In this guide, I will show you how to buy Apple shares in six simple steps.
Apple is one of the largest companies in the world, so it’s no surprise people are interested in owning Apple shares.
I will show you everything you need to know about the different ways you can invest in Apple in the UK and some things you should keep in mind when doing so.
Also consider: Which stocks to buy
- Choose a trading platform. If you’re unsure which one to choose, see my guide to the best trading platforms UK.
- Open an account. You will need your national insurance number, personal ID and bank details.
- Enter payment details. Fund your new trading account via a debit card or bank transfer.
- Search for the stock code on your trading platform. Search for “AAPL”.
- Research Apple shares information. Your trading platform can show you the latest information for Apple.
- Now buy your Apple shares. Go ahead if you’re happy to buy Apple stock.
Apple (AAPL) Live share price
1. Decide which investment platform best suits your needs
When it comes to choosing your investment platform, there are several different factors worth keeping an eye out for that could influence your decision.
For example, the fee structure can vary between different providers.
Some of the things you should look out for when trying to decide which platform to use include:
- How much you will be charged for making trades
- Any yearly fees you may face for having an account
- Any fees imposed on withdrawals, or inactivity charges.
So, say you were planning on trading large volumes of shares, then you may want to think about opening an account with a provider that has low trading or commission fees. This way, you will minimise the amount you’ll be paying to the provider.
Please read my extensive guide on some of the different trading apps on offer if you would like to learn more.
The different types of accounts on offer
Of course, besides differences between platforms, there are also various types of accounts to choose from.
Continue reading if you want to find out what these account types are.
Stocks and Shares ISA
As the name suggests, a Stocks and Shares ISA is a type of tax-efficient account that allows you to buy and sell shares, including Apple shares.
You have a wide variety of investment options with a Stocks and Shares ISA, including:
- Individual company shares
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
The main advantage of a Stocks and Shares ISA is its previously mentioned tax efficiency. When you make an investment through your Stocks and Shares ISA, you are completely protected from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
You should keep in mind that you are limited to the amount of money you can deposit in ISAs within the same tax year. This limit, known as the “ISA allowance”, rests at £20,000 in the 2022/23 tax year.
Bear in mind that you may still be subject to US Dividend Tax, as Apple is based in the US. Find out more about the tax treatment of US investments later on in my guide.
General Investment Account
A General Investment Account (GIA) works much like a Stocks and Shares ISA, with a few key differences.
You are not limited by the amount of money you can deposit in your GIA, meaning you can invest as much as you like throughout the tax year. As a result, this type of investment account could be perfect for those who have already reached their yearly ISA allowance.
However, you may be subject to tax when investing through a GIA.
In fact, you will usually have to pay Capital Gains Tax if you make a profit above your CGT exempt amount – which, as of 2022/23, is £12,300.
The CGT tax rates for gains that exceed this exemption are as follows:
- 10% (18% on property that isn’t your main residence) for basic-rate taxpayers
- 20% (28% on property that isn’t your main residence) for higher- or additional-rate taxpayers.
You may also be subject to Dividend Tax if you receive dividend payments from your investments.
In this case, Apple does pay dividends. However, as Apple is a US company, you may be subject to US Dividend Tax, rather than UK. Find out more about tax and US investments later on in my guide.
Self-invested personal pension (SIPP)
If you want to make investments in Apple that will contribute towards your retirement, then you may want to think about investing through a SIPP.
These are a type of personal pension that give you more flexibility and control over how your money is invested.
They are also relatively tax-efficient; money invested through a SIPP is protected from Income Tax and CGT.
Better yet, contributions also receive tax relief at your marginal rate of Income Tax. This means that a £100 contribution to your SIPP will only “cost” you:
- £80 if you pay basic-rate Income Tax
- £60 if you pay higher-rate Income Tax
- £55 if you pay additional-rate Income Tax.
You can receive tax relief on contributions up to £40,000 or 100% of your earnings, whichever is lower, each tax year.
So, if you want to invest in Apple, but you also want to start building a strong pension pot, then a SIPP could be what you’re looking for.
2. Make a deposit into your chosen account
When you’ve eventually figured out which type of investment platform and account you want to use, the next step is depositing your money.
Depending on your provider, you should be able to deposit money with a bank transfer, which is typically carried out instantly.
How much should you ideally deposit?
It may be prudent to only deposit the amount of money you plan on investing, depending on the share prices at the time.
This is because you may find it unlikely that you’ll earn interest on any uninvested money sitting in your account. Since inflation is currently so high, your money will lose its purchasing power faster if it isn’t accruing interest.
So, you may want to figure out how much money you need to make your intended investments before you deposit anything.
3. Decide how you want to invest in Apple
As well as having the choice of which provider to open your trading account with, you also have a variety of different ways to invest in Apple.
Each comes with its own set of benefits, so continue reading to discover the different ways you can invest in Apple.
Buying shares directly
Purchasing your Apple shares directly is most likely the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to investing.
As you may have guessed, this is when you purchase and hold the Apple shares using your chosen trading platform and wait until the price increases. You can then sell your shares later for more than you bought them for to realise these gains in value.
If earning dividends from your investment is your aim, then you can do so with this method. I talk more about dividends further below in my guide, so keep reading if you would like to learn more about earning an income from dividends with Apple shares.
Getting exposure to Apple through a fund
Of course, there are other ways to invest in Apple, one of these being through funds.
A fund is a type of pooled investment; when you invest in a fund, the fund manager will then use that money to make investments on your behalf.
Fund managers are experts in the financial field, so they will typically spread investments across several different sectors.
This means that, by investing in a fund, you’re getting instant diversification from a single investment.
Fund managers often include Apple in their holdings as one of the largest tech companies in the world. So, by buying funds containing Apple, you receive exposure to a range of other assets, too.
Better yet, since a fund may hold expensive investments, you can get exposure to high-value stocks from one investment.
At over $100, Apple shares are relatively expensive, meaning a fund can be an effective way to invest without having to buy shares directly.
You are then paid back in dividends, the value of which depends on the performance of the constituent companies in the fund.
Of course, you can always sell your holding in the fund when the value is higher than what you bought it for.
You should keep in mind, however, that you may face higher costs and charges for investing in a fund. This is usually a fee to compensate managers who are overseeing the fund.
Now, this is where things tend to get slightly more complicated. Instead of directly investing in Apple or doing so through a fund, trading derivatives allow you to “bet” on whether the share value of a company will rise or fall.
There are typically two main ways of trading derivatives: spread betting and contracts for difference (CFDs).
When spread betting, you stake a certain amount of money for every point the company (in this case Apple) will rise or fall. For example, if you staked £100 for every point of movement, you would gain £200 if the share value of Apple moved two points in the direction you bet.
Of course, this is a double-edged sword, as if the share value of Apple moved two points in the opposite direction of your bet, you would lose £200.
Meanwhile, with CFDs, you will instead receive the difference in price from when you opened the position.
You should keep in mind that more than half of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs, so you should do adequate research before you think about trading derivatives on Apple shares.
4. Make the trade
When you’ve finally decided on all of the above, you’re ready to make the trade.
Since Apple is a publicly traded company, doing so is relatively simple. You just need to search for Apple on the stock market through your chosen trading platform, input the number of shares you wish to purchase, and then make the order.
If you want to get exposure to Apple stock through a fund, the process is similar; you just need to search for the name of the fund instead.
Meanwhile, if you want to try your hand at trading derivatives, you should first check if your trading platform provider offers CFDs or spread bets. If they do, all you need to do is search for Apple, then choose whether you want to open a long position (this means you predict the value of the company will increase) or a short position (which means you think the company’s share value will decrease).
You should remember to keep a close eye on your investments since their value can fluctuate over time.
Of course, the company’s share price can fluctuate depending on how it is performing.
Remember: past performance is not an indicator of future performance, and the share price may well fall in future.
Does Apple pay dividends?
Yes, Apple Inc. does pay dividends. If your goals for investing are to earn a passive income from dividends, then you can do so by investing in Apple. However, if you want to earn an income through dividends, you may want to think about investing in a fund rather than by buying Apple shares directly.
Also consider: Best stocks paying dividends for 2022
What’s the best way to invest in Apple?
This will all come down to your reasons for investing in the first place, and your tolerance for risk.
As mentioned, if you wish to earn a passive income through dividend payments, then a fund may be your best choice. Since funds tend to diversify as much as possible, this results in them being typically lower risk than direct purchasing or derivative trading.
However, if you want to invest for growth on your initial investment, then you may want to consider buying Apple shares directly.
Of course, if you’re happy to accept the additional risk that comes with derivative trading, you can also invest in Apple this way. But, as previously mentioned, this can get complicated, so you should do proper research before you try derivative trading.
Is Apple listed on UK markets?
While you can buy Apple stock in the UK, the company is listed on the Nasdaq exchange in New York, which is one of the largest stock markets in the US. This differs from most UK companies, which are listed on an exchange such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
There are several things you should keep in mind when you’re trading US shares in the UK.
For example, you will need to complete a W-8 BEN form and send it back to your provider before you can purchase US shares.
This is a tax form required by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) in the US to confirm that you are not a US resident for tax purposes.
If you would like to learn more about trading US shares from the UK, then please read my comprehensive guide to doing so.
US market operating hours
One of the big differences between US and UK markets is the trading hours.
Standard trading in US markets opens at 9:30am and closes at 4pm EST – this equates to 2:30pm to 9pm GMT.
Of course, this differs from UK markets, which open from 8am to 4:30pm GMT for standard trading.
This means that, whenever you want to buy or sell US shares in the UK, you will need to adhere to the US market operating times.
Potentially one of the most important aspects of trading US shares in the UK is the different tax rules.
Each different tax has its own specific set of rules, so continue reading to find out exactly what these are.
The Dividend Tax rate is 30% in the US, but since you filled out a W-8 BEN form which confirms you’re not a US tax resident, you will only be required to pay 15% Dividend Tax on US shares.
However, if you are making your investments through a SIPP, there is a chance your Dividend Tax rate could be reduced to 0%.
Most trading platforms will automatically calculate this tax for you and remove it from your profits.
Capital Gains Tax
Since the W-8 BEN form shows that you’re not a US tax resident, you won’t be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on US shares.
However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be subject to UK CGT.
As previously mentioned in this guide, you have a CGT exempt amount each tax year, which, as of the 2022/23 tax year, stands at £12,300.
But any profits from trading US shares over this threshold may then be subject to CGT.
Of course, if you are making your investments through a Stocks and Shares ISA, you can avoid paying CGT altogether.
Income Tax on US investments from the UK works much the same as CGT.
You won’t have to pay US Income Tax since you proved you’re not a US tax resident with your W-8 BEN form. But, you may still be subject to UK Income Tax if your trading profits are considered to be a part of your regular income.
In the UK, the rates of Income Tax are as follows:
- 20% for basic-rate taxpayers
- 40% for higher-rate taxpayers
- 45% for additional-rate taxpayers.
Again, as you may have guessed, if you’re trading through a Stocks and Shares ISA or SIPP, you won’t be liable to pay Income Tax.
How do I invest in Apple shares?
To invest in Apple shares, first you should decide which provider you will open your trading account with.
When you’ve decided on that, the next step is depositing money into your chosen brokerage account.
Then, finally, you are ready to make the purchase simply by searching for Apple on your chosen account and inputting the number of shares you wish to buy.
What’s the best way to invest in Apple?
The best way to invest in Apple all depends on your reasons for investing in the first place and your tolerance to risk.
If you have a low risk tolerance or want to earn a passive income through dividends, then you may want to look into getting exposure to Apple through a fund.
If you wish to speculate on Apple shares in order to turn a profit, buying apple shares directly may be your best port of call.
Or, if you are fine with some extra risk, you may want to try derivative trading.
Can I still buy Apple shares if I don’t have the full amount of money?
If you don’t have the full amount of money needed to buy an Apple share, you can still buy shares fractionally.
This is when you buy a “slice” of a share, which represents a partial share in a company, and they can be purchased for as little as $5.
Depending on your trading platform provider, all you need to do to purchase fractional shares is search for Apple, and then input the value you would like to purchase.
You should keep in mind that some trading platform providers may not offer fractional shares, so if you want to go down this route, you should double-check with your provider first.
The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.
A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.
CFDs are complex financial instruments and more than half of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. Please make sure that you know these risks before you start trading and that you’re aware there’s a high chance of losing money rapidly on your investment.