How to Buy Coca-Cola (KO) Stock

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) is a blue-chip stock with a long history of proven performance. It has been selling products in the U.S. since 1886, becoming the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company along the way.

Over the past three years, Coca-Cola’s stock price has increased more than 35%, despite significant competition. As an additional incentive to buy, shareholders receive dividends: In February 2022, KO announced it was raising its annual dividend to $1.76 a share, up from $1.68

How to Buy Coca-Cola Stock

1. Set Up an Account With a Broker

If you have a 401(k) or an individual retirement account (IRA), you might be able to buy and sell shares of Coca-Cola stock with your existing account. If you don’t have a retirement plan—or if you want to invest your money for non-retirement goals—you can open a new account with a broker.

Brokers act as intermediaries between you and the stock market, facilitating your orders to buy and sell stocks. They vary widely when it comes to account minimums, fees, and account options, so do your research to find the right broker for your goals. If you’re looking for a simple and easy way to invest, check out our picks for the best online brokers.

Once you find an option you like, brokers usually have several options for opening an account, including retirement accounts and taxable investment accounts. Although taxable investment or brokerage accounts don’t offer the same tax benefits of retirement accounts, they do have more flexibility, like the ability to access your money without worrying about early withdrawal penalties.

2. Review Coca-Cola’s Financial Reports

Coca-Cola is a publicly traded company, and as such it is required to file financial statements and annual reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Those documents provide insights into the company’s current performance, risks facing its business model and plans for future development. For example, Coca-Cola’s latest annual report details how growing concerns about obesity, sugary soft drinks and potential taxes on sodas could reduce the demand for its products.

In its investor presentations, Coca-Cola outlines its plans for the future to address those issues, including its focus on marketing zero-sugar brands, sparkling water and other beverage options.

3. Decide How Much Money to Invest in Coca-Cola

When thinking about how much money to invest, consider the following factors:

  • Price per share: Although some brokers allow you to buy slices of individual shares—referred to as fractional shares—not all have that option. If your broker doesn’t allow you to buy fractional shares, you’ll have to invest enough money to buy whole shares, plus the costs of any brokerage fees.
  • Overall Portfolio: As a blue-chip stock, Coca-Cola may be a solid investment option. Whether it makes sense for you is dependent on the role it plays within your overall portfolio. Experts don’t recommend investing your money in just one or two companies. Instead, the typical guidance is to invest in many different companies in a range of industries for diversification.
  • Goals: Coca-Cola has a proven track record, but it’s unlikely to have the dramatic returns that newer growth stocks provide. Because its performance is steadier, it tends to be a good investment for long-term investing goals rather than short-term investing or day trading.

4. Place an Order for Coca-Cola Stock

To invest your money in Coca-Cola, log onto your broker’s trading platform. Enter Coca-Cola’s ticker symbol—KO—and the number of shares you want to purchase. Alternatively, you can enter the dollar value you want to invest if your broker offers fractional shares.

You can also usually designate an order type when buying stock. The most common options are market and limit orders. A market order tells the broker to buy or sell the stock right away at the best available price. By contrast, a limit order only goes through once the stock reaches a specified price you pick. Limit orders can be a good idea if you expect a stock’s price to drop soon.

5. Monitor Your Investment’s Performance

Even if you intend on holding your Coca-Cola shares for years, it’s a good idea to periodically check in and review your investment’s performance.

A useful gauge is to compare its performance to the performance of major indexes, like the S&P 500, that provide an indication of how the stock market is performing as a whole.

What to Consider Before Selling Coca-Cola Stock

If you need to sell your shares you can do so by entering Coca-Cola’s ticker symbol in your trading platform, along with the amount you want to sell.

Selling shares at a profit may incur capital gains taxes, you may want to consult a tax professional to talk about when it makes sense to sell and strategies for minimizing your tax bill.

How to Invest in Coca-Cola With Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

While investing in stocks can be appealing for some investors, investing in a single company—even one as established as Coca-Cola—can be risky.To reduce your overall  risk, you can get instant portfolio diversification by investing in index funds and ETFs instead.

Hundreds of index funds and ETFs include exposure to Coca-Cola. Popular options include:

  • iShares Evolved U.S. Consumer Staples ETF (IECS): This fund provides access to U.S. companies that produce consumer staples. Coca-Cola is its largest holding, but other holdings include Pepsico and Procter & Gamble.
  • Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (FTSA): FTSA aims to provide returns that correspond with the performance of the MSCI USA IMA Consumer Staples Index. It invests in a representative sample of securities. Top holdings include Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Costco and Pepsico.
  • Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI): If you are looking for a broader ETF, consider a total stock market fund like VTI. It tracks the performance of a benchmark that measures the returns of the overall stock market. Although Coca-Cola is one of its holdings, the biggest holdings are Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet, Inc.

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