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How to buy Unilever shares (ULVR)
This guide takes you through what you need to know before you invest in Unilever stock. On this page, we cover the company’s origins, its recent market performance, and its investment outlook for the future.
Compare the best Unilever trading platforms
If you are looking for the best places to buy Unilever shares, look no further. The below options have been tested rigorously by our team of financial professionals, so you know they are fit for the task. If you want to know more about the company before investing, keep scrolling.
How to buy Unilever shares, a step-by-step guide
This simple and quick task, even for an inexperienced investor. We have broken the process down into the easy-to-follow steps you need to take to make an investment.
- Choose a broker. To invest in a 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, or check out our apps page.
- 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 Unilever shares.
- Place an order for ULVR stock. Now navigate to the stock page on the interface of your chosen online broker. Here you’ll be able to search for Unilever’s ticker symbol (ULVR) 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.
- Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Unilever shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Unilever!
What is Unilever? And should I invest?
The company was formed back in 1929 following a successful merger between British soapmakers, the Lever brothers, and Dutch margarine company, Margarine Unie. Today, its products are available in around 190 countries and it owns in excess of 400 brands including Axe/Lynx, Dove, Hellman’s, Knorr, Lipton, Surf and Magnum. The company covers almost all bases of consumer goods.
Unilever has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, and it is also a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Its large-cap scale makes it a stable investment proposition, and because it owns so many different brands with varying products, the risk is somewhat mitigated because if one brand is down, others in different sectors may make up for it.
In addition, the company produces a solid dividend yield of around 2.9%, and Unilever is quite unique in this regard. Investors get access to the value of its assets and strong balance sheet, and they can also expect potential growth opportunities in the form of mergers and acquisitions as Unilever considers bolstering its portfolio of brands.
How has the company performed in recent years?
The company’s share price has lacked any meaningful growth in recent years, but dividends have remained solid. This stability is indicative of the company’s financial performance as revenues have remained very consistent; 2020’s revenue of €50.7 billion was just 2.4% less than the previous year, and variation is largely the same (up or down) across the last decade.
Because the company has plenty of strings to its bow, this consistency is to be expected, and it has made Unilever a robust performer for cautious investors. The main difficulty the company is facing is that some of its major brands are losing market share to supermarket-own brands. It remains to be seen how Unilever can adjust its business model to better compete with these retail powerhouses.
The route forward appears to be additional expenditure on new products and brand building, and while this may lead to a short-term decline in dividend yield and share price, it could pay off in the long run.
Is it a good time to buy Unilever shares now?
As we have just mentioned, holding shares in Unilever for the long term could prove to be prudent if recurring dividends and brand growth deliver returns. Don’t expect to see any kind of instant exponential share price growth, if that is what you are after, you would be better off looking at higher-risk penny stocks.
For short-term traders, ULVR stock is unlikely to be particularly volatile given its size and range of different brands. However, if you conduct effective technical analysis, you can still trade it profitably. Just make sure you take your time and understand the stock market before making any decisions.
If you choose you invest, you need to keep informed with the latest, most important news concerning Unilever. That is why we have outlined some of the key recent market analysis below to aid your investment decisions:
Unilever stock price signals a bullish buy on weekly chart
Unilever stock price slips on a dovish outlook
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 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 Unilever shares.
- Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before investing. What is Unilever? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Unilever’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about ULVR, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
- Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before you start investing 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. 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 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. 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 Unilever shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.
This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for ULVR 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 Unilever 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 the long term, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Unilever’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 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 Unilever shares outright, or you can trade 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 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.
- 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 open and close positions 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 ULVR 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, use our 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 ULVR 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 buy the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as 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 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 Unilever news
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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 >