is the age at which you qualify for your full benefits.
If you start collecting early, your checks will be smaller, and if you delay starting to collect, your benefits will grow bigger. It’s not necessarily worth it to wait until 70 for the biggest checks, though.
The system is designed to be a wash for those who live average-length lives, as you’ll get many more of the smaller checks or fewer of the larger ones.
So consider your circumstances. If you stand a good chance of living an average or short life, you might start collecting at 62 — the age at which most people start. If you plan to keep working into your late 60s or you expect to live a long life, delaying starting to collect can make sense. Many people will have little choice; they’ll simply need the income as soon as possible.
Social Security is a vital retirement support, so read up on it and perhaps consult a financial adviser before deciding what to do. (You can find fee-only advisers at NAPFA.org.) For a wide range of retirement advice, try our “Rule Your Retirement” service at Fool.com/services.
C.L. from Houston asks: Can you explain what “securities” are?
The Fool responds: They’re assets that have some financial value — typically equities or debts that can be traded. Examples include stocks, bonds, options and certificates of deposit. Most investments can be classified as securities.
The Fool’s School
If you want to get better and better as an investor, you’d do well to read up on the topic regularly. Savvy investors can put market moves in perspective, understanding that there is always volatility. They have realistic expectations, knowing that the market’s long-term average annual growth rate has been around 10 percent, but it could be much higher or lower in any given period.
So what, exactly, should you read? Well, there are some good Fool books, of course, such as The Motley Fool Investment Guide by David and Tom Gardner (Simon & Schuster, $16). And there are plenty of other solid choices.