Buying stock is a process that is intimidating to many folks who have never bought stock directly. Even if you have stocks tied up into investments in a retirement plan or 401(k), buying stock in a particular individual company can be a little bit challenging. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure that the process of buying stocks goes as smooth as possible.
Before you begin buying stocks, you need to be aware that you’re going to need a variety of tools. First of all, you’re going to need a daily stock reference guide such as the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal will give you ready information about the value of your stock and help you decide when it may be time to purchase or to sell that stock. You’ll also need some sort of accounting software to be able to keep track of your investments appropriately. Finally, you’ll need a brokerage account. A brokerage account is what actually allows you to purchase the stock on the stock exchange. If you don’t have a brokerage account, you may be able to set one up with your broker.
Here are the steps involved in buying stocks once you have the necessary materials:
1. Do your research. Find out about a given stock, the stock buying and selling process and about stock brokers in general. Study about the company or companies you’re interested in investing in, and learn about how their stock history has been.
2. Figure out what it is that you want from a stock broker or from a brokerage account. Decide whether you want to meet someone in person, or whether you want telephone consultation or consultation via email. Are you concerned about the price of the broker or brokerage account? Do you want to buy and sell stocks or are you also interested in buying and selling other items like bonds, mutual funds or foreign stocks.
3. Pick a brokerage or a stock broker to buy the stocks for you based on your requirements.
4. Contact your broker or brokerage firm to get an application. Many brokers or brokerage firms will offer you an online application. In most cases they will still require that you send money either via a wire transfer or via a check to open the account.
5. If at all possible, deliver your check in person to the broker or the brokerage firm as this will speed up the process.
6. Once the account is open, you can begin buying and selling stocks at will.
Ultimately, the path of least resistance to buying stocks is to choose a qualified broker or set up your own brokerage account.