How to buy Qualcomm shares

Qualcomm is the world’s largest producer of smartphone chips. Here we explore its outlook and explain how you can get your hands on its shares.
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: Jul 27, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This beginner’s guide covers Qualcomm, its history, and how the stock might perform in the future. Keep reading to compare the best places to find the shares and for a step by step guide on how to get them.

Compare the best Qualcomm trading platforms

The brokers in the table below are the best ones around. You can follow the links to start investing straight away, or keep reading to learn more about Qualcomm first.

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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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Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
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How to buy Qualcomm stock, a step-by-step guide

The process of getting shares in Qualcomm 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. You will need to use 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 Qualcomm shares.
  4. Place an order for QCOM stock. Search for Qualcomm’s ticker symbol (QCOM) 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 Qualcomm shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Qualcomm.

What is Qualcomm? And should I invest?

An American company that produces semiconductors and software. It creates chips for smartphones that help connect the phone to a wireless network and also ones that give them the processing capability to become something more like a mini-computer.

Qualcomm has long been at the forefront of the mobile phone industry, and its origins in the 1980s were in wireless phone research. It’s now leading the way into the 5G era as well, not only with mobile phones but in infrastructure that connects more people than ever to the 5G network.

You might want to invest in Qualcomm because of the potential of that new technology. Stocks like this offer a reward of dramatic growth if the tech is a success, but you often have to pay a premium to start with and be willing to accept the risk that it might not work.

How has the company performed in recent years?

Like the entire semiconductor industry, Qualcomm has done well since early 2020 when rising demand and a supply shortage caused a price boom. That timing combined with a big leap forward in technology, where everything started to go digital, and the promise of 5G became a reality.

A convergence of all those factors sent Qualcomm’s share price up 80% between 2020 and 2021. It’s revenue climbed by 20% over the same period, and increases in the first half of 2021 were even more dramatic. More handset sales along with a quicker than expected 5G rollout saw its revenues more than double compared to the year before.

Before 2020, times had been much tougher. The stock fell 33% in five years up to 2019 as legal issues hit the company hard. Qualcomm owns a lot of patents and licenses – the royalties on which make up about a third of its income – but had been embroiled in courtroom battles over them and lost two of its main customers, Apple and Huawei, as a result.

Is it a good time to buy Qualcomm shares now?

It all hinges on 5G and whether that industry can drive enough revenue to reward Qualcomm for investing so much money in it. It’s a company that’s well-placed in two industries but while a spike in semiconductor stocks all over the world might be temporary, 5G can drive a longer term trend.

Qualcomm is also a stock that might appeal to dividend investors, as it has been steadily increasing its shareholder payout every year for a decade. A healthy dividend yield and good prospects for long term growth make it an interesting alternative to more hyped semiconductor companies like AMD and Nvidia.

The biggest potential danger is the likes of Apple and Samsung manufacturing their own chips instead of outsourcing them. At the moment Qualcomm’s chips are quite unique and remain a crucial part of the phones, but it’s something to watch out for. You can use the links below to stay up to date with any new developments.

Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) have continued to move higher in January but have struggled to clear the resistance line at $166.60, signalling potential near-term weakness.   Fundamental analysis: Market share decreasing in China Qualcomm’s (QCOM) market share in China has plunged by nearly 33% to 25.4% in 2020, as…
The upcoming transition from 4G to 5G is likely to initiate a new vibration in the tech industry. In the same way that a transition to 4G opened up space for the emergence of smartphones, mobile commerce, and mobile banking, the introduction of 5G network is expected to usher the…
The fifth-generation networks (5G) are expected to be the next big thing. In addition to the expected increase of internet speed, the network will also host the IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem that will host billions of connected devices. The 5G network is expected to deliver 10 times…

Buying, selling and trading Qualcomm 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 Qualcomm? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Does Qualcomm’s balance sheet look like it’s in a good place? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Qualcomm, 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 broker reviews 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 bullish, 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 Qualcomm shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Qualcomm

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

When you sell any Qualcomm 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 Qualcomm’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 Qualcomm

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 Qualcomm 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 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

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 QCOM 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. 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 trading account 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 Qualcomm news

On Friday, Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares edged slightly higher after Canaccord Genuity analysts raised their price target from $200 to $225 per share. Analyst Michael Walkley cited the company’s contract with Apple and new business with Android phone makers will boost 5G sales in the future. …
Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ: QCOM) said on Monday it would consider investing in Arm if regulators blocked Nvidia from acquiring the UK chip designer for $40 billion (£28.32 billion), according to The Telegraph. Qualcomm shares opened at $135 in the stock market on Monday versus a low of $123 in…
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) said on Wednesday that its revenue came in weaker than expected in the fiscal first quarter. Earnings, it added, topped analysts’ estimates in Q1. Qualcomm shares lost close to 7% in extended trading on Wednesday. Including the price action, the stock is now trading at…
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) published its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter on Wednesday that blew past Wall Street estimates. The company attributed its hawkish performance primarily to 5G product launches. Qualcomm was reported about 15% up in after-hours trading on Wednesday. On a year to date basis,…
Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) released its quarterly financial results on Wednesday that pushed its stock 3% up in extended trading on top of a roughly 5% increase during the regular session. According to Refinitiv, experts had forecast Qualcomm to print £4.02 billion in revenue in the second quarter. In terms…

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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.