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Published on Sep 4, 2008

Knowing how to buy shares and investing in the stock market is as far removed from the image of the dapper city gent in his bowler hat as you can get. These days you can trade shares through your bank, over the phone or the Internet.

The first thing you need to do if you want to know how to buy shares is decide what type of broker you want. If you want help with your investments you might be best suited to a full advisory service, where the broker will look at your individual circumstances and devise a strategy specifically to suit your needs, monitor your investments and make suggestions on buying and selling shares
(how to buy shares).

Some may even buy and sell shares (how to buy shares) for you without asking for your approval first. This service, known as discretionary broking, is highly tailored and, unsurprisingly, can prove expensive.

These days most people who want to know (how to buy shares) are prepared to do their own research, which, after all, half the fun of investing. If you are in this camp you need to look for an execution only stockbroker.

Execution only means that the broker will simply take your order and execute it for you. Basically, he'll show you how to buy shares. These brokers cannot legally offer you any advice on your decisions and to keep costs down usually operate over the phone or the Internet.

This does not, however, mean they will not provide you with any tools to help you make the best investment decisions. Many execution only brokers, particularly the larger firms, offer all kinds of research and online tools for everyone from the novice to the real expert who asks, "How to buy shares."

To a large degree, finding the right broker for you, one who really will help you to know exactly "how to buy shares" will depend on your individual requirements but there are four factors you should look for: quality of information, speed of execution, markets available and cost. Generally speaking, the better the information on offer, the more you will pay.

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