Coinbase Global (COIN -0.12%) is a leading cryptocurrency platform. It started in 2012 to provide anyone anywhere with the ability to easily and securely send and receive Bitcoin (BTC 0.92%). Today, it allows anyone to invest, spend, save, earn, and use a variety of cryptocurrencies.
The company has developed several products and services to encourage more people to use cryptocurrencies. Its digital wallet, Coinbase Wallet, lets users store and manage all their crypto, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other wallets in one place. Meanwhile, its trading platform allows users to buy, sell, or HODL (hold) cryptocurrency. The company's smart contracts allow users to trade their crypto for fiat currency like the U.S. dollar (through USD Coin (USDC -0.01%), a stablecoin redeemable for U.S. dollars on a 1:1 basis).
The potential of crypto might have you interested in investing in Coinbase. You might already be a user of its platform. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to buy the crypto stock and some factors to consider before adding the up-and-coming company to your portfolio.
How to buy
How to buy Coinbase stockInvestors interested in buying Coinbase stock have to take a few steps before becoming a shareholder. Here's a step-by-step guide to adding the cryptocurrency platform to your portfolio.
1. Open a brokerage account
You'll want to open and fund a brokerage account before buying shares of any company. If you need to open one, here are some of the best-rated brokers and trading platforms. Take your time to research the brokers to find the best one for you.
2. Figure out your budgetBefore making your first trade, you'll need to determine a budget for how much money you want to invest. You'll then want to figure out how to allocate that money.
The Motley Fool's investing philosophy recommends building a diversified portfolio of 25 or more stocks you plan to hold for at least five years. You don't have to get there on the first day. For example, if you have $1,000 available to start investing, you might want to begin by allocating that money equally across at least 10 stocks and then grow from there.
3. Do your research
It's essential to thoroughly research a company before buying its shares. You should learn about how it makes money, its competitors, its balance sheet, and other factors to make sure you have a solid grasp on whether the company can grow value for its shareholders over the long term.
4. Place an orderOnce you've opened and funded a brokerage account, set your investing budget, and researched the stock, it's time to buy shares. The process is relatively straightforward. Go to your brokerage account's order page and fill out all the relevant information, including:
- The number of shares you want to buy or the amount you want to invest to purchase fractional shares.
- The stock ticker (COIN for Coinbase).
- Whether you want to place a limit order or a market order. The Motley Fool recommends using a market order since it guarantees you buy shares immediately at the market price.
Should I invest?
Should I invest in Coinbase?It's essential to thoroughly research a company before buying shares. You might uncover something about the company that changes your mind. On the other hand, the research process might firm up your conviction that the stock has the potential to be a high-return investment.There are a lot of factors you should consider when researching a stock. Here are a few reasons why you might want to purchase Coinbase shares:
- You believe cryptocurrencies will play an increasingly important role in the future.
- You actively trade cryptocurrencies through Coinbase's exchange.
- You're convinced that Coinbase stock can outperform the S&P 500 over the next three to five years.
- You believe that Coinbase can start growing its revenue again and will eventually turn a profit.
- You're seeking a high-upside investment opportunity.
- You understand the risks, including the possibility that Coinbase stock will likely remain volatile and could continue losing money.
- You understand Coinbase's business model and how it makes money.
- You understand the difference between crypto and stocks.
- You believe that Coinbase will eventually grow into its lofty valuation.
- You like to invest in founder-led companies.
- Adding Coinbase would help you build a more diversified portfolio.
- You don't need dividend income from your investment.
- You're not exactly sure how Coinbase makes money.
- You don't hold any cryptocurrency and don't intend to get into the space.
- You're not convinced that cryptocurrencies will become mainstream investments.
- You don't think crypto has many uses other than trading.
- You're unsure whether Coinbase will ever turn the corner on profitability.
- Your portfolio is already heavily concentrated in cryptocurrencies and other crypto stocks.
- You're seeking investments with less volatility than Coinbase stock.
- You think Coinbase trades at a rich valuation for a money-losing company with declining revenue.
- You're at or nearing retirement and need investments that generate income.
Is Coinbase profitable?Digging into a company's profitability is an important aspect of an investor's research process because increasing profitability is typically the biggest factor driving a company's stock price over the long term. With that in mind, here's a closer look at Coinbase's profitability.
The cryptocurrency exchange had yet to turn the corner on profitability as of mid-2023. It posted a net loss of $97 million on $663 million of net revenue during the second quarter. While the company is still losing money, its losses have narrowed significantly over the past year:
|Financial metric (in millions)||Q2 2022||Q3 2022||Q4 2022||Q1 2023||Q2 2023|
Does Coinbase pay a dividend?
Coinbase had not started making dividend payments to its shareholders as of mid-2023. The cryptocurrency exchange doesn't intend to begin paying dividends in the foreseeable future. It's not currently profitable and needs to retain its cash to fund its operations and continued expansion.
ETFs with exposure to Coinbase
Investors don't have to directly invest in Coinbase stock to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency platform in their portfolio. An alternative strategy is to passively invest through a fund that holds its stock. One of the most common passive investment vehicles is an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
According to ETF.Com, 118 ETFs held 19 million shares of Coinbase as of mid-2023. The biggest holder was Cathie Wood's Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK 1.41%). The ETF held more than 7.4 million shares. It was the fund's fourth-largest holding at 7.3% of its total value, making it a solid way to gain exposure to Coinbase and other leading growth stocks.
Another Cathie Wood-managed ETF, Ark Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW 1.24%), was a large holder of Coinbase stock. The fund held almost 1.5 million shares. It was the fund's second-largest holding at 8.3% of its value, making the ETF another meaningful way for investors to gain passive exposure to Coinbase.
Will Coinbase stock split?
Coinbase didn't have an upcoming stock split as of mid-2023. The cryptocurrency exchange had not completed a stock split since its direct listing on the Nasdaq Exchange in 2021. It likely won't split its stock anytime soon. Shares of Coinbase had lost almost three-quarters of their value from their direct listing price by mid-2023. The crypto platform would need to more than recover from the decline before splitting its stock.