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Business News/ Markets / Stock Markets/  How to start investing in the stock market — A step by step guide
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How to start investing in the stock market — A step by step guide

Participating in stock market investments can improve your financial portfolio, but it is essential to understand the risks. Enlist the assistance of registered stock brokers and follow these steps to purchase stocks from home.

Be aware of certain nuances before deciding to invest in the stock market.Premium
Be aware of certain nuances before deciding to invest in the stock market.

Participating in stock market investments can potentially improve your financial portfolio, but it is essential to fully understand the risks involved before making any commitments. To start with, individual investors cannot directly engage in the buying or selling of shares on a stock exchange. It is imperative to enlist the assistance of registered stock brokers who execute trades on behalf of investors.

The investment process is now notably more convenient and accessible than in the past, courtesy of diverse digital platforms that have streamlined the overall investing experience. Below are the steps you should follow to effortlessly purchase stocks from the convenience of your home:

Open a demat account

Initially, select a Depository Participant, which serves as a custodian for your securities and manages transactions on your behalf. Options include your bank, a brokerage firm, or another registered participant. When making your choice, take into account factors such as fees, investment options, user interface, and customer service.

The majority of Depository Participants provide online account openings, although certain ones might necessitate visits to their branches. Ensure the accurate completion of the application form and upload/submit the necessary documents. Throughout the account opening procedure, furnish your bank account details, including account number, IFSC code, and account type. This ensures a smooth transfer of funds between your bank account and demat account for transaction purposes. On completion of the verification process, your account will be activated, allowing you to commence your investment activities.

Open a trading account

A trading account acts as an intermediary linking your demat account, where your shares are electronically stored, and your bank account, housing your funds. It’s customary for brokers to initiate the opening of both accounts concurrently when you apply for a demat account. This simplifies the process and guarantees smooth transactions.

Login to your demat account

The majority of applications are designed for mobile use, allowing you to download the official app of your Depository Participant from either the App Store or Google Play Store. Enter the username or client ID along with the password you set during the opening of your demat account.

Identify the stock you want to invest in

Before hastily diving into stock investments, assess whether you are saving for retirement, a down payment, or short-term needs. Distinct goals come with varying time horizons and acceptable risk levels. Keep in mind that certain stocks are more volatile than others, so it’s essential to gauge your comfort level with potential losses.

Next, pinpoint sectors or industries that capture your interest or align with your objectives (such as technology, healthcare, or consumer goods). Conduct thorough research on industry trends and growth potential to gain a comprehensive understanding of the overall landscape before narrowing down the specific stock in which you intend to invest.

How much do you want to invest?

Determine the amount you can allocate to your investment objectives. Verify that your bank account holds adequate funds before making any share purchases. Establish a monthly budget to analyse your income (inflows) and expenses (outflows). This enables you to identify potential areas where you can save more money for investments.

Establishing a robust financial foundation is essential before entering the realm of investing. While perfection is not a requirement, a sturdy base enables you to navigate unforeseen challenges and approach investing with confidence.

Buy the stock(s) at their listed prices along with units

Leverage platforms such as Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, or Morningstar for researching stocks, evaluating their performance and monitoring market trends. Explore the comprehensive list of stocks in India categorized across various sectors and themes. Transfer funds from your bank account to your brokerage account to ensure coverage for the purchase amount, including commissions and fees. On your selected platform, locate the stock you intend to purchase.

Specify the order type and input the desired quantity of units (shares) for purchase. Review your order diligently before submitting it. The platform will endeavour to execute your order according to your chosen type and the prevailing market conditions. Upon completion, you will receive confirmation, and the acquired shares will be credited to your brokerage account.

Executing the purchase order

After initiating an order for specific stock(s), the seller responds by placing a corresponding order on the opposite side of the trade. The exchange then matches buy and sell orders according to price and time priority. Upon successful matching of your order, the transaction is executed, leading to the transfer of shares from the seller’s demat account to yours.

The funds are effectively transferred from your bank account to the seller’s bank account via a clearing and settlement process, usually taking one to three business days. Confirmation will be provided once the transaction is settled, and the shares will be reflected in your demat account.

Participating in the stock market is a challenging endeavor. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the intricacies of stock investing before entering the market. One crucial aspect to be mindful of is that the listed price may not necessarily be the price at which you will acquire the stock, especially with market orders. 

It is important to factor in the associated costs before making a purchase as they can impact your overall returns. Before investing, conduct thorough research on the company, its financials, and the overall market in order to fully comprehend the risks involved.

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Published: 12 Feb 2024, 04:17 PM IST
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