Online Stock Buying Companies
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Online Stock Buying Companies
Many large companies offer Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPP) that let you buy your employer's stock at a discount. These plans are often offered as an employment incentive, giving you an opportunity to share in the growth potential of your company's stock (and by implication, work hard to keep the stock price moving ahead).
1. Dividends. When companies are profitable, they can choose to distribute some of those earnings to shareholders by paying a dividend. You can either take the dividends in cash or reinvest them to purchase more shares in the company. Investors seeking predictable income may turn to stocks that pay dividends. Stocks that pay a higher-than-average dividend are called "income stocks."
Some companies also issue preferred stock, which usually guarantees a fixed dividend payment similar to the coupon on a bond. This might make preferred stocks attractive to people looking for income. Dividends on preferred stock are paid out before dividends on common stock.
Part of creating and maintaining a strong stock portfolio is evaluating which sectors and industries to invest in at any given time. Having made that decision, you should always evaluate individual companies within a sector or industry you've identified to focus on the ones that seem to be the best investment choices to help you achieve your goals.
Defensive stocks are in industries that offer products and services that people need, regardless of how well the overall economy is doing. For example, most people, even in hard times, will continue filling their medical prescriptions, using electricity and buying groceries. The continuing demand for these necessities can keep certain industries strong even during a weak economic cycle.
In contrast, some industries, such as travel and luxury goods, are very sensitive to economic ups and downs. The stock of companies in these industries, known as cyclicals, might suffer decreased profits and tend to lose market value in times of economic hardship as people try to cut down on unnecessary expenses. But their share prices can rebound sharply when the economy gains strength, people have more discretionary income to spend and their profits rise enough to create renewed investor interest. Thus, their stock price generally tracks with economic cycles.
Growth stocks, as the name implies, are issued by companies that are expanding, sometimes quite quickly, but in other cases over a longer period of time. Typically, these are young companies in fairly new industries that are rapidly expanding.
You can place buy and sell orders for stocks online, through a mobile app, or by speaking with your registered investment professional in-person or over the phone. If you do trade online or through an app, it's important to be wary of trading too much, simply because it's so easy to place the trade. You should consider your decisions carefully, taking into account fees and potential tax consequences, as well as the impact on the balance of assets in your portfolio, before you place an order.
When you buy stocks on margin, you borrow part of the cost of the investment from your brokerage firm in the hopes of increasing your potential returns, which can magnify both your gains and your losses. For this reason, it's important to understand how margin accounts work and the risks associated with buying stocks and other securities on margin. Learn more about margin accounts.
Short selling is a way to profit from a price drop in a company's stock and, like buying on margin, tends to be a short-term trading strategy. It involves more risk than just buying a stock. To sell a stock short, you borrow shares from your brokerage firm and sell them at their current market price. If that price falls, as you expect it to, you buy an equal number of shares at a new, lower price to return to the firm. If the price has dropped enough to offset transaction fees and the interest you paid on the borrowed shares, you