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.
Austin Smith owns no shares of the companies mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Bank of America, and Ford. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Ford, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and creating a synthetic long position in Ford. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.