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How to Buy Uber Stock

Here's how individual investors can buy Uber stock, including detailed instructions for opening a brokerage account and placing the Uber buy order.
April 24, 2020
Investing, Investments
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Uber stock symbol: UBER

IPO: May 2019 at $45 share price.

Uber made its long-anticipated initial public offering in May 2019 as one of the largest tech IPOs ever, with a valuation of $82 billion. Ever since, the closely-watched stock has taken investors on quite the ride.

If recent Uber news has you thinking about adding shares to your portfolio, here’s how to buy Uber stock  — from the administrative “how to buy a stock” details to the broader considerations about Uber’s place in your portfolio.

1. Get ready to buy Uber stock

We don’t encourage market timing, but if you’re keeping an eye on the stock, you need to be ready to buy shares when you determine the time is right. To do that you need a brokerage account.

Opening and funding a brokerage account is a quick and easy process — see our full guide to brokerage accounts here. Once the account is set up to receive funds, it’s simple to transfer money from any checking or savings account.

And where should you open your brokerage account? Generally speaking, you want to look for a broker that offers low or no commissions — which is the cost you pay your broker when you buy or sell a stock like Uber — an account minimum you can meet and no or low account fees.

You can use the comparison tool below to find the best broker for you based on how you plan to invest. (Article continues below tool.) 

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2. Look under Uber’s hood

A lot of big valuation numbers accompanied Uber’s stock market debut — big enough to give investors star eyes. But before you buy any investment, it’s important to dig into the details.

Researching a stock means reading up on the company — scrutinizing everything from its management team to its sources of revenue.

Researching a stock means reading up on the company and scrutinizing everything from its management team to its sources of revenue. (Uber isn’t all airport trips and bar hopping; the company has a freight division, rents scooters and bikes, and even has a self-driving car business.) You also want to look at the rideshare and transportation industry as a whole, Uber’s competition (namely Lyft, which hasn’t fared so well since its own IPO in March 2019), and any pending risks that could hurt the company and the industry financially.

» Learn the basics: How to research stocks

Since Uber is a relative newcomer to the stock market, you can’t dig deep into Uber’s stock history yet. The best source of information is Uber’s Form S-1, a required filing before going public. However, you can do plenty of competitive research and read analyst opinions via your brokerage account. In our roundup of top brokers for stock trading, Merrill Edge and E-Trade stood out for offering investors extensive and free research.

» View our list: The best-performing stocks

3. Don’t over-index on Uber in your portfolio

Before you buy Uber, set a ceiling on how much you’re willing to invest in Uber. The first investing rule-of-thumb: Only invest money that you don’t need within the next five years. Any less, you run a greater risk of the money not being there when you need it.

Next, consider the rest of your portfolio. Our approach: The vast majority of it — 90% or so — should be invested in low-cost index funds, which allow you to own public companies like Uber alongside many others in a single investment.

Quick refresher on index mutual funds: With an index fund, you buy a chunk of the stock market — like the S&P 500 — instead of picking and choosing individual stocks. As such, you can forgo research into each company, though you still want to dig into the fund itself, looking at things like fees. Here’s more on how to invest in index funds.

Your investment in individual stocks like Uber should come from the other 10% of your portfolio.

» Want more investing tips? Read our guide: How to invest in stocks

4. Place your Uber stock order

You’ve laid the foundation, and you’re ready to buy Uber stock. The broker that holds your brokerage account probably offers a few different trading platforms (web, mobile, desktop). For most people, the broker’s website platform is the easiest and most user-friendly option.

Open an order ticket on your broker’s website, enter the number of shares you want to purchase and Uber’s stock symbol — conveniently, UBER. That will bring up detailed information about the stock and its current price. At that point, you’ll need to select an order type. In most cases, you can choose between these two options:

  • If you want to buy Uber ASAP, place a market order. That tells the broker you want to buy Uber as soon as possible at the best available price. This type of order favors speed over price, and means you’re nearly guaranteed to buy the stock — but the price may be different from what was shown when you placed your order.
  • If you have a fair Uber share price in mind, place a limit order, which tells your broker you want to buy Uber only if the stock price is at or below a certain dollar amount. This type of order favors price over speed — the order will execute only if the price is right, and if that never happens, the order may expire, which means you don’t own the stock.

If you choose a limit order, you’ll also need to fill in the limit price on the order ticket – your order will only go through if the stock meets or drops below that price. Once you submit your order, you’ll generally get a confirmation screen where you can confirm the number of shares, the ticker symbol, the price you’ve set (if applicable) and other details.

Confirm the order, and that’s the end of the road — once your order goes through, you’ll officially be an Uber shareholder. The fun doesn’t stop here, though: Be sure to keep on top of Uber to ensure the company continues to deserve a place in your portfolio.

» See our full list of the best brokers for stock trading

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