The NASDAQ Composite is one of several measures of how well the stock market is doing, based on the prices of a select group of stocks. It includes more technology stocks than rival indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, nicknamed the Big Board, or the S&P 500. If you want to buy stocks listed in the NASDAQ, you can search for the list online and place an order through a stock brokerage.
The NASDAQ Composite
The NASDAQ Composite is one of the three most famous stock market indices in the United States, alongside the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It includes the 2,500-plus stocks traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
You can look up the list of stocks through NASDAQ itself or through many other financial information sites. It changes as stocks enter and leave the exchange because of mergers, initial offerings, company closures or other reasons.
Working With a Broker
Once you find a stock on the NASDAQ that you want to buy, it's time to work with a stock brokerage firm. Today, that probably means placing an order online through a website or smartphone app. Some well-known brokerages include Charles Schwab, Interactive Brokers and Robinhood, but there are many more. Many banks also offer brokerage services, so a bank you already do business with could be able to help you buy and sell stock.
If you already have a brokerage that you enjoy working with, you can search for the name or ticker symbol of the company that you want to buy stock in and enter how many shares you want to buy. Different brokerages charge different commissions for different types of transactions. Some even allow you to buy and sell stock for free in certain situations. If you're not sure which brokerage you want to use, you can shop around to find one that charges an amount that fits your budget based on how you plan to do business with the company.
You're generally charged a fixed commission regardless of how many shares of a company's stock that you buy, so it sometimes can be worth making a larger trade all at once rather than several small trades over a relatively short period of time. Once you buy the stock you want, your brokerage will manage it for you.
Investing in Index Funds
If you're interested in investing in the performance of the NASDAQ exchange and index as a whole, there are funds that can help make that possible. They're called index funds, and they allow you to invest your money in the NASDAQ, Dow, S&P or many other indices without having to buy the individual companies' stock. Index funds are generally cheaper to invest in than other types of funds since they rely on the index to pick the stocks for them rather than paying experts to do so.
You can find an index fund that suits your need by searching your broker's website or doing online research. Some investments can be made directly with the company that manages them. Others can be bought and sold through an exchange, similar to buying and selling stock. As with brokerages themselves, different funds charge different sorts of fees, so it can be worth shopping around for one that meets your needs.
- NASDAQ OMX: About Us
- NASDAQ: Direct Purchase Plan
- The Wall Street Journal: How to Buy a Stock
- NASDAQ: Start Investing With Only $1,000
- The Wall Street Journal: How to Buy Mutual Funds
- Fidelity: Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Fund
- U.S. News & World Report: USAA Nasdaq 100 Index Fund
- Nasdaq: Nasdaq Composite
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