How to buy Citigroup shares

US banking giant Citigroup was one of the worst affected by the 2008 financial crisis. See if its prospects look better now and whether you should take a look at its shares.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: May 18, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This guide will give you an overview of Citigroup, its history, and things to look out for before investing. You can find an analysis of brokers to use as well, as we’ve taken a look at the top options and compared them to find the best one for you.

Compare the best Citigroup trading platforms

If you have all the information you need and just want to invest, you can get shares immediately by visiting one of our trusted brokers below. We’ve assessed all the best brokers and compared them so that picking the right choice for you is quick and easy. If you’re not ready to do that yet, keep reading for more information on Citigroup.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
User Score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
User Score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

How to buy Citigroup stock, a step-by-step guide

It’s simple and straightforward to find your own shares, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:

  1. Choose a broker. Firstly, you will need to use an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with its 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Citigroup shares.
  4. Place an order for C stock. Search for Citigroup’s ticker symbol (C) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the number of shares you want and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Citigroup shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Citigroup!

What is Citigroup? And should I invest?

Citigroup (NYSE: C) is an American investment bank and financial services group and is the holding company for Citibank. Citigroup was formed in 1998 after a merger between Citicorp, which can trace its origins back to 1812, and Travelers Group. After the merger it became the largest financial institution in the world.

In 2020 Citigroup was fined $400m and issued with a consent order by the banking regulators in the US as a result of a “long-standing failure to establish effective risk management and data governance programs”. One of the largest punishments dished out to a big bank, it came as a result of a Citibank employee accidentally wiring $900m to one of its clients. 

It is those sort of negative stories that mean there is plenty of work for Wall Street’s first female CEO, Jane Fraser, to do. It has to transform into a more modern, efficient bank and clean up its risk assessment and data management divisions. It trails the rest of the US banking sector and is trading at below its book value, which could lead to growth opportunities in the future if its transition proves successful.

How has the company performed in recent years?

Citigroup had been recovering from its 2008 woes until the pandemic hit. Gains of 50% in the five years before February 2020 saw the share price at almost $80 until the global economic situation hit a major downturn. In the aftermath of the pandemic, however, it trailed the rest of the financial sector thanks to a 44% drop in value.

The pandemic has forced banks to increase bad loan provisions and hit their bottom line. Citigroup is no different, although signs of the pandemic easing towards the end of 2020 helped its share price tick up towards $60 again, up from lows of $35 during the worst of the crisis.

US political uncertainty also worked to keep the share price suppressed during the lead up to the presidential election at the end of 2020. In 2016, a similar story played out with a jump following a clear result, and this time its stock rose once the result was known, up nearly 40% on December 4th compared to election day.

Is it a good time to buy Citigroup shares now?

Citigroup is in a tough spot where it might need to carry out a transition to a leaner business model in the midst of an economic downturn. As one of the ‘too big to fail’ banks and one of the big four financial institutions in the US, it is safe in that respect. But it also has to compete with those other institutions and some of its non-US operations are riskier.

Banks as a rule don’t like uncertainty and there has been plenty of it, thanks to an unknown longer-term future after the pandemic eases. Citigroup also had to brace itself for a confusing picture in the aftermath of the US presidential election, although that looks to have cleared up.

Citigroup has many challenges moving forward, from streamlining its sprawling business model into something that can reduce risk and make money in the long term. It also has to deal with the fallout from its consent order at the end of 2020. Technical analysis might offer short term opportunities, but investors in it for the long haul might want to wait and see how its new leadership starts to deal with those challenges first.

You can stay up to date with the latest stock information, news and see our market analysis below.

Citigroup (NYSE: C) shares have advanced from $57 above $69 since the beginning of February, and the current price stands around $67. Wall Street is still bullish on Citigroup, and the stock price could advance soon above the $70 resistance if the U.S. stock market continues to trade in…
Pharma company Moderna announced that it has a prospective vaccine which is 94.5% effective in preventing the COVID-19. Citigroup (NYSE: C) shares have advanced from $42 to $50.9 in less than five days and the current price stands around $50. Fundamental analysis: Citigroup is a stable bank but the…
Citigroup (NYSE: C) shares have weakened from $46 below $41 in less than three weeks and the current price stands around $41. When trading this stock, investors should have in mind that Citigroup is a stable bank with a good position on the market. Fundamental analysis: Citigroup is a…

Buying, selling and trading Citigroup 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 Citigroup shares.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company first. What is Citigroup? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Citigroup’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Citigroup, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Citigroup shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Citigroup

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Citigroup 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.

Selling Citigroup

When you sell any Citigroup 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 want to keep the stock for a long time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Citigroup’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 Citigroup

Trading is the same process as, 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 Citigroup shares through share dealing, 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 

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Takes a long time to realise any profits
  • Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments

CFD Trading 

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 flip 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 C 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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 one of our introduction to the stock market courses and read our guide to CFD trading to get you up to speed. 

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 find the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets or cryptocurrency.
  • 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. 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 broker account using 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.

Latest Citigroup news

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) shares weakened last week despite the fact that this bank reported better than expected second-quarter earnings. Fundamental analysis: Citigroup’s outlook remains stable Citigroup reported its second-quarter results on Wednesday; total revenue has decreased by -11.6% Y/Y to $17.47 billion, while the GAAP EPS was $2.84…
The Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bank of American (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), announced an increase in dividends late on Monday after passing the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test last week. The…
Citigroup shares have advanced more than  20% since the beginning of January 2021, and the current share price stands around $75. Citigroup reported better than expected first-quarter results last month, and according to the technical analysis, shares of this bank remain in a buy zone. Fundamental analysis: Oppenheimer raised its…
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) said on Thursday that its profit jumped to a record high in the first quarter on the back of £1.30 billion of credit reserve releases. The investment bank beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and revenue in Q1. Citigroup shares were reported about 2.5%…
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) said on Friday that its earnings in the fiscal fourth quarter came in better than expected. Revenue, it added, printed slightly lower than what analysts had anticipated. CEO Mike Corbat commented on the quarterly report on Friday and said: “As a sign of the strength…

Try some of our stock market courses for beginners

Still not ready to invest? That’s fine. Take your time, and learn more about investing with our easy-to-follow educational courses. You’ll be better prepared to buy Citigroup shares and stand a better chance of making a profit when you’ve got a solid grasp of the fundamentals.

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Luckily, it’s far easier to begin trading than it was in the 90s when Wall Street and big money were the only options. Get started with our introduction to stock trading. You’ll come away feeling more confident about the task ahead, while acquiring a base knowledge of all the most…


Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

James Knight
Lead content editor
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.