How to buy Glencore shares (GLEN)

The commodities trading giant Glencore has had a tricky few years. Find out if its plans to become more friendly to climate conscious investors might help Glencore become more appealing.
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Updated: Jun 13, 2022

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This guide will explore a history of Glencore, its rocky recent past and what investors should consider before deciding whether to invest. You’ll also find an analysis of the different broker options that will help you choose the best trading platform to use.

Compare the best Glencore trading platforms

If you have all the information you need and just want to invest, you can get Glencore 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. Otherwise, keep reading for more information on Glencore.

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How to buy Glencore 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:

  1. Choose a broker. The first thing you need is 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.
  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 Glencore shares.
  4. Place an order for GLEN stock. Search for Glencore’s ticker symbol (GLEN) 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 own and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Glencore shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Glencore!

What is Glencore? And should I invest?

Glencore (LON: GLEN) is an Anglo-Swiss commodity trading and mining company and the largest commodity trader in the world. Its current iteration dates back to 2011 and a merger between Glencore and the Swiss commodity trader Xstrata, after which the new Glencore floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Glencore is made up of a mining division, which produces a variety of raw materials including metals, crude oil, coal and natural gas, along with a trading division. The trading wing, described as ‘marketing’ by Glencore itself, trades commodities on the open market.

Whether Glencore is a good investment might depend as much on your motivations as an investor as the performance of the company itself. It has been embroiled in numerous scandals, particularly over its production in Africa, and is a major contributor to climate change, although it’s now making strides to diversify and be a part of the clean energy revolution.

How has the company performed in recent years?

It has been a bumpy ride for Glencore since the newly merged company floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2011. The overall trend has been down, its floatation price above 500p having halved over the last decade, but it has been a time marked by controversies, investigations, and erratic commodity prices.

The most notable fall came in the summer of 2015, where the company suffered one of the worst days in the history of the LSE in response to an Investec warning that its debt levels made it particularly vulnerable. It took nearly 18 months for Glencore to recover its price after this incident, which seems to have been sparked by a sudden lack of confidence from investors as the level of Glencore’s vulnerability was revealed.

In the final quarter of 2020 Glencore announced a change at the top, with its current CEO Ivan Glasenberg preparing to step down in 2021. This news was largely interpreted as positive by investors as potentially a sign of Glencore becoming a much ‘greener’ company in the future and his departure, along with a surge in commodity prices, helped GLEN recover back to a pre-pandemic price of 235p by the end of the year.

Is it a good time to buy Glencore shares now?

The decision might depend on the level of risk you’re willing to accept as an investor. There are reasons to be positive about the company that aren’t just based on the change of leadership. Glencore is a major producer of raw materials – principally copper, cobalt, and zinc – which are going to play a vital role in the transition to green energy. It stands to benefit from stimulus spending across the world which, along with the extra demand from renewables, should enable it to cut debt and restart its dividend, which was paused in 2020.

That said, there are a number of factors to think about which make Glencore a risky investment despite those positives. It remains deeply embedded in coal production, it is under investigation from the US Department of Justice thanks to some controversial business interests in Africa and it is vulnerable to geopolitical shocks across the world. It may spin off its coal division at some point in the future but until then it remains a major contributor to climate change, through both its own emissions and those of customers who burn fossil fuels further down the line.

Ultimately you need to decide what your aims and motivations are as an investor. Glencore has not performed as well as its rivals in recent years but it has future potential and talks a good game about transitioning to green energy. This might present opportunities for long term investors in particular who are willing to wait to see returns. 

Short term investors might want to see how investigations into Glencore play out. Before investing you should do a full analysis of the company, particularly keeping track of those DoJ probes, and you can follow all the latest news and our market analysis about Glencore below.

Buying, selling and trading Glencore 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.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company first. What is Glencore? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Glencore’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Glencore, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before buying into 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 assessments 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. Follow the latest news to 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 Glencore shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Glencore

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Glencore 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 Glencore

When you sell any Glencore 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 Glencore’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 Glencore

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 Glencore 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 

Share dealing refers to the practice of 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 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 GLEN 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 our stock trading course 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 find the stock you’re looking for on your broker platform. 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. 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 use a specific payment method, such as PayPal, to fund your broker account. 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 Glencore news

Glencore (LON: GLEN) share price collapsed to the lowest level since August 4 as signs of a global slowdown emerged. The stock collapsed to a low of 440p, which was about 14% below the highest level in August. Other mining stocks like Endeavour Mining, Antofagasta, Rio Tinto, and Anglo…
Glencore (LON: GLEN) share price rose for four straight days even as recession risks rose and mining companies published weak results. The shares jumped to a high of 470p, which was the highest level since June 21st. Mining companies in trouble  Glencore is a giant mining and trading company…
The Glencore (LON: GLEN) share price is bouncing back after the company published strong trading statement as commodity prices jump. It is trading at 478p, which is slightly above this week’s low of 462p. Mining business is booming The mining industry is seeing robust growth as commodity prices jump.
Coal prices have been in a strong bullish trend in the past few months as demand continues to outpace supply. Prices have jumped by more than 120% in the past 12 months and analysts expect that this trend will continue. Besides, coal investments have declined in the past few years…
The FTSE 100 index has outperformed its American counterparts like the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. It has risen by 1.26% year-to-date while US indices have fallen by more than 10%. This performance is mostly because the FTSE is often seen as a value index compared to US indices whose…

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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 >

James Knight
Editor of Education
James is a lead content editor for Invezz. He's an avid trader and golfer, who spends an inordinate amount of time watching Leicester City and the… read more.