How to Buy Apple Stock: A Step-by-Step Guide

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  • You can buy Apple shares by setting up an account with an online broker.
  • It is advisable to analyze the performance and financials of a company to ensure that it is a safe investment.
  • It is best to develop an investment strategy and regularly monitor your investment after buying shares.

Tech giant Apple made its public debut in 1980, trading its shares at $22 per share. Its shares, which currently sit near the $150 range, have fluctuated over time, dividing five times since 1980 and reaching an all-time high of $180.96 on January 3, 2022.

If you’re interested in adding Apple stock to your investment portfolio, you’ll have multiple options for doing so. Among them is the route of the financial adviser. However, if you prefer to invest or trade on your own, you can start with an online brokerage.

1. Set up a brokerage account

To invest in Apple, a retail investor needs an account that is eligible to own securities; these are called brokerage accounts, explains Andre Jean-Pierre, investment adviser and managing director of Aces Advisors Wealth Management.

“These accounts can be taxable or non-taxable; taxable accounts, also called non-qualified accounts, are funded with after-tax dollars, where you can buy and sell stocks and other securities.”

Brokerage accounts make it easy to access the market, allowing you to invest in stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and more. Individual accounts will generally be your best option, but you’ll want to use a joint account if you plan to invest with a partner. And while IRAs are another option, they may not be the safest option since Apple stock has had a volatile history.

In addition, there are several online brokerages and investment platforms to choose from, but the best ones offer minimum requirements of $0 for self-directed trades, commission-free investments, web and mobile access, and extensive customer support.

Also, you may be able to buy fractional shares depending on your brokerage. As of November 18, 2022, Apple’s current price is over $150, so fractional shares could be great for those who still want exposure without paying the full amount for a share.

And if you prefer lower-risk options like ETFs, mutual funds, and index funds, you can still gain exposure to Apple by focusing on funds — like the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, the Simplify Volt Cloud and Cybersecurity Disruption ETFs, and the Fidelity 500 Index Fund — that offer it. .

2. Research Apple’s financials

It is important to do your due diligence on a company before becoming a shareholder. Various resources, including balance sheets, recordings of recent shareholder meetings, company quarterly earnings reports, income statements, and market analysis, can help ensure you’re in good financial standing.

“Apple is a good stock to buy for those looking to own a stable company that pays a consistent dividend. [and] that’s also continuing to grow in new markets,” says Jean-Pierre. “Although they’re not growing at the rate they used to, Apple is one of the companies I classify as Large-Cap Growth that also pays dividends to the owners of the company.”

And while it’s helpful to look at a stock’s historical performance, you’ll also want to regularly pay attention to news affecting the company and its industry. As we have recently seen in 2022, the economy can also heavily influence the stock market, triggering recessions and forcing investors to put up with inflation and rising interest rates.

Both Apple and other blue chip stocks like Tesla and Amazon have also been particularly volatile, so it may not be an ideal choice for a risk-averse trader or those nearing retirement.

3. Determine how much to invest and place an order

Both the amount you decide to invest or trade and the frequency of your contributions depend largely on your personal goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. This will vary from person to person, and it’s always wise to make sure you have a solid emergency fund before buying stocks.

“Investing is very different from trading,” explains Jean-Pierre. Trading, he added, seeks to outwit the broader market by finding price inefficiencies to take advantage of. “However, investing is about owning and reaping the long-term benefits of owning businesses that are growing, so you can participate financially in their growth.”

furthermore, the write The order type you use is crucial when it comes to getting the stock price you want. Your order type basically tells your brokerage the price at which you want your order to be filled. Typically, you’ll have access to four types:

  • market order: These orders are executed immediately, so your price per share will represent the current value of your shares. These orders don’t allow you to set the share price you’d like them to execute at, so they’re not a good idea for those looking to save money and beat the current market value of the stock.
  • limit order: With limit orders, you can set a threshold price for your shares. For example, if Apple is trading at $150 and you set a limit order of $148, the broker will only fill your order if the stock value falls to that price.
  • stop order: These are also known as stop loss orders and give you the power to set a limit price for your investment. If your stock reaches that price, it will become a market order and will be executed immediately.
  • stop limit order: You can also set a stop price for Apple with this type of order, but the order will become a limit order once it reaches that price, executing at that price or better.

Once you’ve chosen your order type, you’re ready to buy the stock and develop an investment strategy to grow it.

4. Review your purchase and monitor your order

After you place your order for Apple stock, you’ll want to confirm that the broker has filled the order and that everything looks good. After this step, it’s a good idea to check in on your investment from time to time to make sure it’s living up to your goals and performance expectations.

You’ll also want to create a solid portfolio strategy to keep your investments on track. Typically, you will have two options: buy and hold and dollar cost averaging.

The first strategy is a more passive approach to wealth creation. You invest a lump sum in a stock and hold that investment until you are ready to sell. With this approach, the hope is that the value of the investment will have skyrocketed exponentially by the time you plan to withdraw money.

With the last strategy (dollar cost averaging), you can gradually buy Apple stock. Whether the frequency of those contributions is weekly, monthly or yearly is entirely up to you. But it’s also crucial to note that neither method is immune to market swings, so it’s wise to keep this in mind when investing.

“It’s important to know that, over time, the growth of investing in companies that are doing well is a more stable path to prosperity than guessing prices week by week in an unknown future,” said Jean-Pierre.

How to Sell Apple Stock

Selling shares is as simple as buying them. You can usually do this by navigating to the “trade” section of your trading platform’s website or mobile app. The platform will give you the option to sell a number of shares or a dollar amount, although this can vary depending on the investment you are selling.

Also, it’s important to note that when you sell stock, you’ll be liable for capital gains taxes come tax season. And you will pay more or less, depending on the time you have maintained the investment. For example, short-term capital gains taxes apply to investments you’ve held for a year or less, while long-term capital gains taxes apply to investments you’ve held for more than a year. year. Short-term capital gains taxes are typically higher than long-term capital gains taxes.

The bottom line

If you want to get a piece of Apple stock, you’ll first need to set up a brokerage account. But before you place your order, it’s crucial to make sure you’ve done your homework on the company’s financials and historical performance. This can give you a better idea of ​​whether a stock will be a worthwhile investment.

Furthermore, you can not only gain exposure to Apple through individual stocks, but also funds that contain Apple. But you’ll want to make sure your strategy aligns with your overall risk tolerance, investment goals, and budget.

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