I'd like to buy a little amount (say, 5000 €) of stocks. I know it's risky, especially for an absolute beginner like me. Maybe you would like to persuade me to start with stuff such as such as mutual funds or ETF (btw, thanks for dissuading me from buying Bitcoins 😀).
However, I made up my mind, and I'm going to do it. I decided which stocks to buy, and I decided how long to keep them (10 years, hoping that the companies whose stock I'm buying don't go bankrupt before). The companies are all headquartered in USA.
I have no idea how to do it in practice, though. I have a bank account in a online bank, and it looks like the bank provides tools to buy stocks (I can provide the bank's name, if needed). However, in my country (Europe, but again I can provide the precise country, if strictly needed) you would never just subscribe a mortgage with your bank, because it's quite likely that by shopping online for mortages, you would find better options. The same is true for car insurance, for example.
So, I was wondering if I should look around for "online portfolio systems" (is this the right name?). However, I recently got a lot of spammy phone calls about forex (even though I never put my phone number online recently, and I also have 0 interest at all for forex). So I'd rather not expose myself online too much, searching for ways to buy stocks.
So my question is: how do I buy stocks? Since I'm going to keep them for a long time, I guess I'll need a service which has mostly low keeping fees, while buying/selling fees may be less important, since I'm not planning to buy/sell in the short term. Any suggestions on how to find it? Also, can I buy any numbers of a given stock, or are there some minimal amounts, and how do I find them? Finally, my employer gave me quite a lot of company stocks as a bonus. Is it possible to exchange part of them with the stocks I want to buy? Or the only thing I can do is to sell them (say, sell 5000 € of my company's stock) and buy an equivalent amount of the stocks I'm looking for?