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Ways To Buy Stock



A brokerage account allows you to buy stocks and other securities (such as ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds and more). You can open an account with an online brokerage, a full-service brokerage (a more expensive choice) or a trading app such as Robinhood or Webull. Any of these choices will allow you to buy stock in publicly traded companies.




ways to buy stock



However, your bank account or other financial accounts will not allow you to purchase stocks. But your bank may operate a brokerage, so you can open an account with the brokerage and buy stock there. For example, Bank of America owns Merrill Edge, J.P. Morgan Chase offers J.P. Morgan Self-Direct Investing and Wells Fargo operates WellsTrade.


Your online brokerage of choice might also ask if you want to open a margin account. With a margin account, the brokerage lends you money to buy stock. This lets experienced investors buy more shares of stock with less of their own money in exchange for some additional costs and much more risk.


Direct purchase plans are almost always administered by third parties, rather than the companies themselves. The two most common direct purchase plan administrators are ComputerShare and American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST). Both firms charge additional fees for direct purchase plans. In contrast, most online brokers charge zero commissions to buy and sell shares of stock.


Full-service brokers provide well-heeled clients with a broad variety of financial services, from retirement planning and tax preparation to estate planning. They also can help you buy stocks. The trouble is full-service brokers charge steep commissions compared to online brokers.


For wealthy individuals without a lot of extra time to stay on top of their complicated financial lives, full-service brokers offer special treatment as well as a high level of trust. If all you want to do is buy stocks, a direct purchase plan or an online brokerage is a better choice.


There are thousands of different publicly traded companies offering shares of stock on the market. That makes it daunting to decide which stocks to buy. One way to think about researching the stocks you want to buy is to adopt a well-thought out strategy, like buying growth stocks or buying a portfolio of dividend stocks.


Whichever strategy you choose, finding the stocks you want to buy can still be challenging. Stock screeners help you narrow down your list of potential stocks to buy and offer an endless range of filters to screen out all the companies that do not meet your parameters. Nearly all online brokerage accounts offer stock screeners, and there are more than a few free versions available online.


With a stock screener, you can filter for small-cap stocks or large-cap stocks or view lists of companies with declining share prices and stocks that are at all-time highs. They also generally let you search for stocks by industry or market sector. Filtering by P/E ratio is a great way to find shares that are overpriced or underpriced.


If you do decide to give your broker the sell order, be sure you understand the tax consequences first. If the stock price has gone up since when you first bought it, you may have to pay capital gains taxes. Gains on shares you owned for a year or less are subject to the higher ordinary income tax rate, up to 37%, depending on your income. Shares sold after more than a year get taxed at the lower long-term capital gains rate of 0% to 20% in 2020.


Yes. Several online brokerage platforms (such as Robinhood) offer commission-free trading in most stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Note that these brokers still earn money from your trades, but by selling order flow to financial firms and loaning your stock to short-sellers.


The easiest way, in terms of getting a trade done, is to open and fund an online account and place a market order. While this is the quickest way to buy stocks, it might not always be the wisest. Do your own research before deciding what type of order to place and with whom.


Nathan Alderman has worked with The Motley Fool since 2005, making errors his arch-enemies in a variety of roles including a six-year stint as the dedicated fact-checker for The Motley Fool's premium newsletter services. As The Ascent's Compliance Lead, he makes sure that all the site's information is accurate and up to date, which ensures we always steer readers right and keeps various financial partners happy. A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Nathan spends his spare time volunteering for civic causes, writing and podcasting for fun, adoring his wife, and wrangling his two very large young children.


The stock market is an important part of our personal finance ecosystem and can be a great way to build wealth and secure your financial future, but buying stocks can seem daunting, especially for beginners. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there about what to buy, how to buy and the associated risks.


Buying stocks doesn't have to be so challenging. Doing your homework, choosing the purchasing method that makes sense for you and implementing a smart investing strategy you can stick with will help you build wealth in the long run.


If you have debt, consider paying it down before you invest money in the stock market, especially if you have high-interest or variable-rate debt like an outstanding credit card balance. For many people, it makes sense to pay down debt if the interest rate is 6% or higher, according to Fidelity Investments.


In short, don't invest money that you might need within the next few years. The good news is you don't need a lot of money to buy stocks: You can start investing in the stock market with less than $1,000.


You can buy stock in any company that is public, meaning that it sells shares on an exchange like the New York Stock Exchange. That includes companies you know about or use in your day-to-day life, like Walmart and Coca-Cola. But there are also tons of companies you likely haven't heard of that could fit well into your portfolio.


If you don't want to pick individual stocks, it may be best for you to buy funds. In fact, financial advisors tend to like funds versus individual stocks because you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. One company might stumble while its competitor continues to grow, so if you own a fund that invests in both companies, your loss is mitigated because you benefit from the competitor's gains.


Fund companies like Fidelity Investments and BlackRock share information about their funds on their websites. You can read through why certain shares are included, the percentage of the fund they take up and performance. For example, here is Vanguard's page for its Vanguard Information Technology ETF. You can see that the fund "seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks in the information technology sector." These types of fact sheets include share prices, past performance, all of the stocks included in the fund and more.


Another way to research individual stocks and funds is via research firms. Morningstar, for example, has a huge repository of data on different funds and stocks available, as well as ratings from Morningstar's analysts.


Before you can make a stock purchase, you have to determine how you'll actually buy these stocks. There's a lot to consider, including how hands-on you want to be, and how much you're willing to pay. With big investment companies like Vanguard, you can choose to open an individual retirement account (IRA) or an individual brokerage account that you fund with after-tax dollars.


Whether you want total control over what you're investing in, or want someone (or something) else to do the work for you, there is a brokerage option that will fit your investing style. For most of the following investing pathways, be prepared to share basic information like your Social Security number and date of birth. You may also be asked about your employment situation and investing history. If you're not a U.S. citizen, you'll likely need to share passport or residency visa information. You'll also want to save statements and other documents from these people and platforms, since you'll need them come tax time (capital gains are taxed).


A financial advisor is a professional money expert who can help you with retirement planning, paying down your debts, tax planning and more. They can also provide investment advice. There are several different kinds of financial advisors, including stockbrokers, who trade stocks on behalf of their clients, and certified financial planners, who are regulated by the CFP Board of Standards and help clients create long-term plans for managing their money. Some advisors are fiduciaries, which means they have to put clients' best financial interests ahead of their own financial gain.


Robo-advisors are automated investment advisors. If you use one of these programs, it will ask you for information about your financial situation, investment goals and risk tolerance, then use algorithms to create a portfolio with a diversified mix of stocks and bonds.


Trading apps that allow you to buy and sell stocks, bonds, funds and often cryptocurrency via your smart phone have become ubiquitous in recent years. Robinhood, Webull and E*TRADE are popular examples. To protect your investments, make sure you're using an app that is registered with regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by visiting the SEC's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure or FINRA's BrokerCheck.


If you are working with a stockbroker or financial advisor who is managing your investments, they'll likely take care of buying stocks for you. Robo-advisors also do a lot of the hard work. Usually, they ask you to tell them how much you want to invest, your long-term investment goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Once you deposit money, the robo-advisor automatically invests that money in the market, then manages your portfolio. 041b061a72


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