How to Invest in the Stock Market Now

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Investing in the stock market is a simple process, given the ease of buying and selling stocks online. You don't have to wait forever to set up an appointment and go see a broker at your local financial office. If you have funds available and a computer, you can easily start buying shares of stock. This article will show you how to invest in the stock market now.
    • Step 1

      Research online brokerage companies to find the best one for you. Find out how much it costs each time you buy or sell shares of stock. You also want to know if there is a minimum number of trades you must perform each year or quarter. For example, E*trade requires you to trade at least 30 times per quarter or maintain a certain asset base with the company. If you don't do this, you are charged more per transaction.
    • Step 2

      Choose an online brokerage company. Once you have done your research, pick one of the online brokerage companies based on your needs. If you don't plan to trade on a regular basis, choose a company that has no minimum trade requirements, like Scottrade or TD Ameritrade.

    • Step 3

      Set up an account. Go to the website of the company you have chosen and set up your account online. This should only take a few minutes. You will be asked personal information, as well as your social security number for tax purposes.
    • Step 4

      Fund your online account. Once you have created your account, you need to get money in there so you can start buying stock. If you want to start investing immediately, the best thing to do is to go to a branch office and make a deposit. Scottrade has local offices all over the country as do many other brokerage companies. Otherwise, you need to mail in a check to set up new funding.
    • Step 5

      Choose a stock for purchasing shares. Online trading companies offer free research on their websites. You can find out a stock's current selling price, past performance and other financial information that will help you make a wise decision. Make sure you get the stock ticker symbol, which is three or four letters long. As an example, Walmart stock's ticket symbol is WMT.
    • Step 6

      Purchase shares of stock directly on the website. Go to the section of the website for trading. You will enter the stock ticker symbol and the amount of shares you wish to purchase. You will select "Buy" as the option, and the duration of which the order will be open: You can either choose your order to be valid until the end of the day or choose it to continue until the order is filled, for example.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Internet connection
    • Computer
    • Tip: If stock market prices are down due to a struggling economy, a stock purchase can be a good investment. Once the market rebounds, the value of the shares can go up, and you can sell your stock for a profit. (Beware, however, that the market could continue its downward trend, or the company you have invested in could go bankrupt in a tough economy.)
    • Tip: With most online trading companies, you have the option to purchase shares through a broker. This means that you can speak to a broker before each purchase. The cost for each trade jumps significantly when consulting a broker, but you have the benefit of financial advice from an expert before making any investment decisions.
    • Warning:
    • Don't invest more money in the stock market than you can afford to lose. Your investment is not backed up or guaranteed. If the stock price declines or the company goes out of business, you could lose the amount of your investment.

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