How to buy PayPal shares

Once best-known as the way to pay for your eBay purchases, PayPal is now a sprawling financial services provider that operates in 200 countries around the world. Find out if now is a good time to invest in PayPal stock.
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 19, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This guide gives you all the information you need to know before investing in PayPal. We explore a brief history of the company, how it has performed in recent years and where to buy PayPal stock online.

Compare the best PayPal trading platforms

If you are looking for the best place to buy PayPal shares, look no further than our list below. Our team of experts assessed all the leading brokers to help you choose one and you can use their reviews to help you. Otherwise, keep reading to learn more about PayPal.

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 PayPal stock, a step-by-step guide

Nowadays, investing in a company is simple, 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. To get started, you 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 PayPal shares.
  4. Place an order for PYPL stock. Now navigate to the stocks section of your chosen broker. Here, you can search for PayPal’s ticker symbol (PYPL) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the number of shares you wish to purchase and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your PayPal shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in PayPal!

What is PayPal? And should I invest?

PayPal is an online payments system that offers frictionless spending all over the world. Founded in the late 1990s, PayPal was closely linked to eBay for much of its early life. In 2015, it spun-off from the mother ship and now trades as an independent company.

Its main selling point is cheap and easy online transactions. Having started as a way for businesses who couldn’t accept debit cards to receive money on eBay, it’s now a sprawling online payment system that lets you spend many different currencies, including cryptocurrency.

If you’re looking for the safest way to invest in financial technology, Paypal might be the best bet. It’s long been a market leader in online payments and both its revenues and user base dwarf those of rivals like Square and Stripe. It might not offer the same upside as that competition but comes with less of the risk.

How has the company performed in recent years?

The story since 2015 is split into two acts with the COVID-19 pandemic as the intermission. In the first act, its share price grew 200% in five years. In the second, it did the same in less than a year. The main reason for that success is simple: more and more transactions happened online. 

That trend was already taking shape before the pandemic, and PayPal’s revenues, profits, and users have been steadily increasing for a decade. The only major price slump came as it fell to $100 during the post-pandemic crash, but that was short-lived as it hit all-time highs of almost $300 less than a year later.

The scale of its success compared to the competition is perhaps not reflected even by that price. The shares of PayPal and Square have converged even as the former saw total trading volumes close to $1tn in 2020, almost ten times as much as its closest competitor.

Is it a good time to buy PayPal shares now?

If you expect the amount spent online to keep increasing. PayPal is one of the biggest players in the game and much less reliant than it once was on the vagaries of eBay merchants. Taking a cut of every transaction is a lucrative business when there are more than 15bn of them a year.

The reason investors looking for growth stocks have pivoted towards some of its competitors – notably Square – in recent times is because it’s more innovative and quicker to jump into new markets. PayPal tends to use acquisitions to buy its way in later on. That might reduce the speed of its growth but it means less volatility as well.

Those acquisitions are something to look out for before and during your investment. PayPal has bought its way into becoming a major force in cryptocurrency and the first foreign payments company to operate in China. Keep your eyes on our latest news and market analysis to track what PayPal is up to:

Shares of PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) gapped slightly higher after the online payment company announced yesterday that its U.S. consumers will now be able to make payments at its online merchants with their crypto holdings, a move that could largely increase the use of digital currencies. Fundamental analysis: New crypto…
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) shares have advanced more than 24% since the beginning of January, and the current share price stands around $286. Paypal reported better than expected Q4 results this February, and the company continues to expand its business. Fundamental analysis: PayPal continues to benefit from the increased adoption…
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) continues to expand its business, and shares of this company are trading near an all-time high. Digital payments remain a strong area of growth, and the analyst company Evercore lifted the price target on PayPal to $312 from $240. Fundamental analysis: Digital payments remain a strong…

Buying, selling and trading 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 PayPal shares.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before investing. What is PayPal? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is PayPal’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about PayPal, 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 reviews of the best broker platforms can help you find the right one 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 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 PayPal shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying PayPal

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

When you sell any PayPal 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 PayPal’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 PayPal

Trading is the same process as buying and selling shares, 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 PayPal shares through buying and selling shares outright, 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 PYPL 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. 

If neither of these options appeal to you, then you can find a variety of other ways to invest in PYPL stock on this page. If, however, you’re ready to get involved now, simply select one of the brokers in the table above and get started. 

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 purchase 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 make investments. 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. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but by using our comparisons, you can search for 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 PayPal news

Payments company PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) has announced that it will purchase Japanese buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Paidy a cash consideration of $2.7 billion. This acquisition is a significant step by the company to take the top position in the digital payments sector that is…
Months after PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) launched cryptocurrency trading, it is set for the next move that turns it into a prominent competitor for the likes of Robinhood. The fintech firm wants to launch a stock-trading platform that will enable its U.S. users to buy, sell, and…
On Wednesday, Fiserv Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) shares edged 1.18% higher after announcing its partnership with PayPal Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) for paycheck deposits. The company’s Carat omnichannel commerce ecosystem is expanding its digital products to include PayPal payments after crossing $1 billion monthly digital payouts…
PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) reported better than expected profit for the fiscal second quarter on Wednesday. Shares of the company, however, tanked about 9% in after-hours trading on weak guidance for Q3 related to eBay, which is quickly becoming self-sufficient for payments. Financial performance PayPal said its…
PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) shares lost 3% on Tuesday to trim last week’s gains. The stock fell towards $297 per share in the afternoon session after opening slightly above $305. The online payments giant reports fiscal Q2 results on Wednesday after markets close, creating a perfect…
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) shares continue to trade above the $250 support level, and the company continues to benefit from the increased adoption of digital payments. Paypal reported better than expected first-quarter results last month, and the company continues to expand its business. Fundamental analysis: PayPal ended the first quarter…

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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
Financial writer
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.