Avast (LSE: AVST) is a Czech cybersecurity software company that has its headquarters in Prague. Millions across the world use the company’s anti-malware and antivirus applications.
Keep reading for more information and a step-by-step guide to buying shares in this world-class software company.
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Step 1: Set up a trading account
Despite being headquartered in Prague, Avast is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Make sure the broker you choose has access to this exchange.
When comparing options, check what commission and foreign exchange fee the broker charges as well as features like market access, available tradable instruments (shares, funds, commodities, etc.), whether they have fractional share investment, etc.
Some brokers offer demo accounts. These are free to set up and don’t require a deposit. You can use them to get a feel for the trading platform before funding your account and taking a position.
Step 2: Fund your account
You’ll have to complete your account verification and deposit funds before you can buy shares.
Funds can be added to your account with a bank transfer, debit card, and sometimes with a credit card.
Note that depending on how you transfer funds to your investing account, it can take up to two days to clear. Deposits from a Faster Payments bank transfer or debit card are typically available within minutes.
Step 3: Decide how much to invest
It's important not to invest more than you can afford to lose because the price of shares can go down as well as up.
If you believe in what Avast are doing, you can invest on a regular basis to build up your position in the company. This approach to investing also reduces your exposure to price volatility.
Step 4: Invest in shares or an ETF?
ETFs are a type of investment that can be useful if you are looking to spread the risk of investing, perhaps because you are a young investor investing for the long term or just want a passive approach without the risks involved in trading individual stocks.
ETFs with shares in Avast include Global X Cybersecurity ETF (BUG), ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (HACK), and iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA).
Step 5: Configure your order
The market order type is the most basic way to buy shares. Once executed, the broker will buy at the next available price.
Most brokers allow you to set up an order that automatically gets executed when the share price hits a pre-defined level, e.g. sell shares when it hits a certain price so you avoid taking a loss.
Some brokers also have recurring orders where you can buy shares periodically, e.g. once every month. This is a way to build your position over time. It also reduces your exposure to price volatility.
Step 6: Place your order
Once you have configured your order, submit it to buy your shares.
The company regularly makes announcements about new products they are developing or launching, which are good sources of information. Their financial results and news stories that mention Avast and its competitors also provide an insight into what may happen to your investment.
The price of Avast’s shares is impacted in part by consumer and business spending habits. When consumers have less money available, they tend to switch to using free security products. But this is, to some extent, countered by the launching of new services and news stories about the dangers of being online, notably, the rise in identity theft and the negative impact it has. With the introduction of billions of internet-connected devices in the coming years, Avast has the potential for substantial growth.
Avast’s main competitors are Symantec (NASDAQ: NLOk), McAfee (NASDAQ: MCFE), and Trend Micro (TYP: 4704).
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