A while back, a service I recommend in my book Wealth Virtues, the Stock Advisor from Fool.com recommended Netflix stock (NFLX) as an addition to anyone’s portfolio. I took that advice, mostly on the Fool.com recommendation, but also because of my experience as a new customer.
This past Christmas, St. Nicholas saw fit to grace my children (and ultimately me) with an Xbox 360 Kinect. As far as a gaming system that actually forces you and your family to NOT become couch potatoes due to the motion sensing camera and the Kinect games that force you to move wildly about, this was a great gift. I, however, like the Xbox for a different purpose – to supplement my “skinflint on purpose” cable plan through the use of Netflix. Regardless of what gaming system you own, or even of you access Netflix using a very inexpensive Roku box, Netflix fulfills my lust for TV shows in HD without commercials ( The Office, episodes 1-6 is my current passion) as well as unlimited movies at a very low monthly price of under $8.00.
I really like my cable company, which happens to be Comcast (CMCSA). My downtime in the past three years has been less than a total of 15 minutes, and the bandwidth is phenomenal. I pay about $45 a month for the internet access (for a home based business, this is great), and roughly $22 for something below Basic offering multi-city local channels and ION, Spanish, and a couple of religious channels. I do receive in normal 1080i HD which is nice for football games. Once I hooked up the Xbox and linked it into my secure wireless, I found out about the Netflix option. Yes, for the Xbox, I did have to pay about $50 a year for Xbox Live which gives me access to ESPN and other services, but having unlimited Netflix access streamed through my wireless internet through the gaming consol to my TV for less than $96 a year is cheaper than most monthly cable bills where you have the on demand service that gives you the opportunity to pay for each movie you watch.
Bottom line: I get everything I want to see from Netflix without the ridiculous cable bill, but still fantastic service from Comcast.
There must have been a lot of folks like me, and decided that the streaming services from Netflix was absolutely wonderful. Just after I started as a customer with Netflix on 26 December 2010, I thought about the Fool.com recommendation and made a considerable investment in Netflix on the 27th. The earnings report for Netflix on January 27, 2010 was so good that the stock popped 15% that day.
Sometimes, it’s OK to believe in Santa and listen to Fools. Happy New Year!
Disclusure: At the time of this writing, James Ward owns shares of Netflix, but does not own shares of Comcast nor Microsoft.