A Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Stocks Digitally

Exploring Your Options: Where to Purchase Stocks Online

Stockbrokers are agents or firms that execute buy and sell orders for stocks and other securities on behalf of their clients.

  • Full-Service Brokers: Offer comprehensive services, including investment advice, research, and financial planning.
  • Discount Brokers: Provide lower-cost basic trading services, suitable for self-directed investors.

Direct Stock Purchase Plans (DSPPs)

These plans allow investors to buy stock directly from the issuing company, bypassing a broker. Ideal for investors looking to invest directly in specific companies. DSPPs often offer options for automated and recurring investments, as well as dividend reinvestments.

Brokerage Accounts:

A brokerage account is a means to deposit funds with a licensed brokerage firm, enabling the buying, holding, and selling of various investment securities. Accounts vary based on the services and features offered, including online trading platforms.

Online Trading Platforms:
  • Features: Many platforms offer user-friendly interfaces, research tools, and real-time market data.
  • Advantages: Often provide commission-free trading options.

Margin Trading:

Involves borrowing money from a broker to purchase stocks, with the investment as collateral. Offers the potential for higher returns but comes with increased risk.

Paper Trading:

A simulated trading method allowing investors to practise buying and selling securities without real money. Useful for beginners to gain experience without financial risk.

Step-by-Step Guide to Online Stock Investment:

Step 1: Choose a Broker and Fund Your Account

Choose a brokerage account through traditional financial companies. Some considerations could be to look at investment options, maintenance fees, account minimums, and trade commissions.

  • Account Setup: Requires personal and financial information.
  • Funding: Transfer funds electronically from a linked bank account for quick market access.
  • Regular Investing: Set up automatic transfers to your brokerage account for consistent investment growth.

Step 2: Research Stocks to Buy

Buying stocks is quick but requires understanding risk tolerance and thorough research.

  • Company Analysis: Understand the company's business model, products, revenue generation, and historical performance.
  • Resources: Utilize credible sites for stock research and ratings.
  • Investment Mindset: Consider a long-term approach to holding stocks - Warren Buffett's strategy.

Step 3: Calculate How Many Shares to Buy

  • Share Ownership: Each share represents ownership in a company.
  • Investment Amount: Determine the number of shares based on available funds and share price.
  • Fractional Shares: Various brokers allow buying fractional shares, making high-priced stocks more accessible.

Step 4: Place Your Trade

  • Order Types: Choose between a market order (buying at the current market price) or a limit order (specifying the price).
  • Ticker Symbol: Use the stock's ticker symbol to place your order.
  • Order Execution: Market orders are instant, while limit orders execute only if the stock reaches your specified price.

Key Steps to Effectively Selling Your Stocks:

Deciding When to Sell Stocks:

Your selling decision should align with your investment strategy, timeline, and risk tolerance.
Avoid making decisions based on short-term market fluctuations or emotional reactions. Decisions should be based on the stock's fundamentals and your investment strategy.

  • Good Reasons to Sell include poor performance, disagreement with company management decisions, or tax-loss harvesting.
  • Bad Reasons to Sell are based on reactions to market volatility or temporary company issues.
Choosing an Order Type:

  • Market Order: Sells the stock at the best available price. Use this if you're willing to sell at any price.
  • Limit Order: Sells the stock only at a specific price or better. Suitable if you want a minimum selling price.
  • Stop (Stop-Loss) Order: Executes as a market order if the stock reaches a set price. Use this to sell if the stock drops to or below a specific price.
  • Stop-Limit Order: A mix of stop and limit orders. It sells the stock at a specific price, but only if it can be sold at or above your limit.

Filling Out the Trade Ticket

  • Process: Use your broker's platform to fill out a trade ticket, specifying the stock symbol, number of shares, order type, and time in force.
  • Time-in-Force Options: Include 'Day' (expires if not filled by market close), 'Good-Til-Cancelled' (remains active until filled or canceled), 'Immediate or Cancel', and 'Fill or Kill' (for large orders).
  • Final Check: Review all details before submitting to avoid errors.

When to Sell Stocks for Profit:

Selling a stock for profit is justified in the scenarios mentioned above. However, selling solely because the stock price has increased is sometimes advisable.

When to Sell Stocks at a Loss:

While it's generally unfavorable to sell a stock just because its price has decreased, there are situations where cutting losses is necessary, mainly if the original reasons for buying the stock no longer apply.

Considerations Before Selling Shares:
  • Long-Term Investment: Ideally, invest in stocks with a minimum five-year commitment to maximize returns.
  • Market Volatility: Hold through periods of volatility for potential long-term gains.
  • Investment Mistakes: Avoid cashing out too early, as it can hinder the growth of your investments.

Optimal Strategies: Timing Your Stock Market Investments

Best Time to Buy Stocks:

  • Long-Term Perspective: The present is as good a time as any to buy stocks for long-term investments. Stock values are based on expected earnings, which tend to increase over time.
  • Consistent Investment: Regularly investing over time, including during market downturns, can be beneficial. These periods offer opportunities to buy at lower prices.
  • Market Timing vs. Value Investing: Attempting to time the market is generally not recommended. Instead, focus on finding undervalued stocks, which can be more prevalent during broad market declines.
  • Warren Buffett's Approach: Buffett emphasizes investing in undervalued securities rather than trying to forecast the market.

Best Time of Day to Buy Stocks:

Day Trading vs. Long-Term Investing:

For long-term investors, the time of day for buying stocks is less significant. Day traders, however, may focus on periods of higher volatility, typically the first and last hours of the trading day (9:30-10:30 AM and 3:00-4:00 PM ET).

Best Day of the Week to Buy Stock:

Monday Effect: Historically, there was a belief that stocks dipped on Mondays, but research since 1975 shows that Monday's performance is similar to other days.

Best Month of the Year to Buy Stocks:

Seasonal Trends: Various theories exist, such as "Sell in May and go away" or the "January Effect." However, there are more reliable strategies for long-term investment success.

Top Stocks for November 2023:

Best Value Stocks:

These stocks are selected based on their low 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, indicating potential undervaluation:

  1. National CineMedia, Inc. {{ m-tag option="price" ticker="NCMI" currency="USD" }}: Operates a movie advertising network in North America. Recently partnered with Religion of Sports for content distribution in movie theaters.
  2. CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. {{ m-tag option="price" ticker="CX" currency="USD" }}: A global player in cement and construction materials, recently acquired Kiesel, a German mortar and adhesives company.
  3. Saturn Oil & Gas Inc. {{ m-tag option="price" ticker="OILSF" currency="USD" }}: Engages in Canada's petroleum and natural gas exploration and development. The company reported exceeding performance expectations at its Spearfish drilling wells.
Fastest-Growing Top Stocks:

These stocks are chosen based on a combination of year-over-year revenue growth and earnings per share (EPS) growth:

  1. SAP SE {{ m-tag option="price" ticker="SAP" currency="USD" }}: A leader in enterprise application software, showing significant growth in cloud revenue and backlog.
  2. Emerson Electric Co. {{ m-tag option="price" ticker="EMR" currency="USD" }}: A technology and engineering company recently acquired National Instruments Corp., enhancing its automated test and measurement systems portfolio.
  3. NVIDIA Corporation {{ m-tag option="price" ticker="NVDA" currency="USD" }}: Known for graphics chips and computing hardware, recently launched the D.G.X. Cloud A.I. platform and A.I. enterprise software in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.


In conclusion, this article thoroughly explores the various avenues available for purchasing stocks online, catering to novice and experienced investors. The guide covers all bases, from full-service to discount brokers, Direct Stock Purchase Plans, and the intricacies of brokerage accounts. It also delves into the nuances of online trading platforms, margin, and paper trading and offers a comprehensive step-by-step approach to stock investment and selling strategies. 

Whether looking to invest long-term, navigate market volatility, or capitalize on undervalued stocks, Mexem.com provides the tools and resources necessary to make informed and strategic stock market investments.

The information on mexem.com is for general informational purposes only. It should not be regarded as investment advice. Investing in stocks involves risk. A stock's past performance is not a reliable indicator of its future performance. Always consult a financial advisor or trusted sources before making any investment decisions.

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