The following video is part of our "Ask a Fool" series, in which Motley Fool analyst Austin Smith answers questions across the investing universe.
In today's edition, Austin answers the most crucial question to becoming an investor: How do I buy a stock? Many people are excited about our Foolish recommendations but are still held back by one big hurdle -- knowing how to purchase shares of their favorite companies. Once you get started, it's quite easy. Because we Fools are advocates of the "do it yourself" investing strategy, Austin suggests opening an account with a discount brokerage firm. These companies charge anywhere from $7 to $10 to buy and sell your positions. As a Foolish rule of thumb, don't forget to keep your trading fees below 2% on average.
If you're looking for one great stock to kick off your new portfolio, don't forget to read up on our chief investment officer's Top Stock for 2012. It's an emerging-market retailer that Wall Street is still blind to, and that's a good thing. Click here to read more.
If you'd like to learn about more Foolish investing before jumping in with both feet, don't forget to take a look at our Motley Fool YouTube Channel. There you'll find incredible content for the advanced and beginner investor alike. Watch more here.