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General Chat Thread, Buying Shares in General; How do I go about it? Im wanting to start investing, but have no clue of where to begin. Do ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Buying Shares

    How do I go about it? Im wanting to start investing, but have no clue of where to begin. Do I need to have a financial advisor or can I do it on my own?

    Also, is there some sort of share market emulator I can play with before I begin so I can get a feel for it (using real market data but pretend money)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    You should be able to find some kind of emulator online, but if not, just do it on paper. Many websites will give you buying and selling prices. I did this at university, and quickly realised it was worth dabbling in cash; if you were willing to lock up money for the long term there's low risk.

    You don't need an IFA and it will no doubt be costly. You can just walk into a bank and ask to purchase shares, they will usually request that you have an account with them though, so just go to the bank where you have a current account.

    Natwest have a good online service which also means that you don't need to hold certificates, but also makes selling quicker and easier. You still get your dividends but don't have the option to reinvest them automatically. You also don't get to vote on stuff (you should be able to as a shareholder, but i've never had the option, nor the inclination for that matter).

    It's relatively cheap to get started, there's usually a fixed fee or percentage to pay, e.g. £25 per transaction, it's £15 online. Also there's a stamp duty of 0.5%.

    www.natweststockbrokers.com can get you started, though recently there has been a fee involved if you don't have funds/shares totalling £2000. Nonetheless it's a pretty good site with quick execution. I'm sure there are plenty of others, but as i bank with them it's easier.

    www.londonstockexchange.com will give you lots of info on the market and prices so you can play your virtual portfolio to test.

    It's a shame you didn't ask sooner, a company called Jupiter is launching in the next few days and it would be a good time to get in on the IPO. I think you may have left it too late to sign up with a broker.

    One thing to consider is buying shares as part of an ISA, that way, i think it's tax free on capital gain (not sure you'd have to check) but at least the dividend should be tax free, else there's no point in doing it. Natwest have a Self-select ISA so you can pick and choose what you buy, as opposed to the normal investment ISAs where you just invest in a general area / fund.

    Another website to look at is www.shareview.co.uk and also check out BBC2's Working Lunch if it's still on.

    If i think of anything else i'll add it later.

  3. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    RabbieBurns (13th June 2010)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Thanks,.. All my money is in AUD now, my UK accounts are sitting empty, so it wil need to be with my bank here. I will pop in and see the branch on Tuesday..

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Whoops forgot about that. Well if you have any kind of UK residency the same advice applies, and even if it doesn't, the same thing can be done in AUS. Just bear in mind, that there are strict rules about what you can buy and where. Especially with the US, even data about a company isn't allowed to be communicated there sometimes:

    e.g. with regard to the Jupiter IPO i mentioned earlier

    NOT FOR RELEASE, DISTRIBUTION OR PUBLICATION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR
    INTO, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN,
    SWITZERLAND OR THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    If you did want to play the UK market it should be okay, and for converting, i'd recommend www.xe.com always gives me a good deal. :O)

  6. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    RabbieBurns (13th June 2010)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    CAVEAT

    For anyone else reading this and perhaps relying on the information i must add, that i am just a lay dabbler in finance and not a professional, i am just giving my views based on experience.

    The value of investments can go up as well as down and you may lose your investment or not get any returns. If in doubt, use the services of an Independent Financial Adviser. A list of FSA accredited bodies in the UK is available here www.fsa.gov.uk/register.home.do

    Having said all that, just a correction that NatwestStockbrokers do now offer a service to reinvest dividend income as well as foreign exchange services. When it reopens tomorrow i shall be checking out what else i can do.

    Once again : CAVEAT EMPTOR
    Last edited by vikpaw; 13th June 2010 at 09:05 AM.

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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  9. 2 Thanks to Jamman960:

    RabbieBurns (13th June 2010), TwoZeroAlpha (13th June 2010)

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    If you were still UK based I’d recommend www.iweb-sharedealing, a First class fixed cost service. But I’m sure you’ll find something more “local” though

    Whoever you choose to be your online broker - make sure they also have a backup phone service that you can trade over, its “funny” how many times the internet goes down at a crucial time!

    For emulating I think ADVFN.COM are about the best real-time share price provider, you can set up a portfolio and watch it (whether you have the shares or not). The free service gives you tones of historical data and charts plus forums. A lot of other online price sites are 15 minuets delayed – which is a lifetime when things start moving.

    I can also recommend a fantastic book called the naked trader (I’ve got a feeling you’ll remember the authors name without any problems )

    Good luck.

  11. Thanks to Kipling from:

    joe90bass (13th June 2010)

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    joe90bass's Avatar
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    @kipling Thanks for the book suggestion, just ordered it! I've been dabbling for the last year, my best investment seems to be FOGL unfortunately as I don't have that many I won't be able to retire no matter how well they do!

    OP, as I'm only dabbling I just set up an Investdirect account with my bank HSBC, I only have shares in 6 companies so tracking them using a Vista gadget and spreadsheet isn't too difficult for me! I'm not likely to make a fortune so I don't have them in an ISA. Each online transaction is about £10 (I think, been a while since I bought any!)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kipling View Post
    If you were still UK based I’d recommend www.iweb-sharedealing, a First class fixed cost service. But I’m sure you’ll find something more “local” though

    Whoever you choose to be your online broker - make sure they also have a backup phone service that you can trade over, its “funny” how many times the internet goes down at a crucial time!

    For emulating I think ADVFN.COM are about the best real-time share price provider, you can set up a portfolio and watch it (whether you have the shares or not). The free service gives you tones of historical data and charts plus forums. A lot of other online price sites are 15 minuets delayed – which is a lifetime when things start moving.

    I can also recommend a fantastic book called the naked trader (I’ve got a feeling you’ll remember the authors name without any problems )

    Good luck.
    Ah I forgot I wrote that book :P

    Cheers.. will have a play at the emulating game, once Ive got my virtual million Ill dabble with the real thing.

    Not really got much to invest just now just a couple of grand but will see how I go...

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    I do daily trades with some shares. A handy site to look at and subscribe to is the Motley Fool (Fool.co.uk: Stock Investing Advice | Stock Research). I've picked up some good tips on there over the years.

    They have a good section on getting started.

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    There’s also the naked trader website to go with his book, he lists all his trades along with profit/loss; its quite revitalizing to see odd losses from someone who’s clearly a skilled trader – it makes you feel better when your own latest “sure thing” takes its inevitable nosedive

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Just be careful, there is a maths teacher at our place who does shares. He is currently £13,000 down

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Just be careful, there is a maths teacher at our place who does shares. He is currently £13,000 down

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    With amateur share dealing you either got to be lucky or have some information/belief that others don't in order to make money.

    Now - if you've got the information that others don't - you should make loads of money.

    If your beliefs on future trends turn out to be true you'll also usually win.

    If your lucky - great.

    but if not.....

    regards

    Simon

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    With amateur share dealing you either got to be lucky or have some information/belief that others don't in order to make money.

    Now - if you've got the information that others don't - you should make loads of money.

    ...
    I think that is deemed insider trading and is highly illegal (the worst kind of illegal )

    Amateurs have the same access to information as any other trader, what they lack is skill and experience in determining trends and most importantly impact of the myriad financial factors that influence the markets. Fund managers have the luxury of commanding huge sums and being able to buy/sell large volumes to capitalise on relatively small profits.

    The easiest way to invest for a beginner is to buy units in a managed fund, and so take advantage of the professional's skill with less risk. If you dabble as an amateur, unless you have lots of time to study the markets and can afford to have the money tied up until you make a profit, it's always going to be a luck thing.

    For anyone interested in playing, don't forget that you need to look into capital gains tax, as, you can't just buy low and sell big hoping the government isn't going to want it's share - but you have to make over 10k before that kicks in.

    A fun thing to do, is to go for shares, where there are some kickbacks / shareholder benefits, e.g. Cadbury's used to give free tickets to their factory, you could get a free shot of whiskey at a distillery, discount at hotels with IHG etc. I think Martin of moneysavingexpert.com had a guide on it or there was one out there, sometimes you only need to own 1 share. The problem with this is that they have to be bought and certificated, not bought online so the fees are higher, also the fee will seem higher as a percentage if you are only buying the minimum one/25/50 shares. I think you used to be able to buy 1 share in Ferrari and get the certificate in a frame from firebox or something like that.

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