One reason to single out Royal Caribbean for a stock investment is the company's cash benefits policy for shareholders who take cruises. The holding company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. owns and operates the Royal Caribbean International cruise line along with the Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France. Royal Caribbean is a U.S.-based company and it lists shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RCL. Investing in the cruise line company works the same with any publicly traded stock.
Open a stock brokerage account if you do not already have one. Your bank may offer brokerage services, or you can visit the local office of a full-service brokerage firm. As an alternative, online discount brokers let you buy and sell shares through an online account access. Online commissions range from $5 to $10 each time you buy or sell. Commission rates for a live broker will be significantly higher, but the broker will handle all of the required paperwork.
Transfer some money into your brokerage account. Account funding minimums range from zero to several thousand dollars. You can send in money by check, wire transfer or set up Automated Clearing House payments. ACH transfers take a couple of days to clear, but cost nothing. Once they are set up, you can move money in either direction.
Look up the Royal Caribbean share price. Use the RCL stock symbol to find the current price using either your online account screen or one of the major financial websites.
Determine how many shares you would like to buy. In most cases, you can only purchase whole shares, one or greater. Multiply the number of shares times the share price plus the commission rate to get the total cost. For example, in July 2014, RCL was trading at about $60 per share. With a $10 commission, 15 shares would cost $910 and 200 shares would be $12,010.
Submit a buy order for the number of shares you want using either the online trading screen of your discount brokerage account or by calling your broker and telling her to buy the shares for you.
Verify with your broker or online that the shares have been purchased and at what share price. It only takes a few seconds to complete a stock purchase. However, the share price fluctuates constantly throughout the market hours, so your actual purchase price may be a little higher or lower than the price shown online before you placed the order.
To qualify for the Royal Caribbean shareholder cruise benefits you must own at least 100 shares of RCL. For a new online brokerage account, check out broker comparison rankings from major financial publishers such as Barron's or Kiplinger. Compare features and services, as well as commission rates, when picking a brokerage firm. To invest smaller amounts and be able to buy fractional shares, search out an online broker that offers a dollar cost averaging or share builder type of service. With these plans, you pay a monthly fee and can invest by dollar amount instead of purchasing whole shares with a commission for each trade. The stock exchanges are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except for certain holidays. Orders to buy or sell should be submitted during market hours. Royal Caribbean does not offer any type of direct share purchase investment plan.
Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, Marketwatch.com and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.