Apple (AAPL) has become the world’s most valuable company by being the most innovative. The maker of consumer electronic products and services has maintained a top place in the personal PC, smartphone, tablet and now wearables market by providing superior design, performance and features. All the while, Apple has remained more profitable than its competitors rewarding investors with high stock returns and dividends. AAPL stock has delivered a five-year annual return of 25.4 percent to shareholders (to Jan. 2020]. So how do you go about investing in Apple? And which stockbroker offers the best rates for buying AAPL stock?
This guide will explain how to buy stocks in Apple, evaluate the best Apple stockbrokers, and assess the future performance of the company by looking at how augmented reality and other new features could affect product sales and Apple’s stock value.
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1. eToro – Best Stock Broker for Worldwide Customers
Whether learning to trade stocks or seeking to improve your returns, this leading social trading platform has been designed to help you sharpen your trading skills. CopyTrader enables you to copy the portfolio or individual trades of top traders. CopyPortfolios is a selection of portfolios on popular investment themes. Invest in Apple stock and its e-commerce competitors with Shopping Cart, get a piece of the gaming action with InTheGame or value invest with the Warren Buffet portfolio. With eToro’s robo-trader One Click Trading, you can execute a copy trade or your own trade with preset investment parameters in one click. The minimum account balance is low at $200 ($50 U.S. and Australia).
Over 1,000 stocks and ETFs can be traded outright or with leverage. CFDs are available on currency pairs, indices and commodities. No commissions are charged on trades. Spreads are low. You will pay 0.18 percent to trade Apple stock, for example. Fees charged include a $5 withdrawal fee, $10 monthly inactivity fee and overnight fees on CFDs. Get started trading Apple stock with a free demo account loaded with $100,000 in practice money. You will be supported by active social trading feeds with tips and news updates from peers, as well as research and news. eToro is regulated in multiple jurisdictions, with licenses from ASIC, CySEC, and the FCA. If you need assistance with any of the below steps, eToro has a customer support team available 24/5.
- Simple and intuitive web and mobile platform
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- Social trading
- High fees
- $5,000 account minimum for CopyPortfolios
2. Stash Invest – Best Stock Broker for U.S and Canada
If you are looking for an all-in-one investing and banking solution without the complexity, consider Stash Invest. You can get started investing in Apple stock with the Beginner plan for $1 a month. The two accounts work together to help you earn more. Idle funds in your brokerage account are swept into your banking account to earn interest. The plans grow with you. The Growth plan ($3/month) includes retirement accounts and the Stash+ ($9/month) plan investment accounts for kids and a cash back Metal card. All plans include Stock-Back® and a 2-day payroll advance with the bank account.
To keep investing simple, Stash Invest provides a choice of 450 stocks and ETFs. If the price of Apple shares, currently trading around $2,000 a share, is too steep, you can buy fractional shares starting at $5. Fractional shares make it easier to build a diversified portfolio. Stash Invest has kept the beginner investor in mind. Step-by-step lessons in investing, trading and financial planning are available to help you get the most out of your investment and banking accounts.
- $0 minimum balance
- Allows fractional stock purchases
- $1 monthly fee
- Lower number of shares in comparison to other brokers
- $9 a month to unlock the complete features
Should I Buy Apple Stock? Points to Consider
Before deciding whether Apple stock is a buy or sell, you should consider the company fundamentals, along with historic price movements and forecasts.
Apple business model and share price history
From Macs to Apple watches, Apple has maintained a leading market share position in its competitive consumer electronic markets by targeting premium product sales. Through feats of design engineering led by legendary designer Sir Jony Ives, Apple has been able to continually raise prices. Following the launch of the iPhone XS Max at $1,440 USD in 2018, some analysts are calling Apple a luxury goods maker. Going forward, the company is focused on diversifying beyond its over dependence on the iPhone (52 percent of revenues).
Winning smartphone market share – Apple’s wide profits margins are an enviable competitive weapon. They provided room for the iPhone maker to lower prices on the iPhone 11 and older models as global smartphone sales declined 0.5 percent in 2019. Over the year, the iPhone’s marketshare slipped 0.8% against Samsung, Huawei and China’s fast growing Xiaomi to 12.6 percent. But after reducing prices, the iPhone zipped past competitors in the fourth quarter with 17.1 percent of the market while maintaining its healthy 22 percent profit margins. Although Apple sells less than 20 percent of smartphones globally, it commands almost 50 percent of premium smartphone sales ($400–600 average price), taking home more than 60 percent of the industry’s profits since 2011.
The Mac strikes back – After five years of largely flat global Mac market share growth, Apple just gave PC competitors a one-two punch – iPads and Macs with new trackpads and keyboards. The new iPads with the Magic keyboard were introduced in March. Fitted with A12Z Bionic chips, Apple says this iPad is more powerful than most laptops. The MacBook’s comeback is a turbocharged PC with twice the CPU performance, 80 percent faster graphics and the new Magic Keyboard. What a shame customers will not be able to test these out until Apple stores re-open in April. The Mac starting price has been reduced $100 to $999 to induce customers to shop online. The Mac makes up 10.9 percent and the iPad 7.3 percent of Apple sales.
Services and Streaming – The growth in Apple PC and mobile devices is especially fuelling growth in services (19.5% of revenues). Service includes the admin stuff like cloud services, Apple Care and Apple Pay and also entertainment – Apple Music, news, games and Apple TV+. Apple TV+ has entered the market at $4.99. Apple has lots of cash on hand to cover the high content costs for original movies and series that have strangled the profits of other video streamers.
Apple stock performance
Since the coronavirus crash AAPL shares, mirroring the NASDAQ, have lost 32 percent of their value through March. With Apple’s large cash pile, stock buybacks to boost the stock price and keep investors happy is a likely scenario. Apple has $100 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand, for a cash per share ratio of 22.6 times, 542.9 percent higher than that of the technology sector (Macroaxis).
But should you buy shares in AAPL? In the smartphone and tablet sector, Apple’s price-to-earnings ratio at 26 shows the stock to be overvalued relative to the consumer electronics industry at 15.7 and consumer hardware, where the Mac competes, at 18.
Noteworthy, Apple has enjoyed steadier and higher profit margins than its peers in the 20 percent range over 5 years.
Looking ahead on a forward PE basis, based on analyst forecasts of future earnings, Apple has a forward PE of 18.93 versus 15.3 for consumer electronics (Yardeni). Also worth mentioning is that Apple trades at a slight premium as part of the fast technology group known as the FAANG stocks – Facebook, Apple, Amazon (find out how to buy Amazon stocks here), Netflix and Google. FANG (ex-Apple) has a forward PE of 40, much higher than Apple’s, but AAPL stock should catch some of that positive momentum.
Your capital is at risk.
Apple stock dividend information
With a large $100 billion cash pot, Apple will disappoint if it does not use its huge stash of cash to reward shareholders. Over the past seven years, the company has been paying a consistent and growing dividend and buying back stock to prop up its stock price. The annual dividend payout in 2019 was $3.08, and has grown 9.2 percent annually on average. The dividend yield is 1.23 percent. Apple can boast a very high return on equity of 55 percent versus 21 percent for the consumer electronics industry, reflecting management’s efficient use of profits to create shareholder value. From this, we can forecast a dividend growth rate of 1.7 percent.
Apple stock forecast and outlook
Apple blew into the New Year by announcing record sales of $91.8 billion in Q1 2020, which takes in the holiday season. Since then, management has revised its Q2 guidance downwards from $89-$93 billion to $84 billion in response to coronavirus impacts. Apple’s major production center is in Hubei, the epicentre of the coronavirus crisis. But China also is the first market to reopen stores and get back to work. In the meantime, Apple expects to suffer from a supply shortage from China and a sales slowdown in the first quarter, which will likely carry over further into the year. The 2020 forecast for Apple stock remains upbeat, with an average price of $323.50, a 31.7 percent premium over the current price, and a high of $380 and low of $225.
2020 – Closed for street business
Most of Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Macs are sold through Apple’s space-age retail stores, carriers and computer retail chains. Although customers will migrate online to purchase their favorite Apple products, a drop in revenue is expected in the first half of the year. Global sales for smart phones were down 14% in February due to the coronavirus pandemic (Counterpoint Research). And when sales do pick up, supply disruptions and closed factories will likely create a supply shortage. Low-to-median AAPL stock growth is forecast.
2021 – Sales rebound
The Apple rumor media mill, which thrives on being the first to inform of product releases, hints at big things in 2020, some of which will likely now be pushed into 2021. Apple has one of its strongest product lineups ever planned for 2020, not to mention it is the year it planned to finally trounce the PC. Numerous leaks suggest AR headsets and glasses are set for release by the end of 2020, but like other wearables these are likely to serve as live betas and need tweaking before they receive high customer acceptance. Median-to-high AAPL stock growth is forecast.
2022 – Very smart wearables
The Apple Watch and AirPods led to record holiday sales. The market has even higher hopes for Apple’s AR glasses. “It’s the next big thing, and it will pervade our entire lives” says Tim Cook. By 2022, more interactive wearables will be a fast seller for Apple as AI changes the way we interact with and experience our environment. Median AAPL stock growth is forecast.
2023 – Augmented reality
Apple has been gobbling up AR startups and hiring key AR talent from companies and universities for several years. By 2023, AR will bring new functionality and interoperability across Apple’s PC, mobile and wearable devices. More so than any of Apple’s previous innovations, AR-powered devices will excite Apple loyalists. Expect AR to give the Apple product line-up its biggest sales push yet. Median-to-high AAPL stock growth is forecast.
2024 – A clever content play
Apple services revenues have doubled in four years, and could quadruple in the next four. Apple device users are buying more music, movies and news content. The break out sleeper over the next five years will be streaming videos. At 33 million, Apple TV+ has one-fifth the subscriber numbers of Netflix, and less than 20 movies and series. But with its strong brand value and close to half a billion customers across Apple subscriptions, Apple could be bigger than Netflix within 5 years (currently $20 billion in revenues, you can find out how to buy Netflix stocks here). Median-to-high AAPL stock growth is forecast.
How to Buy Apple Stock from eToro
Assuming you have a funded account, below are the simple steps to take buy Apple stock.
Step 1: Search for Apple (AAPL) Stock
Step 2: Click on trade
Step 3: Specify ‘Buy’
Specify ‘Buy’ on the top tab, change the leverage to X1 to purchase real stock and proceed to set your order. At the time of this purchase the market was closed and it was a weekend (as seen on the screenshot above). As such, there was an extra fee for the convenience of trading outside normal hours. And if at this point you haven’t put money into your account, you’ll be prompted to do so.
Investing in Apple Shares – Final Thoughts
So, should you buy Apple stock? Can Apple keep innovating to warrant the premium product prices that drive its legendary profits? We think that this company can, and that its innovation edge will create unsurpassed “customer experiences” in the next generation AR-embedded devices.
If you are ready to invest in Apple stock, we recommend doing so via a regulated online broker such as Stash Invest if you’re a U.S. customer, and eToro stock trading apps for investors outside the U.S.
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- U.S. friendly stock broker
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eToro : Best stockbroker for non U.S. countries
- Social and copy trading available
- CySEC & FCA regulated
- Buy stocks commission-free (other fees may apply)
What is the current dividend of Apple stock?
Apple’s current dividend is $0.77. The dividend has been growing at an annual rate of 9.2 percent since 2013.
How has Apple’s stock performed since Tim Cook took over in August 2011?
Form Apples IPO in 1980 to the handover to Tim Cook in 2011, the stock returned 26 percent annually. When Tim Cook took over as CEO of Apple in August 2011, APPL was trading at about 50 (High regret for investors who did not buy Apple shares at this price). The stock rose sixfold to 300 by the end of 2019, for an annual return of 29.4 percent.
Where and how can you buy Apple stock?
Online stockbrokers sell Apple stock. Markets.com and Plus500 are examples of Apple online brokers providing intuitive trading platforms for online stock trading. After signing up online, type in the APPL ticker, place your order and you will become an owner of Apple shares.