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Table of Contents
Quarterly update, 3 November 2023 Why own stocks? How to buy Apple shares How to sell Apple shares How to invest in Apple via a fund Show more Show less
Capital at risk. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it's important you understand the nature of these. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in. Where we promote an affiliate partner that provides investment products, our promotion is limited to that of their listed shares & shares investment platform. We do not promote or encourage any other products such as contract for difference, spread betting or forex. Investments in a currency other than sterling are exposed to currency exchange risk. Currency exchange rates are constantly changing which may affect the value of the investment in sterling terms. You could lose money in sterling even if the share price rises in the currency of origin. Stocks listed on overseas exchanges may be subject to additional dealing and exchange rate charges, and may have other tax implications, and may not provide the same, or any, regulatory protection as in the UK. Accurate at the point of publication.
Quarterly update, 3 November 2023
Financial year Q4 revenue, ending 30 September 2023, at $89.5bn, down 1% year-on-year Fourth consecutive quarterly sales drop Company records longest revenue decline in more than two decades Net income up 11% to $22.9bn, up from $20.7bn in 2022 Earnings per share of $1.46, up from $1.29 year-on-year.
It is the world's largest company by stock market capitalisation. Its suite of products include the iPhone, iPad, iMac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. It also produces various consumer and professional software applications such as iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, iCloud, AppleCare, Apple Pay, and accessories.
Apple Inc designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, tablets, smartphones, portable and wearable devices. The company also offers software and related services, accessories, and third-party digital content and applications.
Apple sells and delivers digital content and applications through Apple Store, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, Apple Card, Apple Pay and Apple Music.
Here's what you need to know about buying and selling Apple shares.
Note: investing in companies comes with no guarantees, and your capital is at risk. When buying company shares, it's possible to lose some or even all of your money.
Why own stocks?
It's worth asking yourself why you want to buy shares. Are you looking for capital growth, income from dividends or a combination of both? Your investment objectives will determine what type of shares you invest in, whether high-growth technology shares or more defensive companies with a reliable dividend stream.
Most investors look for sound fundamentals, including a track record of consistent earnings growth, a strong market position or products or services with future growth potential. These should provide a solid platform for future share price growth.
That said, other factors such as takeover rumours can drive up a company's share price. Investors may also be attracted by recovery plays, with a depressed share price providing the potential for a rebound.
How to buy Apple shares
Once you've decided which company to invest in, there are several steps to buying shares.
1) Open an account
Whether you're a seasoned share trader, or new to stock market-based investments, you'll need to open an account with a regulated brokerage to buy shares in Apple.
Stockbroking is a competitive market place and services for DIY investors come in a range of guises - from online investing platforms run by some of the biggest names in financial services, to investment trading apps that work off your smartphone or tablet.
Before opening an account, bear in mind the following:
Keep your ultimate financial goals in mind Be prepared to ride out stock market ups and downs Aim to keep trading costs to a minimum Remember that share investing can prompt tax charges, for example, when selling part of your portfolio, unless you use a tax-efficient wrapper such as an ISA
And before buying any shares, it's worth asking yourself these questions:
Should I take financial advice? Am I comfortable with the level of risk in question? What's my investing budget? Can I afford to lose money? Do I understand the company in which I'm looking to invest? Am I protected if my platform provider/adviser goes out of business?
2) Know where Apple is traded
The ticker symbol for Apple Inc is AAPL. It is listed on the technology-focused Nasdaq exchange in the US, which is open for trading from 9.30am to 4pm (Eastern Time).
You should be able to buy US shares through most brokerage accounts. Buying shares in US dollars incurs a foreign exchange fee (typically around 1%) unless you fund the purchase from a US dollar account.
Most brokerages also charge a slightly higher transaction fee for buying US, rather than UK, shares although it's worth comparing the fees charged by different brokers if you plan to trade US shares regularly.
You will be asked to complete a W-8BEN form (valid for three years) which allows you to benefit from a reduction in withholding tax for qualifying US dividends and interest from 30% to 15%. Holding US shares also carries exposure to foreign exchange risk. If the pound strengthens against the dollar, your shares will be worth less in sterling (and vice versa).
As with UK shares, any profit on US shares will be subject to capital gains tax (CGT), unless you hold the shares in an individual savings account (ISA), or self-invested personal pension (SIPP).
3) Do your research
To find out more about Apple, visit the company's online investor relations page.
It's also worth comparing Apple's valuation to other comparable US technology companies. One way of doing this is to look at the relative price-earnings ratios - shares trading on a high price-earnings ratio have high expectations of substantial future growth.
Another useful research tool is brokers' 12-month share price forecasts, which are available on financial websites. There are currently nearly 40 brokers following Apple shares, and their price forecasts give an indication of the upside and downside potential of the Apple share price over the next year.
4) Decide your investment strategy
People tend to invest in one of two ways: either with a lump sum purchase, or via smaller, steadier amounts over time. The latter method is often referred to as a means of 'pound cost averaging', a stock market hack which helps you pay less per share on average over time in falling stock markets.
Rather than waiting to build up a lump sum, it means an investor's money can be put to use in the market straightaway. However, drip-feeding your investment may sacrifice capital growth if the share price is rising and you will also pay more in share-trading fees.
5) Place an order
Once you're ready to buy shares in Apple, log in to your investing account or trading app. Type in Apple's ticker symbol (AAPL) and the number of shares you want to buy or the amount of money you're prepared to invest.
Many brokerages also allow you to add a 'stop loss' once you have bought the shares, which allows you to limit your losses if the share price falls. For example, if you buy shares at £10, and set a stop loss of £9, your shares would be sold if the share price falls below £9, limiting your potential loss to 10%.
6) Review Apple's performance
Whether your share portfolio is crammed full of companies or holds only a handful of stocks, it's vital you review how each component is performing on a regular basis: monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Doing this gives you the opportunity to review performance and ask if any adjustments to your holdings are required - to maintain the status quo, buy more stock, or sell existing shares.
How to sell Apple shares
At some point, you will want to sell your holdings. To do so, log in to your investing platform, type in the ticker symbol (AAPL) and select the number of shares you want to sell.
Note that if you've made a substantial profit, you may be liable to pay CGT when you come to sell your holdings, especially if your shares were held outside of a tax-exempt wrapper such as an ISA or SIPP.
The CGT tax-free allowance for the tax year 2023-24 is £6,000, a significant reduction from the £12,300 that was allowed in the previous tax year. Note that the allowance is due to be lowered again, to £3,000, in 2024-25. Find out more here about CGT, rates and allowances.
How to invest in Apple via a fund
Investing directly in individual stocks can be an absorbing and, hopefully, profitable experience. It may also qualify you for shareholder perks specific to the company in question.
Investing directly in individual companies can, however, leave you vulnerable to stock market volatility and unforeseen swings in share prices.
That's why financial experts recommend that most people invest in a diversified mix of asset classes and investment funds that can hold a ready-made portfolio of upwards of fifty different company shares.
Being a major component of the Nasdaq index, Apple is found in many global and specialist technology funds, as well as index tracking and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Frequently Asked Quesions
Does Apple pay dividends?
Dividends are a distribution, usually in cash, generally paid by a company to its shareholders half-yearly. Payments are usually met out of that year's earnings. Companies aren't obliged to pay a dividend, but may choose to do so for a number of reasons - as a gesture of a company's support to its financial backer, for example, or as an incentive to shareholders to continue owning shares.
Apple's last dividend declaration was paid on 18 May 2023 and worth $0.24 a share.
Can I buy Apple shares with a debit card?
Yes, in the sense that you'd need to add funds using an appointed card to an existing online investing service or trading app before making the share trade from there.
What does it cost to trade Apple shares?
This will vary depending on the investment service/platform that an investor is using to trade.
Broadly speaking, there are three main types of fee. First is a share trading fee that investors are charged by a platform each time they buy or sell shares. Note that some platforms charge no fee for this activity, while others may charge a flat fee of typically between £6 and £12.
Second comes the platform fee which is typically levied as an annual fee charged for holding shares on a particular investing platform. Again, some providers impose no fee, others charge a flat fee, and some services charge a percentage, typically 0.25% to.0.45% per annum of the underlying portfolio.
If you buy or sell shares denominated in a foreign currency, nearly all of the investing platforms charge a foreign exchange fee. Again, this will vary amongst providers, but tends to sit in a range from 0.5% to 1.5% per transaction.
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