Zip Co Limited (ASX: Z1P), previously known as ZipMoney, is an Australian financial technology (fintech) company. Zip was founded in 2013 and was listed on the ASX in 2017. It is headquartered in Sydney.
Interested in buying Zip shares? Read on for a complete guide.
About the company
Zip is a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ company. It offers point-of-sale credit and payment solutions to customers with a variety of integrated Retail Finance solutions to merchants across various industries, both online and in-store.
Zip's BNPL operations span the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and what it terms as 'Expansion Markets'. These include Canada, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.
Subsidiaries of Zip include QuadPay, Pocketbook and Spotii.
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Step 1: Choose a broker
When you buy shares online, you do it through an intermediary called a broker. There are many online brokers available, offering various options and features.
These are some of the key features to look for when choosing an online broker.
Some online brokers will offer free trades. This is quite widely available now, but generally not for shares listed on the ASX.
Ease of use
Trading in shares needn’t be complicated, so keep an eye out for a trading platform that is straightforward to use.
Other useful features for new investors include demo trading accounts where you can practice without consequence, and educational guides (preferably in video format).
Research and reporting
Look for a platform with solid research and reporting on each company. Apart from charting, look for things like Zip’s price history, market analyst recommendations, price forecasts, company announcements, earnings reports, etc.
Step 2: Fund your account
You need to add money to your account with your online broker before you can trade. It's a good idea to start with a small amount. You can expand your horizons when you become more confident at trading, but never invest an amount you cannot afford to lose, because share prices can be very volatile.
Step 3: Decide how much you want to invest
You should always have an investment plan, based on what you can afford. Take a look at Zip's current share price and make a judgement, but remember you can always buy more when the price drops.
Step 4: Shares or an ETF?
One big question you'll have to answer is whether you want to invest in shares or an ETF. An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is considered to be a less risky option because it invests in a group of companies or market indices rather than relying on the performance of a specific company. This means less volatility, and you win if the market wins, but it is less interesting for those looking to actively manage their investments.
ETFs which own shares of Zip include Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF (VSGX), Global Equities Account Class R1 (QCGLRX), and FINX - Global X FinTech ETF (FINX).
Step 5: Decide your order type
Orders are how you tell online brokers what sort of trades you'd like to make, and decide how you'd like your money to behave.
A market order is an order to buy shares at the current market price. In fast-moving markets, these prices can change while you're making the trade. Let’s say you place an order for Zip shares at $5.74. You place an order but by the time it executes the share price has dropped to $5.32. You will get your shares at the lower price. The same situation applies if the share price goes up while your order is being executed.
With a buy limit order, your trade will only execute when the share price reaches the price, or lower, that you nominate. Let’s say you decide you only want to buy Zip shares at $5.74 or lower. Once the price drops to $5.74, your limit order will kick in.
This is when you nominate a price range within which you want to buy or sell your shares. The stop price activates the order and the limit price indicates the highest price at which you are prepared to buy or the lowest price at which you are prepared to sell. Your order is only executed if shares can be bought or sold within your nominated price range.
In this case you nominate a price at which you decide to sell your shares. If the share price drops significantly, for example, the stop loss means you automatically sell out before your shareholding suffers too much damage.
You might decide to set a stop loss at $5.70. If your Zip shares hit this price, the order executes and they are sold at the next available market price. Keep in mind in a fast falling market your order might only be filled at a price below your nominated stop loss.
Step 6: Place your order
Once you're happy with your strategy and with funds in place, it's time to get going with trading. On most platforms, you can place your order with the click of a button.
When you buy shares to hold them over the long term or to benefit from speculating on share price movements, you need to watch for reporting on company performance and keep a close eye on business fundamentals. You also have to monitor the company’s share price movements.
Track Zip’s performance
Zip is not a dividend paying company. So you have to keep close track of how it performs and what analysts say about its potential.
Watch for developments in the financial technology sector
Zip is a fintech operating in the payments subsector. This is a globally competitive sector. However, Zip’s value and competitiveness will rise exponentially following its agreement with Microsoft to integrate their payment service in the Edge browser shopping experience.
Zip’s key competitors in Australia include fellow BNPL operators Afterpay, Klarna, Humm, Openpay and Bundll. But since they are expanding globally, Zip also faces well-funded competition from the likes of US-based Affirm and Sezzle.
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