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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.
June 11, 2019
Investing, Investments
1129639916
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 Uber STOCK

Uber stock symbol: UBER

Uber stock price history:

  • IPO: May 2019 at $45 share price.
  • 52-week high: $45.75.
  • 52-week low: $36.08.

Your Uber has arrived … at the stock market.

The rideshare company, which was last valued at $76 billion, finally made its long-anticipated initial public offering. It is one of the largest tech IPOs ever, with a valuation of $82 billion.

Uber’s entry into the stock market opened the door for the average investor to get in on the company’s success, at least in a small way. But should you add Uber to your portfolio? Here’s how to buy Uber stock — and what to consider before doing so.

1. Look under Uber’s hood

There are a lot of big valuation numbers — 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 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, and any pending risks that could hurt the company and the industry financially.

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

Unfortunately, with a newcomer to the stock market like Uber, this kind of research is a tougher task than usual. The best source of information is the company’s Form S-1, which is a required filing before going public and outlines much of the above. And while you can’t dig deep into Uber’s stock history yet, you can take a look at how competitor Lyft has fared since its IPO in March. (Spoiler: Not so well. The stock has been trading below its IPO price, though at least some of its troubles stem from investor reaction to Uber coming on the market.)

» Learn the basics: How to research stocks

2. Set an Uber budget

If you’re a frequent customer, you might already have one of these. But what we’re talking about here is a ceiling for how much you’re willing and able to spend on Uber stock, not Uber rides.

To reach that limit, 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.

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 — essentially, your play money to use on investment bets like this. (Why is Uber a bet? Ask Snapchat stockholders — the company had a splashy IPO but has rarely traded above its IPO price. And it’s not just Snap — stocks frequently lean toward volatility in the months and even years after an IPO.)

An aside: When we say “your portfolio,” what we mean is money you have to invest, which we define as money you don’t need within the next five years. Money you need for short-term goals or expenses doesn’t belong in Uber or in the stock market, period. With a short timeline, you run a greater risk of the money not being there when you need it.

» Read our guide: How to invest in stocks

3. Ready your brokerage account

If you already have an investment account, this step simply involves making sure you have the cash in the account to buy Uber shares. If you don’t, you’ll need to open one.

A brokerage account is an account you can use to buy and sell stocks, bonds, index funds or other investments. Opening and funding one is a quick and easy process — we have a full guide to brokerage accounts here — and you can easily transfer money from any checking or savings account.

The major decision here is where to open the account. We’ve sorted through the options and created a list of the best brokers, but generally speaking, you want to look for low 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.

These landed on our list of top picks:

Trade Fee

$6.95

$6.95

Account Minimum

$0

$0

Promotion

300

300

$0 online stock and ETF trades, no minimum deposit required

Trade Fee

$6.95

$6.95

Account Minimum

$500

$500

Promotion

Up to $600

Up to $600

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

Trade Fee

$6.95

$6.95

Account Minimum

$0

$0

Promotion

60

60

days of commission-free trades with qualifying deposit

» See the full list of the best brokers

4. Buy the Uber stock

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, which are tools you can use to connect to the stock market and buy or sell stocks like Uber. For most people, the broker’s website platform is the easiest and most user-friendly option.

Start by searching Uber’s stock symbol — conveniently, UBER — on that website. Doing so should bring up a result with detailed information about the stock alongside an order ticket that you’ll fill out to buy. The ticket will ask you the number of shares you would like to purchase and to select an order type.

Brokers offer a range of order types, but it’s fine to choose between two of the most straightforward:

  • A market order, which 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.
  • 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.

That’s the end of the road — once your order goes through, you’ll get a confirmation from your broker, then 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.

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