How to buy Apple shares
This guide teaches you what you need to know about Apple stock, the factors to consider before you invest, and where to find the best online brokers. This page is packed with information for experienced investors and beginners alike.
Compare the best Apple trading platforms
The table below gives quick comparisons of the top brokers available, to help you find the right platform as soon as possible. If you’re ready to open your portfolio now, then simply follow one of these links and get started. If not, keep reading to learn more about Apple.
How to buy Apple shares, a step-by-step guide
The process isn’t massively complicated, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:
- Choose a broker. The first thing you need is a broker platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
- Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
- Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in Apple shares.
- Place an order for AAPL stock. Now navigate to the broker’s buying stocks page (a link to this can be found in the menu on the website). Here you’ll be able to search for Apple’s ticker symbol (AAPL) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the amount of shares you wish to buy and place your order.
- Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Apple shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Apple!
What is Apple? And should I invest?
Apple is one of the best-known technology companies in the world, and largest tech company by revenue. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley in California, Apple started life in 1976 to sell the Apple 1 personal computer designed by Steve Wozniak. The company had mixed fortunes throughout the 20th century, growing throughout the 80s but struggling to compete with Microsoft and Intel in the 90s – leading to the return of Steve Jobs to the company in 1997. Jobs became CEO of Apple in 2000.
Since 2000, Apple has been one of the world’s top-performing companies. The most notable moment in the company’s growth was the launch of the iPhone in 2007. Masterminded by Jobs, this revolutionised personal technology and placed Apple firmly ahead of its competitors. Apple stock has performed strongly ever since, and has surged to new highs in recent years as the company’s sleek computers dominate the market.
The decision as to whether you should invest in Apple comes down to your financial goals. Consider how the stock has performed recently, and whether you’d rather put your money into a smaller company looking to grow rather than an established giant whose stock costs more than $100 a share.
For further information and up-to-the minute price movements, check out our Apple Quote page. This page gives you access to various charts, statistics, and key information about Apple. You can also keep reading below to find out if Apple is the right investment for you.
How has the company performed in recent years?
Apple’s stock performance in the past five years has been the best the company has ever achieved. In 2015, Apple shares were trading for just under $30 each, today you’ll have to part with more than $100 to get your hands on one.
A large part of this growth has happened since 2019. During this period, Apple stock doubled in value from January 2019 to February 2020, fell sharply as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, and then recovered strongly to once again increase in value by more than 100% between March and August 2020.
Apple benefits from almost unparalleled brand recognition, backed up by decades of successful marketing campaigns. It has thrived during the Covid crisis, and has undeniably been one of the stand-out performers of recent years.
Is it a good time to buy Apple shares now?
This depends on a variety of factors, a central one being whether a new product launch is just around the corner. Apple’s business revolves around the design and manufacture of new products, with each announcement of a new iPhone or Macbook followed eagerly around the world. For this reason, AAPL stock often inflates in value before a product launch, in expectation of good sales and company growth.
It is worth bearing in mind, though, that these company-boosting sales are not guaranteed. Underperforming sales, or another event such as news of a security issue, can cause the stock to drop sharply. Equally, if the expected gains do materialise then the stock price could also fall as investors decide to ‘sell-the-news’ and cash in their shares while the price is high – also resulting in a fall in share price.
If you’re buying shares for the long term, then these considerations aren’t so relevant, and Apple stock’s strong performance over the past 20 years means it’s rarely a bad time to invest. However, if you’re looking for short or medium-term gains with your AAPL investment, then you’ll want to have a look at certain indicators such as the stock’s price-to-earnings ratio to ensure you’re not buying into a bubble that’s likely to burst.
Equally, you’ll want to stay on top of recent news – as this can particularly affect stock prices in the tech sector. Check out our recent market analysis features below to see if it’s a good time to invest in Apple.
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Buying, selling and trading Apple shares for beginners
What to do before buying shares
You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t bought shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment.
With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before investing in Apple shares.
- Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before buying its stock. What is Apple? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Apple’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Apple, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
- Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
- Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
- Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
- Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Our broker reviews can help you find the right platform for you.
- Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bearish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Our news section can help you keep on top of movements in the financial markets.
What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?
If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade Apple shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.
This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Apple stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.
When you sell any Apple shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit.
When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold for a long period of time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Apple’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.
Trading is the same process as buying and selling shares, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.
You can trade Apple shares through buying and selling shares, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.
Share dealing vs CFD trading
When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.
Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.
Share dealing refers to the practice of buying and holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.
When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.
- Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
- Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
- Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments
- Takes a long time to realise any profits
- Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments
If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.
One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into AAPL shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.
When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.
- Can generate fast profits if you read the market right
- Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
- Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities
- Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
- Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term
Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our stock trading course and read our guide to CFD trading to get you up to speed.
If neither of these options appeal to you, then you can find a variety of other ways to invest on this page. If, however, you’re ready to get Apple shares now, simply select one of the brokers in the table above and get started.
How to choose a broker
With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:
- Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually use the broker to buy the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex and commodities.
- Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
- Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to place trades and buy shares. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
- Payment methods available. You might want to fund your account with a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
- Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
- Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.