Buying stocks online is not something to do on a whim. It takes careful research to avoid making a poor decision. There are two big decisions that you need to make: which stocks you want to buy and which broker you want to use. A great deal of research should be put into both decisions.
The online broker is basically a substitute for the New York Stock Exchange or other similar markets. It is an online location where buyers and sellers get together to bid on shares of companies. Choosing an online broker should be done only after getting information from a variety of sources to learn the pros and cons of each broker.
When researching a broker, you need to take into consideration the services they provide, their reputation and the fees they charge for different services. Some have minimum deposits while others do not. Transaction fees also vary from company to company.
You also need to decide upon the stocks in which you want to invest. Even if the broker offers to provide you research and an analysis, you need to do your own research. Look at a stock's history, including the extreme highs and lows as well as its current state. Does it fluctuate a lot or is it a pretty stable stock? You also need to look at future events that could have an impact on that company, either positive or negative.
After choosing an online broker and stocks that you want to purchase, you need to open an account, make a deposit and fill out the appropriate tax forms. Once that is done you can begin buying stock. Remember that even if the online broker gives you a personal broker that you can communicate with, you still need to do your own research and follow the stock market – stocks you own and those that you don't – in order to be a knowledgeable and skilled investor.