Purchasing stock on the stock market has long been the investment of choice for many, and the reasons are clear. For more than 100 years, long-term savings have gained more value and fared better than in any other investment tool. This means money in stocks grew more than if it had been put into bonds, gold, or real estate.
With the advent of the computer, electronic investing has come into its own. However, it generally is intended for knowledgeable, self-directed investors who are comfortable striking out on their own. Traders who want quality advice, guidance, and information on the best places for their money will want to hire a licensed broker they can regularly consult with prior to making an investment move. So, the question for these investors is how to buy stock offline.
To trade in stocks, investors will need the services of a licensed broker who is legally authorized to buy and sell securities on the various stock markets. Those who are new to stock investing may want to find a local broker who can meet face-to-face with them. This way, the broker can better teach the trader about stock market basics and show them how to research companies to find investments that will best match their goals.
In choosing a regular broker, the investor is faced with a choice between discount and full-service brokers. As the name suggests, full-service brokers will offer a wider range of services and do much of the research and legwork for the investor. However, these services come at a price. For fewer services and a smaller dent in an investor’s profits, discount brokers will offer bare bones services for much lower fees.
Since brokers can charge a myriad of fees, investors may want to do some of their own research to be certain of the trades they want to make. Each purchase or sale of stock will have a transaction charge attached, with some full-service brokers charging as much as $200 per trade, compared to discount brokers who can charge as little as $5. So the new investor will want to become familiar with stock market basics and learn what they need to know about the securities they are considering before contacting their broker.
Understanding how stock markets function and trade in shares of a company’s ownership can only help in avoiding heavy losses. This education should include learning the unique terminology related to trading. Then, when meeting with a broker, the investor will not be left in the dark when the topic turns to penny stocks, buying on margin, or making a limit trade.
Before placing an order with the broker, investors also need to be mindful of their goals and reasonable in their expectations. Remember, the stock market works best in a long-term investment strategy. A rule of thumb calls for the investment only of money that the investor can spare for at least five years. Money needed for more immediate needs should be kept in money market accounts, certificates of deposits, or regular savings accounts.