Investing in stocks or mutual funds can be a good way to build up your overall net worth. Fortunately, the proliferation of online brokerages and other customer-friendly developments in the investment industry make investing easier than ever. However, there are still important steps that you need to take in order to be ready to invest in stocks or mutual funds when the time is right.
Open a brokerage account. Although you can invest directly in some stocks via dividend reinvestment programs, or DRIPs, and some mutual fund companies allow you to purchase their funds directly, a brokerage account gives you the flexibility to buy mutual funds or stocks from more than one company.
Research your investment options. Investigate the various mutual funds or stocks that might fit your investment strategy. Morningstar offers research and ratings on both stocks and mutual funds. It is a good place to start your research and is available online at www.morningstar.com.
Decide which investments you want to purchase. To place an order you need to know the name of the investment, its symbol and the number of shares you would like to purchase.
Enter a buy order. You may input your order electronically via your brokerage's website, or you can call a broker. Enter the ticker symbol and the number of shares you wish to purchase.
Review your confirmation statements to ensure that your trade was executed properly.