When choosing which stocks you would like to invest in, chances are you are looking for an established company, with a large market share, with excellent growth potential. Bill Gates’ Microsoft (MSFT) is an example of a corporation that exhibits these characteristics, and is a popular stock to invest in.
Business has been booming at Microsoft, ever since Bill Gates founded the company. Microsoft is the world’s leading software company, providing a host of services and products, including its Windows operating system, as well as its software suite Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has moved into markets such as MP3 players, server and storage software, CRM applications, and video game consoles. Using its acquisitions, Microsoft has also increased its presence in enterprise software, mobile devices, and online advertising.
In order to buy and sell Microsoft stock, you will need to open a stock trading account, either online, or at a bank or brokerage firm. Some online brokerages, such as Scottrade or Sharebuilder, offer low-cost trades, and excellent research tools.
Once you have decided on a brokerage, fill out the necessary forms, which will require some personal information, and fund your account. Online brokerage accounts can be funded by linking your bank account to your brokerage account.
Making A Trade
Once your account has been funded locate the “trade” tab on your brokerage’s web site. Search for the symbol MSFT and click “buy stock”. You must then indicate how many shares you would like to buy. The current price of the stock is for one share. Do not forget to take into account commission on your trade, which can be anywhere from $4-$20 depending on what type of brokerage firm you are using.
Also pay attention to what type of order you are placing. If you are placing a market order, you will be paying whatever the current price of the stock is, which could fluctuate even in the few minutes it takes to complete your order.
By using a limit order, your shares will not be purchased until the stock price hits your predetermined level. It is advised to use limit orders as much as possible to ensure that they price you pay is the price you want.
Unless you are the type of investor who is glued to their computer all day watching your stocks tick-by-tick (this is not recommended, by the way) when you purchase a stock it is also a good time to set up a stop-loss order.
It seems odd to think about selling a stock right after you buy it, but the best time to set the order is right away to eliminate the possibility that you could forget to do it. Utilizing stop-loss and trailing-stop orders is the best way to stick to your investment objectives, protect your investments, and lock in gains without having to watch your portfolio excessively.
While it is not advised to obsessively monitor your investments, you do need to take a set amount of time per week to stay informed on your securities, get up-to-date on industry news, and make any necessary adjustments to your holdings.