Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who helped transform the personal computer from a toy for hobbyists into an indispensable tool with many uses and uses.
Today, Microsoft Corporation is a large technology company that develops and supports software, services, devices and solutions.
The company is headquartered in Richmond, Washington, USA. It generates revenue by developing, licensing and supporting a wide range of software and services, designing and selling hardware, and delivering online advertising to customers around the world.
In addition to selling individual products and services, Microsoft offers bundles of products and services.
Products include operating systems for personal computers, servers, phones and other smart devices; server applications for distributed computing environments; productivity apps; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; Video games; and online advertising.
Microsoft also designs and sells hardware, including the Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment console, Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox 360 accessories, and Microsoft PC hardware products.
The company provides consulting services as well as product and solution support services and offers cloud-based solutions that provide customers with software, services and content over the Internet through shared computing resources located in centralized data centers. Cloud revenue comes mainly from usage fees and advertising.
Segments in the organization include productivity and business processes, intelligent cloud and more personal computing.
What’s new from Microsoft?
Here are Microsoft’s results for the last quarter of last year, published on January 24, 2023: · Revenue for Q4 2022 was $52.7 billion, up 2% year-over-year.
Net income for the last quarter of last year was $16.4 billion, down 12% from the same period in 2021.
· Q1 2023 revenue projected to be between $50.5 billion and $51.5 billion.
The company recently announced it would cut 10,000 jobs, equivalent to almost 5% of its workforce.
· Microsoft recently revealed a multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment in Open AI, the company behind ChatGPT’s artificial intelligence program. This is the third phase of a partnership between the two companies that began in 2019. Here’s what you need to know about buying and selling Microsoft stock.
Please note: investing in company shares does not give any guarantees. When you buy stocks, you may lose some or all of your money.
How to buy Microsoft shares
Before you decide to open an account, you should define your investment goals, including the amount you want to invest, how long you plan to invest, whether you are comfortable with the risk, and whether you can afford to lose money.
If you want to buy Microsoft shares, follow these steps to go through the process:
1) Open a trading account
Whether you are an experienced stock trader or a beginner, you need to open an account on a trading platform.
It’s worth taking the time to research the costs involved – most, but not all, platforms charge a fee to trade shares, and some may also charge an annual platform fee for holding shares.
There are many trading platforms available, ranging from online DIY platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Interactive Trader to app-based platforms such as eToro and Trading212.
2) Where is Microsoft sold?
The ticker symbol for Microsoft is MSFT. Microsoft is listed on the American Nasdaq Stock Exchange, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday.
Most trading platforms allow you to buy US stocks. You will be charged a currency conversion fee (usually around 1% but can range from 0.15% to 1.5% depending on the platform). Many platforms also charge a slightly higher transaction fee for buying US stocks.
If you plan to trade US stocks on a regular basis, it is worth looking at different platforms as their fees can vary significantly. A small number of trading platforms like IG allow you to maintain your account in US dollars, which can reduce the currency exchange costs you have to pay.
You will be asked to complete Form W-8BEN, which will allow you to take advantage of a 30% to 15% withholding tax reduction on qualifying US dividends and interest.
You will also have currency exposure if you own US stocks. If the pound weakens against the dollar, your shares will be worth more in sterling (and vice versa).
As with UK shares, any gains made on US shares will be subject to Capital gains tax, subject to your annual allowance (currently £12,300). You will not have to pay capital gains tax if you have shares in an Individual Savings Account or an Individual Personal Pension.
3) Do your research
To learn more about Microsoft, visit the company’s website investor relations page.
It’s also worth comparing Microsoft’s valuation with other comparable global software companies. One way is to look at relative price-to-earnings – stocks trading at high price-to-earnings have high expectations of significant growth in the future.
Another useful research tool is the brokers’ 12-month stock price forecasts, which are available on financial websites. Currently, nearly 40 brokers are tracking Microsoft shares, and their price forecasts indicate the upside and downside risk of Microsoft’s share price in the coming year.
4) Should you invest monthly or once?
People tend to buy stocks either as a lump sum purchase or to feed their investment every month over time.
Monthly investing is often referred to as a means of “averaging the cost of the pound”, whereby making regular contributions helps smooth out the ups and downs of the stock market. This provides some protection if the stock price drops after you buy the stock, as you will effectively trade at the average stock price for the entire period.
However, drip-feeding your investment may cost you capital growth if the stock price goes up, and you may also pay more stock trading fees.
5) Place an order
When you’re ready to buy Microsoft stock, sign in to your trading account. Enter the ticker symbol MSFT and the number of shares you want to buy or the amount you want to invest.
Many platforms also allow you to add a “stop loss” after you buy a stock, which allows you to limit your losses if the stock price drops. For example, if you buy a stock for £100 and set a stop loss of £90, your stock will be sold if the share price falls below £90, limiting your potential loss to 10%.
6) Monitor Microsoft performance
Whether you own just a few stocks or many stocks, you should regularly check how your stocks are performing.
Portfolio monitoring allows you to make the necessary adjustments, whether it is the purchase of additional shares or the sale of part of the holding.
How to sell your Microsoft shares
If you want to sell your Microsoft shares, log in to your trading platform, enter the ticker symbol (MSFT) and select the number of shares you want to sell.
If you have made a profit, you may have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) on the sale of your shares. However, as mentioned earlier, this does not apply to tax-exempt packages such as Individual Savings Accounts.
How to indirectly invest in Microsoft
You can make a profit by investing in Microsoft stocks, but owning stocks in a single company involves more risk than investing in a wide variety of stocks. A diversified portfolio should also reduce volatility.
One option is to indirectly invest in Microsoft by investing in a fund, mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) that holds, among other things, Microsoft shares. These products constitute a ready portfolio of shares of many different companies.
There are many options available, including global, US and tech funds and mutual funds, as well as ETFs that track the Nasdaq index. However, you will pay an annual management fee for storing these products.