- Unilever operates in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.
- Around 58% of its sales come from the developing world.
- It is a dividend-paying stock and has maintained its revenues during the pandemic.
Unilever PLC is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. Unilever has around 310 factories in 70 countries and sells its products in over 190 countries worldwide. Unilever is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: ULVR), on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (UNA) and traded as American Depositary Receipts (UL) on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was incorporated in 1894 and is headquartered in London.
If you’re wondering how to buy Unilever shares, this guide has everything you need to know.
About the company
Unilever's key business segments include Beauty & Personal Care, Foods & Refreshments and Home Care. Skin and hair care products, deodorants and oral care products make up the Beauty & Personal care range. The Food & Refreshments range includes soups, sauces, bouillons, snacks, margarines, mayonnaise, salad dressings, ice cream and tea-based beverages.
The Home Care range includes soap bars, washing powders, liquids and capsules, and other cleaning products.
Unilever's brands include Axe, Omo, Dove, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona, Sunsilk and Surf, among others.
The company’s subsidiaries include Ben & Jerry's, Hindustan Unilever, Paula's Choice, and many more.
Compare share trading brokers on Finty. Research fees, commissions, tradable assets, markets, and sign up bonuses.
Step 1: Choose a broker
If you purchase shares online you must do it through an intermediary known as a broker. There are many online brokers, offering different choices of markets and services.
Here are a few key characteristics to consider when selecting the best broker online:
Access to international markets
Unilever is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: ULVR), on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (UNA) and traded as American Depositary Receipts (UL) on the New York Stock Exchange. Many share trading apps are limited to either Australian or US markets, so check which markets your broker has access to before opening an account. The more advanced, feature complete trading platforms such as CMC, Interactive Brokers or IG Markets can get you access to make trades on the London Stock Exchange.
The rise of share trading online has led to a drop in brokerage costs. If you do your research, you'll find online platforms that provide affordable brokerage rates.
Make sure to evaluate the costs of brokerage against other services that an online trader might or might not provide.
A simple-to-use trading platform
Share trading doesn't have to be difficult, so look for a platform that is easy to use. Other useful features for new investors include demo trading accounts where you can practise without consequence, and educational guides (preferably in video format).
Research and analysis
Choose a platform with robust research and reporting sections that will provide essential information regarding Unilever, including the company overview, history of prices and recommendations, as well as price forecasts.
Step 2: Funding your account
It's now time to transfer money to your account in order to make trades. Be mindful of the minimum transaction amount required for a first investment, which differs between brokers.
You'll need to transfer money and it can take up to three days for funds to be cleared. Some payment methods are faster and more convenient than others.
Step 3. Decide on the amount you'd like to invest
Determining how much risk you are willing to take on your investments is a pretty basic first step, but it's a very important one. Set a budget for purchasing shares, and only invest the amount you are able to risk losing.
Step 4: Choose between buying shares or an ETF
Another option for more prudent investors is to invest in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which lets you invest in the market as a whole, or one specific commodity, rather than an individual company such as Unilever. An ETF monitors a specified market or market range, which means it's less likely to see abrupt drops or rises. However, it does mean it's more difficult to earn the kinds of significant gains you could get from shares.
For exposure to Unilever in an ETF, consider American Century Focused Large Cap Value ETF, Absolute Core Strategy ETF, and Invesco International Dividend Achievers ETF.
Step 5: Select the type of order you want to place
Once you've decided to purchase Unilever shares, these are the main types of orders that you can choose from.
This is an order to purchase shares at the latest price. In markets that are constantly changing the price can fluctuate while you are setting up your order. Let's say you put in an order to purchase Unilever shares at $51.32. You make an order, but when it is executed, the price is down to $50.70. You'll receive your shares at the lower price. Similar situations occur when the price of a share rises while the order is being completed.
With a limit order, your trade will only be executed once the price of shares reaches the price that you choose. Let's suppose you decide that you're only interested in buying Unilever shares at $51.32 or less. If the price drops to $51.32 then your limit order will kick in.
You can set a price range within which you are prepared to buy or sell your shares. Once the price is reached, your order is executed, but only to the extent that it can be completed while remaining within your price range. As an example, you decide that you want to sell your Unilever shares if the price falls to $50.90 but hang on to any shares that cannot be sold before it drops to $50.80. The stop limit order kicks in when the price reaches $50.90, but if it continues to fall below $50.80 before your entire order is completed, your broker may only sell a part of your holding.
A stop loss order specifies the price at which you wish to sell your shares if the market price suddenly falls. The stop loss is aimed at helping you quickly sell your shares if the price plummets. This may help limit your losses, but it’s worth remembering your order will be filled at market price once the shares hit your specified price. If the share price is dropping rapidly, that may be well below what you had hoped for.
Step 6: Place your order
Once you've decided on all your options, it's time to make your purchase. Open the trading system you're using, input your Unilever share code (LON: ULVR), and place your order. This can be as simple as pressing a button.
When you invest in shares, it becomes necessary to keep a track of share price movements and the company’s performance. This applies whether you are investing for speculative purposes or to hold them over the long term.
Track Unilever’s performance
Unilever operates in the FMCG sector. It is a dividend-paying stock. You can benefit from watching both how the company performs and its share price movements.
Unilever’s main competitors include Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Mars, Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez International, L'Oreal, and Edgewell Personal Care.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the writer’s alone and do not constitute financial advice. Advertisers cannot influence editorial content. However, Finty and/or the writer may have a financial interest in the companies mentioned. Finty is committed to providing factual, honest, and accurate information that is compliant with governing laws and regulations. Do your own due diligence and seek professional advice before deciding to invest in one of the products mentioned. For more information, see Finty’s editorial guidelines and terms and conditions.