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- You can buy Apple stock by setting up an account with an online brokerage.
- It’s wise to look into a company’s performance and financials to make sure it’s a safe investment.
- It’s best to develop an investment strategy and regularly monitor your investment after you’ve bought shares.
Tech giant Apple made its public debut in 1980, listing its stock at $22 per share. Its stock — which currently sits near the $150 range — has fluctuated over time, splitting 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 those is the financial adviser road. However, if you’d rather invest or trade on your own, you can get started 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, Andre Jean-Pierre, investment advisor and managing director at Aces Advisors Wealth Managementexplains.
“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 market access easy, 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 might not be the safest choice since Apple’s stock has had a volatile history.
In addition, there are several online brokerages and investment platforms to choose from, but the best offer $0 minimum requirements for self-directed trading, commission-free investments, web and mobile access, and extensive customer support.
Plus, you may be able to purchase fractional shares depending on your brokerage. As of November 18, 2022, Apple’s current price exceeds $150, so fractional shares could be great for those who still want exposure without paying that full amount for a share.
And if you prefer lower-risk options like ETFs, mutual funds, and index fundsyou can still gain exposure to Apple by focusing on funds — such as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, Simplify Volt Cloud and Cybersecurity Disruption ETF, and the Fidelity 500 Index Fund — that offer it.
2. Research Apple’s financials
It’s important to do your due diligence on a company before you become a shareholder. Several resources — including balance sheetsrecordings of recent shareholder meetings, company quarterly earnings reports, income statements, and market analysis — can help you make sure it’s 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 is also still growing in new markets,” Jean-Pierre says. “Although they are not growing at the pace that they used to, Apple is one of the companies that I categorize as Large-Cap Growth that also pays a dividend to owners of the company.”
And while analyzing a stock’s historical performance is useful, you’ll also want to regularly pay attention to news that affects the company and its industry. As we’ve seen recently in 2022, the economy can also greatly influence the stock market, eliciting downturns and forcing investors to endure inflation and rising interest rates.
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 depends 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’ve got a strong emergency fund in place before buying shares.
“Investing is very different than trading,” Jean-Pierre explains. Trading, he added, is looking to outsmart the overall market by finding price inefficiencies to take advantage of. “However, investing is about ownership and reaping the long-term benefits of owning companies that are growing, so you can participate financially in their growth.”
In addition, the kind of order you use is crucial when it comes to getting the share price you want. Your order type basically tells your brokerage the price at which you’d like your order executed. You’ll generally have access to four types:
- Market order: These orders are executed immediately, so your per-share price will represent your stock’s current share value. These orders don’t let you set the share price at which you’d like them to execute, so they’re not a good idea for those looking to save money and beat the stock’s current market value.
- Limit order: With limit orders, you can set a price threshold for your shares. For instance, if Apple is trading at $150, and you set a limit order for $148, the brokerage will only complete your order if the stock’s value drops to that price.
- stop-order: These are also referred to as stop-loss orders, and they give you the power to set a stop-price for your investment. If your stock reaches that price, it will become a market order and execute immediately.
- Stop-limit order: You can also set a stop price for Apple with this order type, 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’ll then be ready to purchase the share(s) and develop an investment strategy to grow them.
4. Review your purchase and monitor your order
After you’ve placed your order for Apple shares, you’ll want to confirm that the brokerage executed the order and that everything looks good. Following this step, it’s wise to monitor your investment from time to time to make sure it’s up to par with your goals and performance expectations.
The first strategy is a more passive approach to wealth-building. You invest a lump sum into a stock, and you hold that investment until you’re ready to sell. With this approach, the hopes are that the investment’s value will have skyrocketed exponentially by the time you plan to cash out.
With the latter strategy (dollar-cost averaging), you can gradually buy shares of Apple. 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 as you invest.
“It’s important to know that over time, the growth from investing in companies that do well is a more stable path to prosperity than guessing the prices week-to-week in an unknowable future,” Jean-Pierre said.
How to sell Apple stock
Selling stocks are as simple as buying them. You can generally perform this action by navigating to the “trade” section of your investment platform’s website or mobile app. The platform will give you the option to sell either a number of shares or a dollar amount, though this can vary depending on the investment you’re selling.
In addition, it’s important to note that when you sell stock, you’ll be responsible for capital gains taxes when tax season arrives. And you’ll pay more or less, according to how long you’ve held the investment. For instance, short-term capital gains taxes apply to investments you’ve held for a year or less, while long-term capital gains taxes are for those you’ve held for longer than a year. Short-term capital gains taxes are usually higher than long-term capital gains taxes.
The bottom line
If you’d like 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 picture of whether a stock will be a worthwhile investment.
In addition, you can not only gain exposure to Apple through individual stocks, but also funds containing Apple. But you’ll want to make sure your strategy aligns with your overall risk tolerance, investing goals, and budget.