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Buying stocks is a way for individuals to own stocks in a publicly traded company – and ideally, build their wealth over time.
For those new to investing, buying stocks may sound like a complicated process, but it’s actually quite simple.
Here are four steps to buying shares in a company and what to consider before selling your shares.
Step 1: Choose a broker and fund your account
Before you can start buying stocks, you need to select a brokerage account to do so. You can opt for a trading platform from a traditional financial company like Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard, or look at online brokers like Ally or Robinhood.
Consider the variety of investment vehicles that the broker offers in addition to trading stocks, such as: B. retirement provision via IRA accounts. Also, be aware of any maintenance fees, account minimums, and commissions that the broker charges for executing trades.
Setting up your broker account only takes about 15 minutes and requires providing some basic personal and financial information. For faster access to the market, you can electronically transfer funds to your account from a linked bank account.
To keep growing your investments and building real wealth, set up an automatic transfer to your broker account so you can deposit regularly over time. Remember, money invested in individual stocks should be money you can afford to lose as there is always some risk.
Step 2: Research Which Stocks To Buy
Buying stocks through your broker’s website is done in minutes. Since almost anyone can buy stocks in a short amount of time, the barrier to entry is low – which is one more reason to understand your risk appetite and to do your research beforehand. Choosing individual stocks requires a lot more education than investing in diversified assets like index funds, as stocks are more risky.
Before buying stock in any company, you should understand what that company does, what products it offers, its business model, how it makes money, and its historical performance. You can also refer to credible investment sites like Morningstar, a reputable stock research and valuation resource.
When choosing stocks, it’s a good idea to stick to the Warren Buffett mindset that you will buy and hold those stocks for years, even decades.
Step 3: calculate how many stocks you want
A share represents your ownership in a public company. The decision on how many stocks to buy depends in part on how much money you need to invest.
Share prices vary by company and are constantly rising and falling, but if, for example, you have $ 600 to invest and the stock price is $ 60, you can buy 10 shares. Some brokers have tools that can help you see how many stocks you can afford.
If this is your first time buying individual stocks, you may want to buy just a single stock initially so that you can get a taste of the market before investing more money.
Some brokers even offer the option to buy fractions of a stock or part of a single stock instead of the whole stock. This allows investors to buy expensive stocks of companies like Amazon, whose share price is above $ 3,000 at the time of writing.
Charles Schwab enables investors to buy a fraction of a stock listed on the S&P 500 through his program called Schwab Stock Slices ™. You can buy a single slice (fractions) or up to 30 slices (30 fractions) for just $ 5 per slice. Fractions of shares are traded online at Schwab, similar to normal shares, commission-free.
SoFi Invest® is another broker option that offers fractions of stocks with no trading commissions. Investors can start with as little as $ 5 and access over 4,000 stocks and ETFs.
Step 4: place your trade
To place your order on your broker’s platform, use the stock’s three- or four-letter ticker symbol. You have the option of choosing between a market order or a limit order.
A market order means that when you place the order you will buy the stocks at the best available current market price. Market orders are best when you are buying only a few stocks or large blue chip stocks whose prices don’t fluctuate drastically.
A limit order means that you will buy the shares at your stated price or better, giving you more control over your payment. With a limit order, trading may not take place if the price doesn’t get where you want it to be. Limit orders are best when you are trading a large number of stocks or smaller stocks with higher price volatility.
What to Look For Before Selling Your Stock
Use caution when tracking your stocks along with the performance of the companies you have invested in.
Money that you invest in individual stocks should be money that you have tied up for at least the next five years. To maximize your return on investment, it is best to hold out for the long term, especially during times of volatility.
In fact, one of the biggest investment mistakes experts say is not giving your investments time to grow.
Ready to go?
To determine which trading platform offers the best consumer services for $ 0, select narrowed down offers on a list of 10 initial platforms. We then analyzed and compared them based on the following factors:
- Minimum Account Amounts
- Account types
- Account and advisory fees
- Customer service
- Cost ratios of the available facilities
- Choice of investments
- Trading fees
- Available technology, including mobile platforms
- Teaching aids and resources
After reviewing the above features, we have based our recommendations on platforms that offer the widest range of investment options, robust educational tools and resources, easy-to-use technology, and the lowest fees and expense ratios. We also looked at each company’s customer support structure, the channels of communication available, and app ratings.
Note that with all trading platforms there are no guarantees that you will get any particular rate of return or that up-to-date investment options will always be available. To determine the best approach for your specific investment objectives, it is recommended that you speak with a reputable fiduciary investment advisor.
Note to editors: Opinions, analyzes, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are solely those of the Select editorial team and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by third parties.