Investors buy stock shares in public companies to share ownership and profits those companies generate. Banks can be a good investment decision, if you understand the bank in question and your own personal investing goals before investing.

Step 1
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Know your goals. Do you want to make money quickly by buying shares in a bank that is growing quickly, yet has a certain amount of risk attached to it? Identify your goals clearly and refer back to them throughout the research process.

Step 2
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Take advantage of the many free investing tools available online. There is a wealth of information available to help you make the best decisions. Write down the names of the banks you are interested in and learn all you can about them.

Step 3
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Figure out if the banks on your list trade publicly or not. There are many different free sites that can aid in looking up whether a business trades publicly. Simply enter the bank's name and hit search. The search results will return the stock symbol as well as the current stock price.

Step 4
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Read up on current affairs and news regarding banks and find out how they are truly performing. What do stock analysts have to say about the bank and its stock price? Check out investors' forums to see what other investors are saying.

Step 5
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Finalize your list of banks and their stock symbols, including only those that meet your personal goals and requirements.

Step 6
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Search for brokerage company websites and open and account. There are a wide range of brokerage firms, like Charles Schwab and Ameritrade which have sites that are very user friendly.

Step 7
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Once your account is active, follow the directions on the site to transfer money into your brokerage account. This can take several days. Make sure that you transfer enough to cover the brokerage fees and the stock purchase.

Step 8
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Once the transfer is complete, purchase the number of shares that you've decided on and be sure not to overextend yourself.

Step 9
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Check the firm's site to see your order status.