How to Buy Apple Stock
Update On Apple's Stock Price
5/3/2017 Update - Apple stock is under pressure after an earnings release that is leaving investors a bit worried. The stock is set to open trading on Wednesday down more than 1% (around $145) after Apple's sales of iPhones for the recent quarter were down year over year. CEO Tim Cook said that this is partly due to the rumor mill for the next iPhone ramped up earlier this year than usual because it will be the 10th anniversary iPhone and a larger number of customers are waiting for this new release. iPad sales were down again for the quarter but services revenue was up 18% and the "Other" category which includes Air Pods and Apple Watches showed an impressive gain as well. But for right now with the iPhone being such a big part of the company, any decrease in sales will always worry investors which is what is happening today.
The rumor mill has now kicked into overdrive with the next phone (probably called the iPhone Edition or iPhone 8) slated for September. It will be the companies 10th anniversary iPhone and have a new form factor plus all sorts of other new technology. Nonstop speculation and possible leaks are now happening every day and the stocks run up this year has been because investors are hoping that this new phone will see blowout sales.
2017 will be a very important year as the company needs to come out with new iPads and Mac desktops because neither of those lines had a refresh in 2016. Additionally, the newly released products (whatever they are) need to start getting great reviews again like they used to rather than lackluster reviews like they have been getting recently.
Are You Thinking About Investing in Apple?
Apple gets more press coverage than any company in the world. No matter where you look, you will find opinions on how the company is doing and whether their stock is a "buy" or a "sell."
The stock now sells for about $145 after splitting a couple years ago, which means the price is more accessible to many individual investors. People who never could afford to buy the stock when it was priced $500 to $700 per share may now be able and willing to add it to their portfolio.
Anyone thinking of buying Apple stock needs to be aware that a strong stomach is sometimes needed. Even though they are very strong financially as a company and have one of the most well known brands in the world, the stock seems to go through wild gyrations at times.
Will You Buy Apple Stock Now That It Has Split?
You Need An Online Broker
Before you can buy any stock, you need to open an online discount broker account. It sounds hard but it really isn't and you can do it in less than an hour. First though, you need to choose one and here is a short list of some of the reliable ones.
1) Motif Investing - One of the cheapest at $4.95 per trade
4) Merrill Edge
Any of those brokers are trustworthy and have been around for years. Your money will be safe with all of them and I highly recommend Motif Investing with its cheap fees for investors of any experience level. Its a good broker to get started with because you can also buy baskets of stocks (called Motifs) which allows you to more easily diversify.
No matter which online broker you ultimately choose, you will have to fill out some personal information and then put money in your new account. That can be done by wiring money, sending a check, or doing an electronic transfer from your bank to your new account. ***Don't forget to do this as you can't get started buying stocks until you fund your account!***
How To Buy Stock
Once you have money in your stock broker account, you can then buy any stock that is listed on the NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange right from your home computer. Additionally, you can now do it with most brokers right through their mobile app as well.
Apple stock now sells for around $145 and buying 1 share, 50 shares, or 100 shares will cost you the same in trading fees. Most brokers on the list above charge between $5 to $10 per trade. That means you will pay that fee when you buy your stock shares and pay that same fee a second time when you sell your shares (whenever that is).
When you complete your purchase, you will get a confirmation that the "buy" has gone through and then you will see those shares in your account. Every trading day, those shares will go up and down and your account will as well. Obviously, the hope is that Apple stock will go up after you purchase it and your account balance will go up by the same amount.
Is Apple Stock A Good Buy Right Now?
There are many opposing views about this:
Some still say that Apple hasn't done enough innovating in the years after founder Steve Job's death. They fear all Apple is doing is pushing out updated models of existing products and adding size options. They also fear the intensely competitive world of mobile phones will prevent Apple from making money years from now. They also cite the fact that Apple has a small market share compared to Samsung and that the Android platform is free, which allows other phone companies to more easily compete. There are also those that believe the Apple Watch will be a failure and will only be bought buy die-hard Apple fans.
On the other hand, some say that Apple has used the last couple of years to perfectly set up their long term plans. Now they have two new phones to sell each product cycle (this year its the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus) instead of just one as well as an "SE" model for those who like the smaller form factor. The company continues to push its expansion into China and India which should provide benefits for years to come, and the iPhone has proven to be extremely popular in the higher-end markets, even in China. Despite Apple's smaller market share, it continues to dominate in profits which is what being in business is all about: making money. It is believed that while the new iPhone 7 doesn't have a different form factor, next year's 10th anniversary model will be a blockbuster with Oled screens as well as other improvements which we can only speculate about now.
There is always the opinion perpetuated by the media and Apple detractors that Apple has run out of new products and new ideas. Apple stock has suffered greatly in the last year and a half because of those rumors and beliefs but the stock seems to be trading in a more positive fashion lately. It must be noted that there is no guarantee when you buy any stock (including AAPL) that it will go up and you should always be prepared to accept losses, if they come, as well as gains.