Best Futures Brokers for Online Traders

How to Buy Stocks and Invest in the Stock Market

For new and beginning investors, there are numerous ways to buy stocks (AAPL, FB, etc.) and invest in the stock market. The two main methods used by new, intermediate and experienced investors are:

  1. Investing via an Investment Advisor
  2. Doing your own research and investing via an online broker

Investment Advisors

Investment Advisors strive to build a long term relationship with their clientele and offer financial advisory, money management, retirement planning, brokerage services and investment accounts. Investment / financial advisors buy and sell stocks on your behalf based on your investing risk profile (age before retirement, high/low risk appetite, etc.) and normally come in two groups: those that are associated with an investment advisory firm or a financial institution, and those that are independent of any entity. While there are pros and cons to seeking advice from professionals from either of those two camps, investors must look for certain characteristics in their advisor, regardless of what their affiliation is.

Invest yourself (Individual Investors)

There is normally a steep learning curve to being an individual investor and buying stocks for your own account. However, at some point, you’ll become perfectly comfortable identifying stocks (to buy, sell, hold, or trade), conducting your own detailed research and preparing a plan to invest in the stock market.

Sample Steps in Buying Stocks and Investing in the Stock Market

  1. Before you can buy stocks in the stock market, you first need a brokerage account.
  2. MarketConsensus recently published a comparison-ranking report on the top five US online brokers, that are best suited for investing in or trading stocks. Check it out to see which of the top brokers can best meet your trading and stock market investing needs.
  3. Next step will be to apply for a cash and also a margin account (a brokerage account in which the brokerage firm loans you the cash needed to buy stocks).
  4. After your account is approved and you have deposited some funds into it, you should be ready to start buying stocks and investing in the stock market.
  5. Before buying stocks, you’ll want to make sure you have conducted an extensive level of stock research analysis. Check out the below links that might be of help to you in your stock research, buying and, selling.

Lots of individual investors follow a "buy and hold" investing strategy approach. Such investors normally conduct basic fundamental analysis on a stock after which they invest for the long term.

For those investors seeking slightly higher risk (and subsequent higher returns), stock trading (rather than just investing) could be an exciting investing endeavor.