You can act as your own stockbroker and directly buy and sell corporate company stocks on a stock exchange. These stock purchases can be made as a long-term investment or for anticipated short-term gains. While you may save money by acting as your own broker, you are also taking on the responsibility for ongoing management and any research required to make informed investment decisions. If you want to direct your own stock portfolio, you can make investments on your own in the stock market.
Create an account with a self-service broker. This type of broker generally provides the majority of their services though Internet-based service applications. There are several sites that allow you to compare online brokers, research your options and select a broker that fits your investing style (see Resources). Most online brokers allow you to sign up, research and fund your account online.
Research your investment options. Review options such as mutual funds, individual company stocks and bonds. Use investment research tools offered by your self-service brokerage account, resources at your local public library or information offered by potential company or fund investment options. Research tools can allow you to track historic stock prices, research recent company news, review expert reviews of a company's financial position, analyze company statistics and compare investing options. These tools may require that you input a specific company or industry to research, or may allow you to review general stock market information.
Establish your budget for stock market investments. Determine exactly how much money you can afford to invest. Meet with a certified investment adviser if you need assistance developing an investment budget that is customized to your family and financial situation. Review both your short-term and long-term financial needs when customizing your available investment totals.
Fund your investment account. Deposit or transfer enough funds into your self-service brokerage account to meet your investment requirements. You may be able to initiate this funding by sending a check to an account service center or through an online wire transfer process from your bank account.
Place orders through your online stock market account. You can customize your stock market purchases based on your preferred stock price, the number of shares desired and the specific company or fund you want to obtain.
Purchase stocks directly from a company. You can make direct stock purchases from some established public corporations through a no-load stock or direct investment plan. You may also be eligible for direct investments through an employee stock purchase plan or dividend reinvestment program, depending upon your employer and your current stock ownership status.
Make additional stock purchase orders or sell existing securities that you own based on your personal stock market investment plan. You may decide to sell specific securities once they reach a specific price, or you may want to hold onto stocks as a longer-term investment decision.
Track all your stock investments to ensure that your stock purchases continue to meet your investment criteria. Make adjustments to your stock market portfolio as needed by buying and selling additional securities.