How to buy McDonald’s (MCD) shares from the UK

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 9 Nov 2023

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is an American fast-food chain. The company operates and franchises McDonald's restaurants in the United States and around the world. McDonald’s began in 1940 as a restaurant in San Bernardino, California. It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

This is your complete guide to buying McDonald’s shares using a broker in the UK.

About the company

McDonald's overview

McDonald's revenue streams include U.S. sales, International Operated Markets and International Developmental Licensed Markets & Corporate. At the end of 2020, the company operated over 39,000 restaurants worldwide, mostly under franchise.

The company has come out of the pandemic with a strong performance in the first half of 2021 and an accelerated focus on three pillars for sustainable growth: M-C-D. Maximise marketing, Commit to the core (menu) and D, a focus on digital, delivery and drive thru.

Unsure about what share dealer to use?

Where to buy McDonald's shares


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First time buying?

How to buy McDonald's shares

Step 1: Pick a broker

There are many online brokers that offer different options. When choosing a broker, there are some important features you should look out for. These are some of the key features to look for when choosing a broker.

  • Commission-free trading: Many US share trading platforms offer this option. It is possible to save money on share trading by not paying commissions.
  • Fractional share investment: Fractional share investment means that you can buy a portion of a share, rather than the entire thing. This may be worth considering as McDonald’s shares can be quite expensive.
  • Simple-to-use trading platform: It doesn't have to be difficult to trade shares. Keep an eye out for a platform that is simple to use.
  • Research and analyst's notes: You should look for platforms that have a strong research and reporting section. This section can provide you with important information about McDonald’s such as company overview, price history and recommendations, and even price forecasts.

Step 2: Fund your account

Next, deposit funds into your account. If you just opened a trading account, it might take some time before the funds clear so you can trade.

Step 3: Decide how much to invest

Fractional share investing is a good option if you're cautious as it allows you to start small and take on less risk. This also means you can make more money by buying in at low prices so your total cost is lower.

Step 4: Buy into an ETF or buy shares

An ETF is similar to a mutual fund but is less appealing to active traders since they have less control over the money's destination.

ETFs With McDonald's Corporation exposure include SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO).

Step 5: Configure your order

You can customise what you buy and for how much. There are many order types. These are the main order types:

Market order

Order to purchase/sell shares instantly. This ensures that the order is executed immediately, but does not guarantee the price.

Let's suppose McDonald’s shares trade at US$245. The price of McDonald’s shares drops to US$242 after you place a purchase order. The price of your purchase will be lower. The same applies to price increases.

Limit order

Execution-only orders for buy limit orders are executed at the price quoted or less. You may wish to buy McDonald’s stock at a price of US$250. You can submit a limit order for this amount. It will only be executed if McDonald’s shares fall to US$250 or less.

Stop limit

This type of order allows you to sell your shares at a certain price if the share price starts dropping. Let's suppose you want to sell your McDonald’s shares if the price falls to US$252 per share. Your stop limit order is executed if the shares drop to this price.

Stop loss

A stop loss is another mechanism aimed at preventing you from taking a hit on your shares if the price drops. You nominate a price at which you want to sell your McDonald’s shares, for example, US$250 per share. Your stop loss order will be executed if the price falls to that level but your order will be filled at the next available market price, meaning your shares could sell for below US$250.

Step 6: Place your order

After you've chosen a broker and funded your account according to the amount you want to invest, and determined how you will invest your McDonald’s shares based upon the order type, you can place your order. This is usually done with a click of a button.

After you buy

What moves McDonald's share price

Whether you buy shares to benefit from price fluctuations or to hold as long term investments, keep track of both share price movements and the company’s performance.

Track how McDonald’s performs

Watch out for how the company performs in terms of strategy, financial fundamentals, and its share price movements. Check in particular how it furthers its leadership in the digital arena, in which it is investing heavily.

You can expect super-sized changes as most chains will continue introducing healthy alternatives in line with consumer expectations.


Key competitors are KFC, Burger King, and Subway. Other competitors include Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Dunkin' Donuts and Wendy's. KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut operate under Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM). In each location, McDonald's also competes with local restaurants and takeaway operators.

Disclaimer: We put our customer’s needs first. 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.