Learning how to buy stocks of public companies isn't as hard as most novice investors may think. While picking and choosing which stocks to buy can be more complex, actually buying and selling shares has become much easier for the average person to do thanks in large part to the rise of online stock brokerage firms. While some investors--mainly ones that purchase shares of companies in larger quantities--still use traditional stock brokers, the use of a good online stock trading platform can handle most common transactions.
Whether you're looking to play the stock market in an individual account, retirement account or for another purpose, it is important to understand that investing in the stock market means that you have to be willing to take on a certain level of risk for the opportunity of capital gains.
Buying and Selling Stocks
The most important step to begin buying, selling and trading shares of stocks is to choose a good brokerage firm. If you want the ease and cost effectiveness of doing it yourself, you can open an online trading account through various companies. There are some discount stock brokerages that offer a very low commission per trade, but lack research material that can help you in your stock picking. Or, you could go with some of the more established brands that offer access to stock research reports, analysis and other financial market data that come at a higher cost.
Of course, you could always rely on an actual real-life broker that can walk you through any investment before you pull the trigger. The important thing when going with traditional brokerages is to find a stock broker that has your interests inline. Since most work off of a commission, it isn't uncommon to find financial advisers pushing products that may not be best for you. Remember that just because you've hired a financial adviser or stock broker, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't inform yourself regarding your own investments.