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How to buy ITV shares
This guide will explore the history of ITV, why advertising revenue is such an important part of its recent performance, and some pointers for what else to look out for before investing. You can also find a comparison of the best brokers to invest with.
Compare the best ITV trading platforms
You can start investing straight away by visiting one of the brokers below. We’ve assessed all the best trading platforms and compared them so that picking the right choice for you is quick and easy. If you’re not ready to invest yet, keep reading for more information on ITV.
How to buy ITV stocks, a step-by-step guide
We’ve put together a simple, straightforward guide to taking your first steps on the stock market. Follow these five steps and you can own your own shares in no time.
- Choose a broker. The first thing you need is an online trading 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 ITV shares.
- Place an order for ITV stock. Search for ITV’s ticker symbol (ITV) 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.
- Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your ITV shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in ITV!
What is ITV? And should I invest?
ITV (LON: ITV) is a British broadcaster, the first and largest commercial broadcaster in the UK. It is second to the BBC as the most watched channel in the country. ITV originated in a series of regionalised TV stations which have all eventually been acquired and brought together under the ITV banner. The current ITV plc is borne out of a merger between Granada and Carlton in 2004, which combined the two largest blocks of regional franchises together to create ITV as one company.
The television industry is under pressure as the way the world consumes content has changed. Netflix, Amazon and Disney all provide online streaming services that have become direct competition to traditional broadcasters, and ITV is no different in having to adapt to survive. Its transition to providing more online content includes the launch of Britbox, a subscription streaming service that is a joint venture with the BBC, to go with its ITV Hub and an emphasis on original programming.
Broadcasting then suffered the further blow of a pandemic that shut down filming and cut its advertising revenues. Whether ITV is a good investment for you depends on your priorities, short term investors might see the opportunity to benefit from a recovery, but either way ITV’s success largely depends on how well it is able to meet the demand for streaming content while competing with more established, deeper-pocketed, rivals.
How has the company performed in recent years?
So much of ITV’s revenues depend on advertising that it was already having a difficult time before the pandemic. The advertising business is shifting along with television itself, as both try to adapt to a digital world and ITV is forced to compete as much with online streaming services as with its traditional competitors.
The ITV Hub along with its other digital services aren’t yet a big enough part of the business model to make up the difference that a fall in its usual advertising streams has caused. That trend largely explains a 40% drop in the ITV share price from highs of 240p in 2015 down to 140p at the beginning of 2020.
The onset of the pandemic then halted all production of new programming at ITV and it was caught up in the market downturn that accompanied the global shutdown. The pandemic prompted the biggest fall in advertising and the worst half-year performance in ITV’s history, indicating how important traditional advertising is to the group’s bottom line.
After the initial shock, ITV did start to recover – it was able to get back to filming around 85% of its shows even despite repeated lockdowns in the UK – but it was forced to cancel Love Island, its biggest earner, as well as its interim dividend. It ended 2020 trading at 106p, representing a significant recovery compared to the worst of the crisis but still its lowest year-end price in eight years.
Is it a good time to buy ITV shares now?
ITV is transitioning towards a better balance between its digital arm and traditional TV, which would make it less reliant on its TV advertising revenue. Until that happens and until the pandemic lockdowns are over there is going to be uncertainty around ITV. It has the cash reserves and liquidity to cope in the short term but restarting production properly without the threat of future lockdowns is crucial to its immediate recovery.
Short term investors need to look out for signs of a recovery in TV advertising spend as well as of ITV being able to restart filming some of its biggest shows, like Love Island and its high-value soaps, to make immediate gains. Long term investors might want to pay more attention to the performance of its online assets, ITV Hub and Britbox, and see whether the group can leverage those into a realistic competitor to other streaming services.
ITV is secure in that it earns a significant chunk – around 20% – of TV viewers in the UK and should be bolstered by the return of Love Island in particular. But any buyer should keep tabs on TV advertising rules, particularly a ban on advertising unhealthy foods, which may put a further strain on ITV’s revenue stream. You can keep track of those updates as well as all the latest news and our market analysis below.
Buying, selling and trading ITV 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 owned 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. What is ITV? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is ITV’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about ITV, 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. The best way to buy shares in ITV is by using a 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 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. 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 ITV shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.
This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for ITV 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 ITV shares, 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 onto your stocks, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that ITV’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 ITV 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 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 ITV 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, you can get to grips with trading stocks learn about CFDs with our range of stock market courses.
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 stocks you want 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 find ITV shares 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 ITV news
ITV’s revenue slides 16% on a year over year basis in 2020
ITV to delist from the FTSE 100 index as COVID-19 weighs on stock
ITV’s pre-tax profit tanks 93% in the fiscal first half
London stocks slump as the UK resorts to countrywide lockdown to combat Coronavirus
ITV share price rallies amid Love Island boost
FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up ahead of ECB meeting
Try some of our stock market courses for beginners
To learn more before starting your investment journey, check out our easy-to-follow educational courses. These will prepare you fully to trade or buy ITV shares and keep improving your investment knowledge and skills over time.
Long-term Stock Investing
Short-term Stock Trading
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.
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 >