How to Buy Apple Stock
Update On Apple's Stock Price
11/29/2018 Update - Apple stock has been hit hard all month, trading down significantly after an earnings report that worried both investors and analysts. The stock is now trading at about $180 which is significantly below its all time high of $233.
It was another stellar earnings quarter for Apple, so what has investors so worried? It is mainly these reasons:
1) Apple has decided to no longer detail unit sales of iPhones, iPads, and Macs going forward and starting with next quarter. This was a totally out of the blue announcement and Apple says the reason is because unit sales are not as relevant as they once were as the company shifts to making an increasing percentage of its money off its massive user base through subscriptions and other services. Investors though, worry that the real reason for no longer revealing unit sales is because Apple sees the sales of these three products having peaked and going down from this point on.
2) Apple issued forward guidance for the 2018 holiday quarter that was below what analysts were projecting. Future guidance is often the most important part of an earnings release because investors are always keying on what the future holds. Apple said that foreign currency headwinds and political uncertainty in a handful of countries makes their conservative guidance a necessity. Additionally, the fact that the more expensive iPhones XS and XS Max were released last quarter and the cheaper iPhone XR this quarter was the exact opposite of what happened last year and meant that more customers will be buying the cheaper iPhone option in this holiday quarter.
Within the last two months Apple has just released three new iPhones, two new iPad Pros, a new Mac Mini, new MacBook Air, and a new Apple Watch 4 which means that customers have a slew of new product to consider buying this Christmas. By all measures this should be another record breaking holiday quarter and we will have to wait and see how the economy and other geopolitical concerns affect things. There is alway concern about China and India which play big roles in Apple's future plans.
Here is a look at Apple's guidance for the upcoming holiday quarter that has investors so concerned:
Apple has released 3 new iPhone models (XS, XS Max, XR) along with a new Apple Watch 4 that has a bigger screen and faster internals. Additionally, two new iPad Pros with Face ID and edge to edge bezels are now available for purchase. Apple also just came out with a new and more expensive retina screen MacBook Air as well as an updated Mac Mini. Also, IOS 12 was recently released which adds new functionality and speed to all your old Apple mobile devices.
All in all, this should be another blowout holiday quarter coming up which will help the stock price. The next earnings report should come in late January or early February 2019 and and as always, could move the stock significantly in either direction.
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 $180 and it has been on a rollercoaster ride the last handful of years. For long stretches it was thought by many to be undervalued when it was trading in the $91 to $150 range. But the last year of trading saw Apple stock rise significantly to over $233 a share. Now the stock has come back down just as fast as it went up leaving investors with a bit of whiplash and wondering whether Apple is a good solid investment or a bit more risky than they might have thought.
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) Ally Invest - One of the cheapest at $3.95 per trade
3) 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 Ally Invest with its cheap fees for investors of any experience level. Its a good broker to get started with because there is no minimum amount requirement to get started like some other brokers.
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 $180 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 always many opposing views about this:
Although it has been many years since Steve Jobs died, some people in the media still cling to the notion that the companies innovation died with him. 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 was a failure even though the evidence proves otherwise. Now people are saying the HomePod is a big failure.
On the other hand, some say that Apple has used the last handful of years to perfectly set up their long term plans. Now they have three new phones with small bezels and big screens to sell in 2018 (iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone XR). In late October there was another event which showed a new iPad Pro and new MacBook Air which are now for sale.
The companeny 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.
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 suffers time to time because of those rumors but the stock seems to be trading in a more positive fashion for most of the last year. 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.