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How can I buy stocks?

I want to purchase equities.

Sep 15, 2013 by Anthony from Chicago, IL in  |  Flag
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3 votes
Andy Tilp, CFP® Level 16

Hi Anthony, Martin and Alex have provided some good information. I’d like to add a bit to their comment by asking you some questions.

  • How will you choose the companies you buy? Have you done fundamental research on them to know they are sound investments?

  • What percentage of your liquid net worth are you considering putting into any one company? If its more then 4%-5%, you are taking on a long of single company stock. It may be a winner and make a lot of money, or it could be a lose most of your net worth. Think about people who bought Apple stock at $700 because it was only going up, only to have the stock drop almost in half.

As the others suggested, it would be a good idea to get the help of a financial advisor to help you decide if individual stocks are the best, or if you may be better suited to index mutual funds, where you own a huge basket of stocks.

You can find such a planner at NAPFA and Garrett Planning Network. Planners associated with these organizations are required to serve the client first and always do what is in their best interest. (Full disclosure – I am a member of both organizations.)

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 15, 2013 from Sherwood, OR

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A discount online brokerage account is usually the most cost medium for buying and selling individual stocks. As others have mentioned, this is process is straightforward and not particularly time consuming. The hard part is selecting individual stocks that will compose the equity portion of your portfolio. Do your homework. Valuation should be an important consideration. A great company does not always equate to a great stock.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 16, 2013 from Cranford, NJ

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All great answers above. But, this isn't necessarily for the faint of heart. It should be well planned, and the use of a qualified financial advisor might be of benefit and keep you from making unecessary mistakes along the way. Best of Luck, Rod

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 16, 2013 from Springfield, MO

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Hi Anthony,

There are a number of ways to purchase individual stocks. You can establish a brokerage account online with any number of the brokerage firms, or hire an financial advisor who can guide you in this process. It's pretty simple to do. However, before you make a decision to invest in anything (stock, mutual fund, etc.) I recommend that you speak with a financial professional who can help you determine a suitable course of action. Feel free to contact my office during the week if you would to discuss this further: (240) 245-3434 | www.wcfingroup.com | msmith@wcfingroup.com

I wish you the best! Martin

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 15, 2013 from Bethesda, MD

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Anthony, buying stocks is easy. In answer to your question, you can open a brokerage account with any number of brokerage firms. Some of the larger companies have direct stock purchase programs.

The challenge, in my opinion, is not just buying the right stocks at the right time, but also selling them at the right time. I believe the really really smart stock pickers are correct 60% of the time, and they spend all day and hire analysts to help with their picks. I think I’m pretty smart; I am a CFP® with 20 years experience, but I’m not a stockpicker, and smartwise, not in the ballpark of these people. I rely on these guys to make my stock picks.

There are others in and out of this industry that buy and sell stocks; they do a lot of research. I believe a very small percentage of them fall into the category of ‘really really’ smart.

So my message to you is to be very careful. Even the really really smart people are wrong 40% of the time.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 20, 2013 from Delray Beach, FL

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Alex Bentley Level 18

It is easy to open a brokerage account to buy stocks. A brokerage firm like Charles Schwab or many others can do the job. However "investing" is more about having a strategy and a balance between stocks and bonds that reflects your age and risk profile. An advisor can help you with that or you can educate yourself.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Sep 15, 2013 from Pacific Palisades, CA

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