The classic investment scheme where a potential investor had to file a mountain of paperwork in order to start buying shares, and days and months spent physically searching for the right stockbroker, is long gone.

Online trading is becoming an increasingly popular way for investors to buy and sell financial products online. Brokers continue to operate online and offer all forms of financial instruments, including bonds, commodities, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and futures.

Modern online investing happens through a user-friendly online investment platform, with heaps of automated tools for buying, selling shares, real-time tracking of firm performance, access to training materials, the ability to open demo accounts and so on. To register you need to provide minimal data about yourself. By registering on such a platform, there is no need to start active risky activities right away. You will have as much time to learn as you wish until you feel ready to enter the big investment world as an experienced investor.

Moreover, you are not tied to a specific location or even an office. Since all transactions take place online, you choose your own time and place to work.

With even a minimal start-up capital, you can invest in any, even the world's largest companies.

Can I invest in General Motors stock in Kenya? Yes. Let's take a look at how to do it.

General Motors Corporation, also known as GM, is an American car manufacturer with brands represented all over the world such as: Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM Korea, GMC, Holden and Buick. 

It is headquartered at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The Chevrolet and GMC divisions also make trucks. Other brands in the group are ACDelco, Allison Transmission and General Motors Electro-Motive Division, which makes electric and diesel locomotives. GM also owned shares in Isuzu, Subaru and Suzuki in Japan and a joint venture with Avtovaz (Lada) in Russia. In December 2003, it acquired Delta in South Africa, which it had owned 45 percent of since 1997 and which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors South Africa. The company is the largest US automobile manufacturer and one of the largest in the world [3]. It owned Electronic Data Systems from 1984 to 1996 before selling it to News Corporation, DirecTV. GM controlled Frigidaire from 1918 to 1979. As of 2018, General Motors was ranked 10th in the Fortune 500 list of the largest US companies by total revenues.

Today, General Motors has established production in 35 countries and an organised sales system in 192 countries.

General Motors official website
General Motors official website

How to invest in General Motors shares in Kenya?

The first step in investing in General Motors stock in Kenya is to find a brokerage company that provides an online trading platform for online stock market transactions. 

The broker should have access to the stock exchanges on which General Motors shares are traded. These are primarily the NYSE, but also several European exchanges - Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Hanover, London and others.

Online stock investing in any company involves, firstly, choosing a broker that provides a trading platform as well as choosing an investment method.

Enter the GM ticker to find the company profile on the platform
Enter the GM ticker to find the company profile on the platform

Choosing a broker

A broker must be trustworthy and reliable as you are entrusting them with your funds. What does that mean? First of all, having a licence and all documents that allow you to carry out brokerage activities, as required by law. Thanks to specialised websites, you can easily check this information. Also, check the business reputation of this broker and how long it has been providing services, i.e. whether the broker has a positive track record. Inquire about commissions.

Online trading is very different from its offline version. In fact, the role of the broker, the live person you used to call to make a transaction, is replaced by an automated online platform. So, on the one hand, it gives you more freedom of action without tying you to the other person's work schedule and timetable. But on the other hand, you will be making all the transactions yourself, so choosing a practical, functional and intuitive platform is one of your main concerns when choosing a broker.

Online trading platform

Online trading platforms allow you to trade electronically from any location. It offers a more convenient approach than traditional trading platforms, which use open auctions and telephone trading. Many traders only refer to trading software when they use the term 'trading platform'. Real-time market price streaming is a key feature of electronic trading platforms. Users can trade with them along with other platform trading tools. Some platforms even offer traders access to previously exclusive trading tools that only specialist trading firms use. Online trading platforms can also perform high-frequency trading or trade specific strategies based on technical analysis automatically. Online trading platforms have also evolved to accommodate more modern operating systems. Many of them are mobile-friendly and available for Android, iOS and Windows platforms.

Investigate how registration, deposits are made, what features and tools for trading are provided, and whether there is a mobile version of the software.

The online platform replaces the physical stock exchange
The online platform replaces the physical stock exchange

Investment methods 

Many companies pay out a portion of their profits to shareholders - a dividend. The dividend income of an investor can vary widely, depending on the stock. Whereas the interest for a bank deposit is known in advance, the market price of a stock is not constant and changes every trading day. Usually the dividend yield on shares starts at 2% and can reach double digits in some cases.

Another factor on which an investor's income depends is the profitability of the company. It is worth remembering that paying dividends is a right of the company, not an obligation. If a year ends with a loss, management may decide not to pay a dividend. Growing companies may also choose not to share profits with shareholders, but leave all profits to grow the business. On the other hand, if things are going well and the business is growing and thriving, then investing in shares of such a company will be profitable and can generate good returns in the future.

General Motors pays quarterly dividends of 4.5-5% per annum. 

Such a yield exceeds the rates on deposits at major U.S. banks. The large amount of dividend payments has always made the company's papers an attractive investment for institutional investors. Often the issuer's stock price rises substantially after the announcement of its planned dividend.

Buying GM shares online
Buying GM shares online

A good alternative to dividend investing is CFD trading. This type of trading is preferred by traders who don't have a large initial capital. 

A CFD, Contract for Difference, is a financial market derivative in which two parties - the buyer and the seller - speculate on the price movements of a particular underlying asset without having to own the underlying asset itself. CFDs can contribute to the rise or fall of the underlying prices. As it is a spread agreement, the client will not receive any voting rights or shares.

CFDs are traded between the CFD provider and the individual trader. CFDs are not standardised and each CFD provider can determine his own terms and conditions, but in general, there are many similarities between the various contracts. The price movement of a CFD reflects the price movement of the underlying instrument but does not overlap.

With this type of trading, you can use your leverage, substantially increasing your investment and therefore your profit. But the operation can also be unsuccessful, in which case the use of leverage increases the risk of loss. 

Online trading allows you to open and close trades with a single click. All an investor needs to do is to open the terminal during the broker's business hours and fix the profit or loss. When trading volatile instruments it is strongly recommended to limit possible losses. Otherwise you can lose your deposit in a few days. For this reason, sell GM shares as soon as their price has changed by a few per cent, or hold a buy position in anticipation of a significant price increase.

GM's share price has risen by 161.84% in a year
GM's share price has risen by 161.84% in a year

How to buy General Motors shares in Kenya? 

You will have no trouble registering as the registration process is extremely simple and does not require any special technical knowledge or skills. Go to the webpage, find the "register" option, when you click on it a standard registration form will open up. All you need to do is enter your username into the registration form and provide a valid email address to which you will receive a link to confirm your registration. Confirm your email address as indicated and your profile is ready to use.

The registration process is extremely simple
The registration process is extremely simple

After registering on the online trading platform, open a demo account and get trial trading experience. A demo account is a training version of a live account. In this account you will see a dummy amount of funds in the amount of $10000 for trial trading in the system. Do not ignore the demo account, because it really is a great way to try trading without risking your money.

Start with a demo account for training
Start with a demo account for training

You will have to invest real money in order to make a real profit. The minimum initial deposit, as we mentioned above, is often as low as $10. Use any of the payment systems offered on the website. As a rule, you can also withdraw your funds later with the same systems.

Topping up your account is instantaneous
Topping up your account is instantaneous

How to start investing in General Motors stock in Kenya?

So, let's take a step-by-step look at how to buy General Motors stock online.

First, register on the platform we mentioned above.

To do this, find the right broker online, find its investment platform, find the "register" button on the home page and fill in the details of the form that will open. Open the privacy message. Tick the box to agree to the broker's terms and conditions. Click the "Done" button. The system will ask you to confirm your email. Go to your email and confirm your registration by clicking on the link you receive.

You can then login to the platform using the password you entered earlier, the login will be your email.

Once you have completed the registration process, open a dummy demo account, so that you can familiarise yourself with buying stocks visually, using dummy trading as an example. With this account you will be able to try out different investment techniques as well as understand what fundamental analysis or technical analysis is. This practice will help you understand what investment risk is and whether you are really prepared for it.

A real account for real trading must be funded with real money. Before using a real account you must determine for yourself how much you can risk without fear of losing. We will not expose you to misfortune, but rather warn you about the possibility. On almost every investment platform there is a warning on its homepage about the risks of losing money, so the degree of risk should be acceptable to you and only you can determine it.

The system offers many deposit options, the deposit options can be viewed on the platform itself. Again, there is no need to run to a bank branch and fill out money orders or other paper documents to transfer funds. Modern payment systems that the platform cooperates with allow you to make payments in a few clicks from the comfort of your home, and the funds are almost always credited instantly. As a rule, most users use Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards to make deposits. You can also use payment systems such as Skrill, Neteller, Webmoney and others.

Learn about investing by taking advantage of the video tutorials on the platform, test transactions through a demo account. Keep up with economic and political news. Listen to the expert opinion of experienced traders.

Caution, deliberation, but at the same time persistence and perseverance will help you achieve good trading results. 

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