How to buy National Grid shares

National Grid is a utility company that provides gas and electricity to the UK and the Northeastern United States. Find out the essential things you need to know before investing in this guide.
By: Charlie Hancox
Charlie Hancox
Alongside his passion for trading, Charlie has represented Great Britain and won national championships as a water polo player,… read more.
Updated: May 19, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This page takes you through everything you need to know about National Grid stock. We uncover the company’s history, explore its investment prospects, and explain how you can get your hands on its shares.

Compare the best National Grid trading platforms

You can use one of the brokers below to get started straight away. These are all trustworthy and innovative platforms that we have extensively tested. To continue learning about National Grid, move down the page.

1
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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.
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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.
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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 National Grid stock, a step-by-step guide

We have broken down the process of investing in National Grid into 5 easy-to-follow steps to help you get started.

  1. Choose a broker. The first thing you need to find is an online broker. 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, or check out our apps page.
  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 National Grid shares.
  4. Place an order for NG stock. Search for National Grid’s ticker symbol (NG) 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 National Grid shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in National Grid!

What is National Grid? And should I invest?

National Grid was founded in London in 1990, and over the last 30 years, it has become one of the largest utility companies in the world with over 23,000 employees providing million of customers with gas and electricity in the UK and parts of America.

The company has set its eyes firmly on the green energy revolution, launching a $250M technology fund in 2018 with around 20 investments aimed at pioneering decarbonisation tech. With more energy now being produced from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels in the UK, it is easy to see why this is a key focus for the company.

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange back in 1995, gradually working its way up to become a large-cap company on the FTSE 100. As a utility stock, some would expect National Grid’s growth potential to be minimal. However, unlike other stocks in this sector, it is trying to innovate by pushing new technology rather than deploying the same old services, and this means growth is a distinct possibility.

How has the company performed in recent years?

The company’s share price has failed to take off in the last 5 years, though the same is true for most publicly-traded utility companies. Despite this, it has remained relatively stable, providing a healthy dividend yield of around 5.6%.

Until its new technologies experience a marked rise in demand, National Grid will not be a growth stock, as evidenced by its stagnant revenue growth in recent years. However, there is inherent value in the company’s fundamental assets, balance sheet and technological developments, and this combined with the dividend presents an interesting and consistent investment proposition.

Currently, National Grid’s primary source of its roughly $20 billion revenue is its US regulated business segment, providing $9.2 billion of the total figure, and this is followed by $3.7 billion for UK energy transmission. It remains to be seen how much revenue can be generated by green tech as the environmental revolution kicks into overdrive, and this is the area investors should perhaps pay close attention to.

Is it a good time to buy National Grid shares now?

It depends on your own financial goals and investment strategy. For example, in the case of long-term investors, buying now and holding for the foreseeable future could generate returns, and this is because of the company’s meaningful dividend and the potential revenue generated by carbon-neutral services.

For short-term traders, the fundamental value of National Grid is far less important. Instead, you should pay close attention to your technical research, tracking the price of the stock and taking advantage of volatility to buy low and sell high.

To help you decide if now is a good time to own some read our latest analysis below. This will give you an insight into the market as a whole and the events that are affecting National Grid:

Shares of National Grid (LON: NG.) have plunged 6% today following the U.K. energy regulator Ofgem’s new price-control and investment plans. As a result, National Grid stock price now trades at a 3-month low.  Fundamental analysis: National Grid “extremely disappointed” by Ofgem’s plan Ofgem, the U.K. energy regulator, has…

Buying, selling and trading National Grid 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. What is National Grid? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is National Grid’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about National Grid, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before you start investing in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of what the market is 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 clear 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. Use our reviews to find the right platform or app 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. While if the market is looking bullish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Follow the news to stay on top of 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 National Grid shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying National Grid

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for National Grid 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 National Grid

When you sell any National Grid 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 for the long term, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that National Grid’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 National Grid

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 National Grid through flipping shares quickly, 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 a 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 NG 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, use our 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 shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex, cryptocurrency 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 fund your account with 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 National Grid news

The FTSE 100 looks set to open higher this Wednesday, building on the previous session’s gains, and advancing despite mixed leads from the US and Asia. In company developments, National Grid (LON:NG) is likely to get some attention today as it called for a review of back-up power…
The FTSE 100 looks set to open higher this morning, building on the previous session’s gains, despite the ongoing Brexit turmoil. On the corporate front, National Grid (LON:NG) will be in focus amid reports over potential penalties from the energy regulator. Index seen steady IG’s opening calls…
The FTSE 100 looks set to start trading little changed this morning, following the previous session’s slump, with risk-off sentiment weighing on equities around the world. FTSE 100 seen little changed IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie is set to start trading 0.08 percent higher at 7,191 points this…
The UK benchmark index looks set to start today’s session in negative territory, pressured by the latest US-China news, as well as by heavyweights going ex-dividend. In FTSE 100 corporate releases, Burberry (LON:BRBY) is due to update investors on its full-year performance this morning. Footsie seen lower IG’s opening…

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Charlie Hancox
Financial writer
Alongside his passion for trading, Charlie has represented Great Britain and won national championships as a water polo player, and as a budding film director, has… read more.