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How to buy Gilead shares (GILD)
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This beginner’s guide to Gilead gives you a brief history of the company and its recent performance before taking a look at its future prospects. If you just want to invest straight away, then the best brokers have been shortlisted for you.
Compare the best Gilead trading platforms
Below are the best platforms to use if you want to get shares right now. We’ve reviewed all the leading options to compare them and come up with a list of the best ones for you to try. Otherwise, keep reading to learn more about Gilead before investing.
How to buy Gilead stocks, a step-by-step guide
The process of buying shares 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. Firstly, you need to find an online brokerage 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 Gilead shares.
- Place an order for GILD stock. Look for Gilead’s ticker symbol (GILD) 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 hold and place your order.
- Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Gilead shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Gilead.
What is Gilead? And should I invest?
Gilead is an American pharmaceutical company that develops drug treatment for diseases like hepatitis, cancer, and flu. It was formed in 1987 and has been a public company since 1992.
The company might be best known for a controversial coronavirus treatment that failed to win the approval of the World Health Organisation. Much more important to the business outlook are its successful Hepatitis C and HIV drugs, which catapulted it into the stock market stratosphere in the early 2010s.
Like many healthcare stocks, Gilead isn’t reliant on a good economic situation to perform well but it does need to keep churning out new treatments to stay competitive. Whether you should invest depends on your attitude to risk: there’s more uncertainty but high rewards if it develops a unique new drug.
How has the company performed in recent years?
It’s been a mixed bag of late. Since 2015, the share price trend has been downward but with a couple of notable upswings on the way. Generally, the price is a weather vane for the state of its treatments: good news sends it up, like the announcement of a coronavirus treatment in 2020. Poor sales send it down, like with its Hep C drug in 2016.
Ironically, part of the problem might have been that the Hep C treatment was too successful. The more people it cured, the smaller the market became. Another issue is that it was very expensive. When patent protection ran out, its competitors swooped in and released a cheaper alternative.
Its HIV drug followed a similar path, but it’s the original success of that treatment that Gilead is using as a template for recovery. In that case, it used its own reach to commercialise a drug developed by another company. In recent years, that’s what it’s been trying to do again. Meet the new plan, the same as the old plan.
Is it a good time to buy Gilead shares now?
It depends how much risk you’re willing to accept. Gilead is relatively inexpensive compared to biotech companies like Moderna or pharma giants like Johnson & Johnson. But it doesn’t have the reliability of the latter or the recent results of the former.
As a result, it could be a window of opportunity. It’s difficult to predict the success of drug research, which can be uncertain up until the moment a treatment is approved by the authorities. Gilead has stuck to its new plan though, snapping up access to new cancer drugs through acquisitions and mergers in 2020.
That gives you lots to keep an eye on if you’re interested in investing. Gilead has had some ethical issues over its drug prices, run into lawsuits with the government over royalty payments, and is also small enough that it is a potential takeover target itself. Stay up to date on all these issues with our market analysis:
Buying, selling and trading Gilead 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 you start.
- Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company first. What is Gilead? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Gilead’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Gilead, 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 reviews can help you find the right broker platform.
- 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 bullish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. The latest news 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 Gilead shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.
This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Gilead 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 Gilead 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 Gilead’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, 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 Gilead 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 holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When you buy shares in Gilead 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 GILD 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 course on how to trade stocks.
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, 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 broker 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.
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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 >