How to Invest Like an Extreme Couponer

I’m sure you’ve seen these shoppers, these are the people that clip coupons until their little fingers can’t clip any more. They spend time finding the best deals to go with their coupons. There is a skill to being an extreme couponer. From what I understand, it takes practice and diligence. Sometimes you have to join a ring of fellow couponers so that you can all keep each other abreast of the best deals. Sometimes you have to accept a product that is not your favorite just so you can save money. Investing and extreme couponing are different, right? Let’s take a look to see if they really are so different.

Extreme Couponers Work Together

Like I mentioned earlier, there are groups of extreme couponers (ECs) that work together pair the best deals with the current coupons. For example, if chips are on sale at the local grocery store and there was a coupon in last week’s paper, one EC will alert another EC and they will march in the supermarket, coupons in hand. Investors can work together as well. Have you ever considered joining an investment club? An investment club is a group of people working together to invest in the best securities. Instead of just you trying to keep up with several stocks and the markets and the business cycle, you can leverage a network and work with those in an investment club. You can have one person focus on technology for example, or just economic effects on the portfolio. I started learning to invest with a student group at my college and we worked together on research and investing ideas. The idea is that you all work together to make the process of investing easier, just like extreme couponers.

Extreme Couponers Keep Watch

Another key characteristic of ECs is that they constantly keep watch. Each time coupons are released they may stock up or clip multiples of those coupons and wait until there is a sale on the product that the coupon is for. This allows them to ‘stack’ the coupon on top of a deal. Often a store sale, coupled with a manufacturer’s coupon will be enough to get an item for free. As an investor, you should be keeping watch as well. Staying on top of major investment publications like the Wall Street Journal or CNBC can help give you the edge. I remember when I worked for a discount broker, we would always have the TV showing CNBC. It helped me to stay up to date with the top news on the markets and after watching how the markets performed in different business conditions I was better able to make investment decisions.

Extreme Couponers Shop on Price Alone

One last common characteristic between extreme couponers is that they shop on price alone. If there is a brand that they prefer but they have a coupon for a competitor, you better believe that they will be purchasing the competitor’s product. And that is because ECs have one goal, to save money. If that is your goal, then as an investor you should be shopping for the cheapest broker. There are discount brokers that charge on execution alone and with all of the competition there are more and more options among brokers. One thing you want to make sure to do is check for hidden fees and charges but if you are channeling your inner extreme couponer, that won’t be a problem, right?

I like to watch CNBC and keep up with what’s happening in the investing world so I can make better investing decisions.

Are you investing like an extreme couponer?

This post was written by Latisha.


How to Invest Like an Extreme Couponer — 28 Comments

  1. I invest like a frugal old man. I mainly buy ETF’s and Mutual funds that follow a index so I shop for value (index correlation) and expenses (expense ratio). I then set and forget.

  2. i’ve watched a few episodes of that show and it’s crazy what they do. just like you said, they actually do a lot of research before going out to use those coupons. and they have tons of networking as well. it’s amazing how much stuff they can get for just a few dollars.

    • Haha! You must be rocking and rolling by now then. As long as you don’t wake up with 50 jars of peanut butter that you couldn’t possibly use in your lifetime you should be good.

  3. Interesting comparison. I haven’t heard extreme couponers compared to anything that didn’t make them sound crazy.

    As for investments, I don’t invest this way. I hardly ever read publications. However, I do use a discount broker so I think I get a pretty good deal on trades.

    • It’s usually good to keep up with at least one because so much that is happening overseas is affecting the markets. For example, I took the opportunity to buy into a stock I follow during the Euro debt crisis at a cheap price relative to where it normally trades. It’s a great way to dollar cost average.

  4. Great analogies LaTisha. I think we can learn from successful people, no matter what they do. Focus on price alone, now that takes serious discipline.

  5. Nice post LaTisha!
    I definitely think I should approach investing like an extreme couponer. I do “shop” for items that are “sale,” but I need to be even more diligent at times. I used to listen to CNBC like you, as it does provide a wealth of info. Lately, I’ve been getting my info via different media platforms. Cheers!

  6. There’s always something to learn from people. Although I don’t coupon and don’t consider it a good investment of time, the organization and team work of these ECs is something to emulate.

  7. I think couponing is generally not worth the time if you have a good hourly rate doing something else. However, there is one aspect of it that mirrors great investing: it acknowledges that there’s frequently only a small window where an investment makes sense. Far too many people save money for investing, and then think they have to “put it to work” right now even though no investment they want to own is currently on sale. Then when the market tanks and everything is on sale, they have no money and have just taken big losses. It’s all very backwards.

    • I would agree. There are windows of opportunity that we need to keep a look out for or we will miss out. I think it is human tendency to rush things but in reality we need to hold back and assess a situation which might lead to being a patient for a while longer. It is a fine balancing act that many of us spend our lives trying to get right.

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