How to buy Upwork (UPWK) stock

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 1st September 2022

how to buy Upwork (UPWK) shares
  • Looking to invest in Upwork?
  • See how brokers differentiate their offerings.
  • Learn how to open an account and submit your first trade.

Upwork (NASDAQ: UPWK), formerly known as “Elance-oDesk,” is an American-based freelancing platform. The company has a solid reputation in the “gig economy,” connecting millions of companies and individuals with freelancers.

Along with other platforms like Fiverr and Freelancer, the company offers users a way to earn extra money by putting their talents up for sale on the internet. Upwork’s approach is to list jobs and have users bid in competition for the work. That’s a contrast to Fiverr’s approach, which lists users and has employers search profiles to find candidates.

This tech company offers traders plenty of opportunities, and this brief guide gives you the basics of trading the stock.

Company overview

Founded after the merger of Elance and oDesk in 2013, the company rebranded itself as Upwork in 2015 with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. UPWK launched its IPO in October 2018 at $15 per share, giving it a market cap of nearly $1.5 billion.

Upwork saw a massive surge in its price during the coronavirus pandemic as businesses closed around the country and more people turned to the gig economy for work.

Where to buy Upwork stock

eToro

On eToro's website

eToro

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Disclaimer: eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Public

On Public's website

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  • Buy any stock with any amount of money, commission-free. No matter the share price, you can own slices of stock with as little as $5.
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Moomoo

On Moomoo's website

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  • Trade blue-chip stocks in US, HK and SG Markets.
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Compare brokers on Finty. Research broker fees, commissions, tradable assets, markets, and commodities, etc.

Step 1: Pick a broker

Your broker acts as the middleman between you and the market., with each broker offering a different service and fee structure. Here’s what to look for when selecting your brokerage firm.

Commission-free trading

With trading apps like Webull, you get commission-free trades. Many of the larger brokers like Charles Schwab also offer commission-free trades. Commissions are your largest expense in trading, and they can slow small account holders from growing their balance. If you’re trading 15 cent moves, commissions will eat into the bulk of your profits.

Fractional share trading

Buying shares is risky, and you get limited upside. Fortunately, fractions make it easy for you to take a 10th of a share of UPWK, reducing your risk exposure while gaining access to price action in the stock.

Low account fees

Broker fees account for a large percentage of your trading costs. Compare monthly account fees, transaction fees, and inactivity fees before opening your account.

Margin trading

If your broker offers your 6:1 margin on UPWK stock, you can access leverage on your money, increasing your “buying power.” For example, if you have $300 in your account, a 6:1 margin lets you buy up to $1,800 of UPWK stock. However, if the UPWK share price falls, you may have to put up additional capital to cover the margin loan.

Real-time data and charts

Broker platforms come with charts included. However, the pricing on your charts can be delayed by up to 15 minutes. The broker will charge a fee for real-time data, so compare costs before signing up.

Step 2: Transfer funds to your trading account

You can fund your trading account using debit cards or wire transfers from your bank. If you’re not comfortable giving your broker your card details, a wire transfer is your only option. However, the bank will charge more fees for a wire than a debit card transaction.

The first time you deposit and withdraw, you may have to wait up to 15 days for the broker to complete your transaction. They’ll need to verify your identity and account before accepting money or sending you a payment.

Step 3: Decide how much to invest

Are you ready to place your first trade? How much do you want to risk? Pro traders recommend you never risk more than 5% of your account balance in a single transaction. If you go all-in with your trade, you could end up losing a lot of your account value.

Take an approach of growing your account slowly with a focused strategy, instead of gambling your account balance with every trade.

Step 4: Choose between company shares or ETFs

When you want to trade Upwork, you have a choice between buying shares or fractions or trading an ETF (exchange-traded fund).

ETFs are baskets of different stocks in the same sector, such as remote work companies. You get exposure to the price action in UPWK while spreading your risk across several companies. An example of an ETF that holds UPWK shares is the SoFi Gig Economy ETF.

Step 5: Set up your order type

When you’re ready to transact, you can use one of these order types to get in and out of the market.

Market order

This order type gets you into UPWK stock at the next available market price quoted on your order book. However, the broker might fill you several cents higher than where you click the buy button. For instance, you could click buy at $50, yet the broker fills you at $50.15, resulting in 15 cents of “slippage.”

Limit order

The limit order prevents slippage from occurring when you hit the buy button. The broker won’t fill you above this price, reducing your risk. However, if the market is moving fast, you might end up missing your fill, resulting in a no-fill or partial fill.

Stop limit

The stop limit executes a sell order when you reach your price target. Let’s say you buy UPWK at $50, with a target of $55. The broker automatically executes your sell order when the price hits your limit.

Stop loss

This order type helps you mitigate risk. Say you enter UPWK at $50; you can set your stop loss at $47.50 in order to limit your loss in the position. If the price action starts moving towards the stop, the broker automatically takes you out of UPWK when the price hits $47.50.

Step 6: Place the order

When you’re ready to trade UPWK, open your trading platform and complete the fields regarding your share size, limit price, and order type. After completing the relevant information, you’ll click the buy button to enter and the sell button to exit your position.

Step 7: Monitor performance

Upwork experiences movements in price on news surrounding the remote work industry and “gig economy.” For instance, during the COVID pandemic, the stock saw a huge increase in price due to more people looking for work online as the traditional economy came to a standstill and many businesses closed their doors. Other gig economy stocks include Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), Uber (NYSE: UBER), Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), and Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB).

Look for press releases and newsletters surrounding mergers, acquisitions, and other stocks in the work-from-home space. Earnings and user growth are also significant factors causing swings in price action.