How to buy Disney (DIS) stock

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 6th June 2021

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  • Ready to invest in a much beloved multi-media conglomerate?
  • See what to look for when choosing an online broker.
  • Assess different trading strategies for Disney.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) seemed to be losing value in a decade-long downward trend. However, the company's launch of the "Disney+" streaming platform rejuvenated investor enthusiasm for the company, with the stock surging to new highs.

If you want to capitalize on the growth and volatility of DIS stock, you need to open a trading account. This post gives you everything you need to know about placing your first trade on DIS stock.

Company overview

Brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney founded the Walt Disney Company in 1923 in Los Angeles, CA. As one of the oldest media companies, DIS continues to hold its position as a market leader, thanks to the adoption of tech solutions like its Disney+ streaming platform.

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Step 1: Picking a broker

To trade DIS stock, you'll have to open an account with a discount broker. There are hundreds of US-based and offshore options for your broker. Ensure your broker offers you the following before funding your account with the firm.

Commission-free trading

If you have a small account, commissions will chew up your profits fast, especially if you’re day trading. If you're relying on 15 cent moves while trading a few shares, you're going to end up losing money on commissions. Most leading brokerages offer commission-free trading, letting you maximize your profit.

Fractional share trading

Disney shares are expensive. If you have a small account balance of, say, $300, you only have enough money to buy one share and you could risk more than 50% of your account balance in a single trade. That's a risky move. It's better to use fractional shares to place your order. You get exposure to the price action without taking on huge amounts of risk.

Intuitive trading platform

Broker trading platforms are basic and easy to master. If you find you need more indicators and features, you'll need to buy a separate charting package from TradingView or eSignal.

Minimal account fees

Brokers want your business. Many brokers offer competitive fee schedules on transactions and account management to capture you as a client. Shop around to find the best deal and save money on your trading expenses.

Margin trading

Your broker should offer you cash and margin accounts for trading. With a cash account, you can't trade more than your account balance. It also takes three days for the clearinghouse to process your trades. With a Margin account, you can leverage your account balance with a 3:1 or even 6:1 ratio on certain stocks. As a result, you get more buying power for trading.

Margin trading, though, requires back-up liquidity. If the price of shares purchased on margin falls, you’ll have to quickly deposit maintenance margin to cover your obligation. If you fail to meet those requirements, the broker has the right to sell your shares at the market price, which could leave you locking in a loss on your account.

Real-time data and charts

Your broker's trading platform comes with charts but no live data feed. Typically, broker quotes are a few minutes delayed. If you want real-time market data, you'll need to pay an additional fee.

Looking for a stock broker to invest in Disney and other companies? Use our online stock broker comparison to compare brokerage fees and more.

Step 2: Fund your account

Brokers let you fund your trading account using debit cards or bank wire transfers. It's important to note that the first time you deposit with your broker might require up to 10 business days for the funds to show in your account.

There will also be a delay on your first withdrawal. The broker needs to load your details onto their system and verify your identity.

After account verification, you can expect a 24 to 48 hour turnaround time on deposits and withdrawals.

Step 3: Decide how much you want to invest

When you fund your account, make sure you do it with money that won't jeopardize your financial position if you lose it. Dumping all of your savings and spare cash into stocks is risky.

Step 4: Choose between DIS shares or ETFs

After settling on your trading budget, you need to decide whether to buy shares, ETFs, or both. Buying DIS stock means all your money is in one company. That's fine if you're day trading, but if you use a swing approach, it could end up blowing up your account.

To reduce risk, swing traders can try investing in ETFs. ETFs are vehicles containing several stocks of different companies. A good example of an ETF holding DIS is the John Hancock Multifactor Media and Communications ETF or Vanguard Communication Services ETF. Buying an ETF helps you mitigate risk by distributing it over several companies.

Step 5: Set up your order

It's time to set up your order on your trading platform. Follow these simple tips to start trading today.

Market order

This order type gets you into DIS stock at the next available price. However, you have no control over the fill. Therefore, you might want to buy at $200, but the volatility in the market means that your broker might fill you at $210, $220, or whatever price comes next.

Limit order

The limit order is the choice of professional day traders. With this order, you enter a price, and the broker only fills you at that price point. Unfortunately, if there's a surge in the stock, the price action may be too fast for your order to fill, resulting in no fill or only a partial fill of your order.

Stop limit

This order lets you execute a sell order on your DIS stock when it reaches a predetermined price. For instance, you want to sell when the price reaches $200. You enter the order, and the broker processes it automatically when the price hits your target.

Stop loss

This risk management tool lets you prevent catastrophic loss that wipes out your account. You set a stop loss order to sell at the price where you feel you can no longer hold onto the trade without putting your account at risk of a substantial loss.

Step 6: Place the order

After settling on the right order type to match your strategy, it's time to place your trade. Open your broker trading platform, and you'll have an interface that lets you change the ticker symbol to DIS.

Complete the fields for number of shares and trade type (market or limit order), and click the buy button. You'll notice your order fill in your transaction window on the platform. When you reach your price target, click the sell button, choose the number of shares and order type, and wait for the broker to execute your stock order.

Step 7: Monitor performance

DIS continues to grow, reaching an all-time high in late 2020, thanks to the rapid adoption of the Disney+ streaming platform. Disney's umbrella of entertainment companies makes it a strong blue-chip stock with excellent earnings potential.

News events like press releases and newsletters mentioning expansion plans for the Disney+ streaming service generate volatility in the price action and provide trading opportunities. Broader economic news too can impact stock prices. For instance, in November 2020, news of an effective vaccine for COVID-19 helped the stock jump 12% in one day.

Many platforms allow you to set news and price alerts for companies you are invested or interested in so you can stay on top of your portfolio.