How to buy Royal Dutch Shell shares

Royal Dutch Shell is an oil and gas giant and one of the largest companies in the world, so it's hardly a surprise that it's a target of interest for many investors. Find out everything you need to know on this page.
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 18, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

Before you invest in Royal Dutch Shell, it’s important to have access to the key information, which is why this guide explains the company’s history, recent investment performance, and future investment prospects. Additionally, we explain where to buy Royal Dutch Shell shares online.

Compare the best Royal Dutch Shell trading platforms

If you are looking for the best place to buy Royal Dutch Shell stock, check out our tried-and-tested brokers in the table below. You can then sign up and start investing immediately. If you want to find out more about the company, continue reading this page.

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 Royal Dutch Shell stock, a step-by-step guide

Investing in Royal Dutch Shell 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. In order to invest in any company, 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 Royal Dutch Shell shares.
  4. Place an order for MA stock. Now navigate to the stocks section of your chosen broker platform. Here, you can search for Royal Dutch Shell’s ticker symbol (MA) 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 Royal Dutch Shell shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Royal Dutch Shell.

What is Royal Dutch Shell? And should I invest?

Founded in 1907, Royal Dutch Shell is an Anglo-Dutch international energy company. While the company specialises in oil and gas, it also actively invests in green energy solutions like wind, solar, biofuels and hydrogen power. It was the fifth-largest company in the world based on revenues in 2020.

The company operates in over 70 countries and has around 90,000 employees, and it produces around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from 15 refineries, so it is little surprise that its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange is part of the FTSE 100. As a consequence of its size, Royal Dutch Shell’s investment performance is largely cyclical with the wider market, so investors should keep this in mind.

The company’s current dividend yield of 3.5% makes it a good dividend company, if not one of the best. Royal Dutch Shell is unlikely to experience exponential growth; it is already huge. So, you should know that most of your returns will be generated by dividends rather than share price accretion.

How has the company performed in recent years?

The last five years have been difficult for the company’s share price, though it has experienced a resurgence this year. This performance has been caused by falling profits for the last two years, down 11.21% in 2019, and a further 47.97% to $183.196 billion in 2020.

There are a variety of reasons for this tail-off in oil demand and the resulting fall in price. First, there is the threat of obsoletion as electric vehicles gather momentum. Then, as far as geopolitical matters, 2020’s Saudi Arabia-Russia price war and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transport and natural gas vehicles gave the company a substantial hit.

The fact that Royal Dutch Shell has managed to conserve its dividends rather well is a good sign, as its yield remains higher than the competition. The company’s main challenge is diversifying its revenue streams, especially as we accelerate towards a new, green age. To survive, it needs to show investors it has the technological means to adapt and innovative new sources of green power.

Is it a good time to buy Royal Dutch Shell shares now?

Throughout its recent history, Royal Dutch Shell has been a good choice for cautious investors looking for steady, long-term returns. This remains the case, so if your investment thesis states that slow and steady wins the race, investing in the company could generate returns as the price of oil increases and dividend start flowing again.

For short-term traders, the fragility of the current oil market should create plenty of volatility, meaning there could be many opportunities to buy low and sell high in a short timeframe. In this instance, conduct plenty of technical analysis so you know exactly what you are getting into.

However you decide to invest in or trade with Royal Dutch Shell stock, it is of paramount importance that you stay up to date with the latest company developments and the surrounding events that will affect its market performance. Find a selection of the top recent stories below:

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 Royal Dutch Shell shares.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before investing. What is Royal Dutch Shell? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Royal Dutch Shell’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Royal Dutch Shell, 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. Use our broker reviews to 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 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 Royal Dutch Shell shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Royal Dutch Shell

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Royal Dutch Shell 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 Royal Dutch Shell

When you sell any Royal Dutch Shell 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 keep your shares for the long term, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Royal Dutch Shell’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 Royal Dutch Shell

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 Royal Dutch Shell shares directly or use 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 MA 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 course on how to trade stocks.

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

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 invest. 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 Royal Dutch Shell news

Royal Dutch Shell plc (LON: RDSA) said on Thursday that it concluded the fiscal fourth quarter with loss. The overall underlying performance, the company said, was weaker than expected. Shell remained flat in premarket trading on Thursday and jumped more than 2% on market open. Including the price action,…
In an announcement on Monday, Royal Dutch Shell plc (LON: RDSA) expressed plans of writing down £2.64 billion to £3.39 billion worth of oil and gas assets to combat weaker outlook fuelled by the Coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than 77 million people worldwide and caused…
In an announcement on Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell plc (LON: RDSA) said that it was likely to book charges in the fiscal third quarter valued at between £780 million and £1.17 billion. In a bid to minimise costs, therefore, it expressed plans of slashing its workforce by up to…

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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.