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If you’re new to buying shares, we can help you with all the support you need, from providing you with a low-cost trading account to offering extensive research data, trading tools and financial intelligence. Below you can read our Introdution to share dealing. When you’re ready you can find out more about our low-cost account. Introduction to Share Dealing Shares remain easiest free independent forex charts popular investment choice thanks to their potential for returns, and their opportunity to invest directly in individual companies.
Over the longer term, history shows the benefits of investing in shares typically far outweigh those of holding your money in lower-return assets such as cash savings. If you have a pension or an investment ISA you’ll almost certainly already have exposure to shares, even if it’s via a fund which typically invests in individual company’s shares. However, when it comes to deciding where to invest, some new investors can be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options. A few simple guidelines, though, can help you understand your own priorities and how to narrow the field to a handful of shares to research further. Getting started A share is an investment in an individual company. This entitles you to benefits including receiving dividends and registering your votes in company activities such as annual general meetings. Before you start buying shares, you need to establish what kind of investor you are.
You can work out your personal financial objectives in the first section of this guide. Once you understand your priorities, you can determine how much and where you want to invest. When it comes to choosing your investments, you can take a number of different approaches, from following charts and analysis to backing a company you have personal knowledge of. Whichever system you use you’ll want to narrow your choice to a handful so you can check they meet your criteria before buying. Using a stock filter tool is an efficient way to get a shortlist of options to research, based on your investment preferences. Setting your investment criteria Shares can be categorised in a number of different ways.
Some shares carry more risk due to the sector, economy, location and personal circumstances they’re related to. With potential risk comes potential reward, so you’ll need to decide the level of risk you’re comfortable with. Generally speaking, the longer term the investment, the higher the appetite for risk, as you have a longer period over which to smooth out any market fluctuations. Sectors include areas such as Pharmaceuticals, Property and Banking. Each carries its own risk levels, as well as positive and negative attributes. Having a personal knowledge of and interest in a sector can be an advantage as you’re likely to keep more informed about it. Do you want to invest in UK or overseas companies?
Are you interested in new or established emerging markets? Different overseas markets will carry different levels of risk depending on their particular social, economic and political factors. You may have an income or growth priority already or this might change over time. You can alter your portfolio to suit your individual requirements at any time. Interactive Investor lets you buy shares and funds from UK and international markets.
In the UK these include those listed on the main market such as FTSE 100 stocks and markets such as AIM listed stocks, which typically cater for smaller shares. Wherever you decide to invest, it’s important to spread your risk across a variety of investments and investment criteria. Our experts profile individual shares and keep you up to date with what’s happening in the markets. Search for shares on Interactive Investor and you’ll be able to access performance charts, technical insights, fundamental information and more. You can also see how often the stock is being traded by other investors, and what they’re saying about it. Use our free Annual Report service to get further company information and check balance sheets. On Interactive Investor you can see which shares are being traded most actively, and which are at both ends of the performance tables.
For a monthly fee you can access live price information and even more sophisticated data and charting tools with our Level 2 service. Individual share prices can move continuously whilst the market is open, so when you buy determines how much you pay. When you buy through Interactive Investor you’ll be given the latest live price before you commit to a purchase. However, even the most expert of investors don’t expect to achieve this all the time, and as long as you’re investing for the long term, you’ll be giving your investments a chance to smooth out the ups and downs of the market. You can also buy shares within a regular investment plan. It also means you will buy the shares at a variety of prices rather than placing it all on one trade at one price.