GameStop (NYSE: GME) has held an important position in video gaming as a place to buy and trade video games and consoles. It literally turned its usually mall-based stores into gamer hubs, where you could buy new releases. Its popularity was also attributable to enabling people trade games with others and has helped GameStop remain competitive since it was something competitors like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Walmart (NYSE: WMT), and Target (NYSE: TGT) did not offer.
In early 2021, shares in GameStop surged in popularity thanks to the notorious WallStreetBets subreddit. Here's how to buy GameStop shares from Australia.
About the company
GameStop Corp is the world's largest video game retailer and trade-in destination for PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo games as well as their systems, consoles, and accessories. It was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, in the United States.
2021 saw GameStop enter investing notoriety as a so-called meme stock after Redditors on WallStreetBets bought and held shares in the company. This drove up the share price, which GameStop took advantage of by selling shares and paying off its large long-term debt burden.
The company must address rapid change in its market. A growing trend towards downloadable and online gaming, as well as the COVID-19 lockdowns, forced it to close many stores. Its future depends on its ability to restructure and better compete in the world of digital gaming. Repositioning for the digital era means developing a storefront similar to the Apple App Store, or pivoting towards streaming like that of Twitch (owned by Amazon).
As a stock in the S&P Midcap 400, it can benefit from the trends in institutional buying.
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Step 1: Choose a broker
Choose an online broker where you can trade shares listed on the US markets. There are a variety of options in Australia.
These are some of the features to take into consideration when selecting a broker.
US market access
It goes without saying that to buy GME, you need a broker with access to the US markets (NYSE specifically).
It's possible to buy US shares commission-free with a number of trading platforms in Australia. While some of the incumbent trading platforms still charge a fee per trade, most of the newer trading platforms don’t.
Instead of having to buy a whole share, it’s possible to buy a fraction. This opens up the possibility of adding more expensive shares to your portfolio that would otherwise have been unaffordable.
Clean and relatable user interface
It shouldn't be difficult to trade shares. While there are some clunky broker interfaces out there, newer brokers tend to have a polished, user-friendly interface that makes it easy to trade.
Tools for analysing companies
Access to quarterly earnings reports, market updates, analyst notes, technical analysis, etc. makes it easier to come to an informed decision.
Step 2: Fund your trading account
Once you’ve selected a broker and opened your account, you’ll need to transfer funds before you can purchase shares. It is possible that you won't be able to trade immediately because your funds might take time to clear. Note that the range of funding options varies between brokers.
Step 3: Decide on a budget for investing
Shares are a volatile asset. You should only spend money on shares you can afford to lose. Fractional share trading allows you to invest within your budget.
Step 4: Buy shares or invest in an ETF
An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) invests in a range of companies. They are regarded as a less risky way to invest as opposed to investing directly in a single company.
iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (IJH), SPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust (MDY), Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), and others have exposure to GameStop.
Step 5: Configure your order
Several different order types exist, giving you flexibility when setting up an order.
Market orders mean your order will be filled at the next available price, which means the price you get might be different to what was quoted when you submitted the order.
A limit order is not like a market order. It's executed at the specified price or less. It protects you from spending more than you want or can afford.
A stop limit combines the features of a stop and limit order, allowing you to automatically buy or sell shares at a specific price. If the share's stop price has been reached, a stop limit order automatically becomes a limit order that is executed at or below the specified price.
This type of order allows you to determine the price at which to sell. It can be used to protect your position from a drop in value.
Step 6: Place your order
After you have chosen a broker, funded your account, and decided what type of investment you want, it’s time to place an order.
GameStop’s share price is highly volatile. What matters going forward is watching how GameStop weathers its challenges including weak fundamentals and finding a sustainable digital business model in the face of stiff competition.
Here are a few things you can do to keep on top.
Watch GameStop share price trends and company performance
Keep a watchful eye for news of GameStop's next move. For example, their move into online commerce and NFTs could help the company reconnect with its customers and spur growth.
Watch GameStop competitors and their moves
While GameStop's direct competitors in retailing are BestBuy (NYSE: BBY) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the company is also competing for digital gaming fans with a host of other digital gaming companies. These include Steam, Twitch, and Apple Arcade.
GameStop gains a significant portion of its revenues from selling not just games but gaming consoles for Microsoft (Xbox), Nintendo (Wii), and Sony (PlayStation). The competition for digital gaming fans is going to get particularly severe if GameStop continues to close down stores thus blunting its competitive edge for direct consumer access. Any move towards online offerings will put it directly in competition against its current partners like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY), and Sony (NYSE: SNE).
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