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Trading Up-Close: How to Buy Stock

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Upbeat music throughout.

Onscreen text: Trading Up-Close

Onscreen text: How to Buy Stock

Middle-aged man speaks to the camera.

Onscreen text: Kevin Horner, Senior Manager, Trading Services Education

KEVIN: Part of a disciplined and systematic approach to trading is analyzing the current value of any stock before you buy it. Traders do this in two ways …

Onscreen text:

Fundamental analysis

Technical analysis

KEVIN: … with fundamental analysis and technical analysis.

Technical Analysis text disappears, and a graphic of a five-story building appears. Magnifying glass comes into frame and hovers over the building, revealing a dollar sign in its lens.

KEVIN: Fundamental analysis is a way to assess a company, using factors such as revenue and earnings growth to see if conditions at a company are improving, stable, or deteriorating.

Drawn building becomes larger and onscreen text appears in bullet points.

Onscreen text:

Fundamental analysis

  • Longer hold times
  • Avoid weak companies
  • Focus on financial strength
  • Determine price value

KEVIN: When traders are planning a longer hold time, they often use fundamental analysis to eliminate potentially weak companies and focus on those that show better financial strength. They also use it to determine if the stock’s price may be a good value at the moment …

Onscreen bullet points disappear and shift so that only “Determine price value” is left with bullet points underneath it.

Onscreen text:

Fundamental analysis

  • Determine price value
    • Price to earnings
    • Price to sales
    • Price to book value
    • Price to earnings growth

KEVIN: … by looking at measures such as the price to earnings, price to sales, price to book value, and price to earnings growth. For short-term trades, it’s all about price.

Onscreen text: Technical analysis

Drawing of a bar graph and a person peeling back a column from the bar graph and looking into it with a telescope.

This drawing becomes bigger, and onscreen text appears in bullet points.

Onscreen text:

Technical analysis

  • Assumes information is baked into price
  • Insight into possible moves
  • Removes emotion from decisions
  • Trade based on perceived risk and reward

KEVIN: And traders use technical analysis to track price and volume over time to try to determine which way the stock might move and where they want to enter and exit a trade. Technical analysis assumes that all the available information is already baked into the price. It can provide an idea of where a price move may stop or break to a new level. Instead of being emotionally swayed by the news, they can stay focused on price data and make trades based on perceived risk versus reward.

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Onscreen text:

Technical analysis

Risk

  • Amount willing to lose

Reward

  • Amount hoping to gain

KEVIN: The risk being how much you’re willing to lose on a particular trade, and the reward being how much you’re hoping to gain. Your trading style will determine whether you use fundamental or technical analysis, or a combination of the two. Technical analysis can help you decide what to buy and when, based on price. But what about how much to buy?

Blue square appears and the drawing of a man at a desk looking at a computer monitor. There is a large white question mark above him.

KEVIN: You can calculate that with two important numbers:

Small blue circle on the left with text in the middle.

Onscreen text: $ at risk per share

Small purple circle on the right with text in the middle.

Onscreen text: Max $ loss per trade.

KEVIN: … how many dollars are at risk for each share, determined by your risk-reward ratio, and the maximum loss per trade you set in your plan.

Purple circle shifts so that it is above the small blue circle and a white line draws on to separate them.

KEVIN: Divide the maximum loss by the dollars at risk per share to see how many shares you can purchase without risking more than you can stand to lose.

Onscreen text:

Order types

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop-limit

KEVIN: When you are ready to buy, you can use one of four common order types: market, limit, stop, and stop-limit.

Onscreen text shifts so that “Market” stays at the top and the other bullet points reduce in size and move to the bottom.

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  • Market
    • Execute order at next available price

KEVIN: Market orders execute almost immediately during normal market hours, at the current price. However, depending on how fast the market is moving, that price could be higher or lower than the last price you saw. Essentially, this order says, “I want these shares now―the price is not important.”

Onscreen text shifts so that “Market” and its bullet point below move up and get smaller. “Limit” moves from the bottom.

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  • Limit
    • Set a max price you will pay
    • Day order or good-till-cancelled (GTC)

KEVIN: If price is important, use a limit order to set a maximum price you will pay. If your order is filled, it will be at your limit or better. But there is no guarantee your order will be filled. Depending on how long you think it might take to get the price you specify, you can set this as a day order, which stays in effect throughout the regular market hours, or you can place a good-till-canceled order, which can remain active for weeks or months, depending on your broker. 

Onscreen text shifts so that “Limit” and its bullet points shift up and get smaller. “Stop” moves up from the bottom and gets bigger.

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  • Stop
    • Set a min trigger price

KEVIN: A buy stop order is an order to buy a stock at the market price once the stock trades at or above a specified price—known as the trigger price. Traders use the buy stop order when they believe that if a stock breaks through a certain price, it will continue to rise. Remember that there’s no guarantee that a stop order will be executed anywhere near the stop price.

Onscreen text shifts so that “Stop” and its bullet point move up and get smaller. “Stop-limit” moves up and gets bigger.

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  • Stop-limit
    • Set a min trigger price and max limit price

KEVIN: A buy stop-limit order combines a stop order and a limit order and works to keep traders from overspending. Both a trigger price and a limit price are set. That way, the trade is executed once the trigger price is met, but only up to the limit price. This is another case where trade execution is not guaranteed, but it does ensure that if executed, the price is at or better than the limit price.

KEVIN: One thing that can’t be stressed too much is the importance of knowing your exit strategy before entering a trade. Watch the next video in our series to learn how to sell.

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Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.

©2021 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. (1021-1DWD)

Buying your first stock can be an intimidating process. Kevin Horner describes the different ways to analyze stock, plus the various order types and when you might use them.

Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.

(1021-1DWD)

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