Just about everyone knows the name Nike — with their famous swoosh branding on sneakers and sports apparel. It’s one of the most recognized companies in the world. The company has managed to grow sales nearly 31 percent from 2014 to 2018, and it sat atop more than $4 billion in cash at the end of 2018. The stock has been a tremendous performer for decades, and has made a fortune for many investors who have held on.
Here’s how to buy shares of Nike stock and what to consider before you buy.
1. Analyze Nike and its financials
Analyzing a company’s competitive position and financials is probably the single hardest part of buying the stock, but it’s also the most important. The best place to begin is with the company’s Form 10-K, which is the annual report that all publicly traded companies must file with the SEC.
The 10-K can help you understand a lot about the company:
- how it makes money and how much
- its assets and liabilities
- its profitability trend over time
- the competitive landscape
- the various risks faced by the business
- the management team and how they’re incentivized
The annual report is a great first step at finding out about the company, but you’ll want to do more than this. You’ll want to study what other companies are doing to compete, for example. It’s important to have a broader perspective on the industry.
For example, while Nike is a prestigious sports brand, it’s certainly not the only one. It faces stiff competition from Adidas and Under Armour, as well as Lululemon and others. In addition, Nike competes with some traditional casual fashion companies as well — and more rivals are entering the field with each passing year. So Nike has to maintain its relevance, doing so in part with its often exciting advertising campaigns.
2. Does Nike make sense in your portfolio?
Nike is a well-managed company and is a real blue chip stock, ranking among an elite number of businesses for its high performance. If the company can keep the success going, it could be a fit for almost any investor, and it’s already among the 30 stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Plus, Nike pays a dividend, making it attractive for investors looking for a regular cash payout.
So you’ll want to consider the following questions:
- Does a growth company fit your needs?
- Will you be able to continue analyzing the business as it grows?
- Given the stock’s volatility, will you be able to hold on if it drops or even buy more?
If you’re buying just a little bit of Nike as a starter position or to get some skin in the game, these considerations might not matter as much as when you take a full position.
3. How much can you afford to invest?
How much you can afford to invest has less to do with Nike than with your own personal financial situation. Stocks can be volatile, so to give your investment time to work out. You’ll likely want to be able to leave the money in the stock for at least three-to-five years. That means you should be able to live without the money for at least that length of time.
Committing to holding the stock for three-to-five years is important. You’d hate to have to sell the stock when it’s near a low only to watch it rebound much higher after you exited the position. By sticking to a long-term plan, you’ll be able to ride out the ups and downs of the stock.
If you’re investing in individual stocks, you’ll want to keep the percentage of any single position between three and five percent. This way you’re not heavily exposed to one investment breaking your portfolio. If the stock has more business risk, then you might choose an even lower percentage than this range.
In addition, rather than just committing a one-time sum of money to the stock, consider how you can add money to your position over time.
4. Open a brokerage account
While opening a brokerage account may sound like a difficult step, it’s actually quite easy, and you can have everything set up in 15 minutes or so.
You’ll want to select a broker that caters to your needs. Are you trading often or infrequently? Do you need a high level of service or research? Is cost the most important factor for you? If you’re buying a few stocks but investing mainly in funds, then a number of brokers specialize in offering commission-free trading for those funds.
After you’ve opened your account, you’ll want to fund it with enough money to buy Nike stock. But you can take care of this step completely online, and it’s simple.
5. Buy Nike stock
Once you’ve decided to buy Nike stock and you’ve opened and funded your brokerage account, you can set up your order. Use the company’s ticker symbol – NKE – when you input your order.
Most brokers have a “trade ticket” at the bottom of each page, so you can enter your order. On the broker’s order form, you’ll input the symbol and how many shares you can afford. Then you’ll enter the order type: market or limit. A market order will buy the stock at whatever the current price is, while the limit order will execute only if the stock reaches the price that you specify.
If you’re buying just a few shares – and Nike has fluctuated from $66 to $90 per share over the last year – then stick with a market order. Even if you pay a little bit more now for a market order, it won’t affect the long-term performance much, if the stock continues to perform well.
Buying a stock can be exciting, but success won’t happen overnight. Investors should take a long-term perspective on their investments, and they should consider taking advantage of dollar-cost averaging, if they believe in the stock for the long haul.
With dollar-cost averaging, investors add a set amount of money to their position over time, and that really helps when a stock declines, allowing them to purchase more shares. High-flying stocks can dip from time-to-time, so the strategy can help you achieve a lower buy price and higher overall profits.
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Editorial Disclaimer: All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into investment strategies before making an investment decision. In addition, investors are advised that past investment product performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation.