What is online share trading wikipedia
Many day traders are bank or investment firm employees working as specialists in equity investment and fund management. However, with the advent of electronic trading and margin trading , day trading is available to private individuals. Some day traders use an intra-day technique known as scalping that usually has the trader holding a position for a few minutes or even seconds.
Most day traders exit positions before the market closes to avoid unmanageable risks—negative price gaps between one day's close and the next day's price at the open. Another reason is to maximize day trading buying power. Day traders sometimes borrow money to trade. This is called margin trading. Since margin interests are typically only charged on overnight balances, the trader may pay no fees for the margin benefit, though still running the risk of a margin call.
The margin interest rate is usually based on the broker's call. Because of the nature of financial leverage and the rapid returns that are possible, day trading results can range from extremely profitable to extremely unprofitable, and high-risk profile traders can generate either huge percentage returns or huge percentage losses.
Because of the high profits and losses that day trading makes possible, these traders are sometimes portrayed as " bandits " or " gamblers " by other investors. The common use of buying on margin using borrowed funds amplifies gains and losses, such that substantial losses or gains can occur in a very short period of time. In addition, brokers usually allow bigger margins for day traders.
Because of the high risk of margin use, and of other day trading practices, a day trader will often have to exit a losing position very quickly, in order to prevent a greater, unacceptable loss, or even a disastrous loss, much larger than his or her original investment, or even larger than his or her total assets.
Originally, the most important U. A trader would contact a stockbroker, who would relay the order to a specialist on the floor of the NYSE. These specialists would each make markets in only a handful of stocks. The specialist would match the purchaser with another broker's seller; write up physical tickets that, once processed, would effectively transfer the stock; and relay the information back to both brokers.
One of the first steps to make day trading of shares potentially profitable was the change in the commission scheme. In , the United States Securities and Exchange Commission SEC made fixed commission rates illegal, giving rise to discount brokers offering much reduced commission rates. Financial settlement periods used to be much longer: Before the early s at the London Stock Exchange , for example, stock could be paid for up to 10 working days after it was bought, allowing traders to buy or sell shares at the beginning of a settlement period only to sell or buy them before the end of the period hoping for a rise in price.
This activity was identical to modern day trading, but for the longer duration of the settlement period. But today, to reduce market risk, the settlement period is typically two working days. Reducing the settlement period reduces the likelihood of default , but was impossible before the advent of electronic ownership transfer. The systems by which stocks are traded have also evolved, the second half of the twentieth century having seen the advent of electronic communication networks ECNs.
These are essentially large proprietary computer networks on which brokers could list a certain amount of securities to sell at a certain price the asking price or "ask" or offer to buy a certain amount of securities at a certain price the "bid". The first of these was Instinet or "inet" , which was founded in as a way for major institutions to bypass the increasingly cumbersome and expensive NYSE, also allowing them to trade during hours when the exchanges were closed.
Early ECNs such as Instinet were very unfriendly to small investors, because they tended to give large institutions better prices than were available to the public. This resulted in a fragmented and sometimes illiquid market. The next important step in facilitating day trading was the founding in of NASDAQ —a virtual stock exchange on which orders were transmitted electronically.
Moving from paper share certificates and written share registers to "dematerialized" shares, computerized trading and registration required not only extensive changes to legislation but also the development of the necessary technology: These developments heralded the appearance of " market makers ": A market maker has an inventory of stocks to buy and sell, and simultaneously offers to buy and sell the same stock.
Obviously, it will offer to sell stock at a higher price than the price at which it offers to buy. This difference is known as the "spread".
The market maker is indifferent as to whether the stock goes up or down, it simply tries to constantly buy for less than it sells. A persistent trend in one direction will result in a loss for the market maker, but the strategy is overall positive otherwise they would exit the business. Today there are about firms who participate as market makers on ECNs, each generally making a market in four to forty different stocks.
Another reform made was the " Small Order Execution System ", or "SOES", which required market makers to buy or sell, immediately, small orders up to shares at the market maker's listed bid or ask. In the late s, existing ECNs began to offer their services to small investors. New brokerage firms which specialized in serving online traders who wanted to trade on the ECNs emerged.
Archipelago eventually became a stock exchange and in was purchased by the NYSE. Moreover, the trader was able in to buy the stock almost instantly and got it at a cheaper price. ECNs are in constant flux.
New ones are formed, while existing ones are bought or merged. As of the end of , the most important ECNs to the individual trader were:. This combination of factors has made day trading in stocks and stock derivatives such as ETFs possible. The low commission rates allow an individual or small firm to make a large number of trades during a single day.
The liquidity and small spreads provided by ECNs allow an individual to make near-instantaneous trades and to get favorable pricing. The ability for individuals to day trade coincided with the extreme bull market in technological issues from to early , known as the Dot-com bubble. In March, , this bubble burst, and a large number of less-experienced day traders began to lose money as fast, or faster, than they had made during the buying frenzy. The NASDAQ crashed from back to ; many of the less-experienced traders went broke, although obviously it was possible to have made a fortune during that time by shorting or playing on volatility.
Electronic or scripless trading , sometimes called e-trading or paperless trading is a method of trading securities such as stocks , and bonds , foreign exchange or financial derivatives electronically.
Information technology is used to bring together buyers and sellers through an electronic trading platform and network to create virtual market places.
Electronic trading is in contrast to older floor trading and phone trading and has a number of advantages, but glitches and cancelled trades do still occur. For many years stock exchanges were physical locations where buyers and sellers met and negotiated. Exchange trading would typically happen on the floor of an exchange, where traders in brightly colored jackets to identify which firm they worked for would shout and gesticulate at one another — a process known as open outcry or pit trading the exchange floors were often pit-shaped — circular, sloping downwards to the centre, so that the traders could see one another.
With the improvement in communications technology in the late 20th century, the need for a physical location became less important and traders started to transact from remote locations in what became known as electronic trading.
Set up in , NASDAQ was the world's first electronic stock market, though it originally operated as an electronic bulletin board [ citation needed ] , rather than offering straight-through processing STP. By investment firms on both the buy side and sell side were increasing their spending on technology for electronic trading. Traders also increasingly started to rely on algorithms to analyze market conditions and then execute their orders automatically. The move to electronic trading compared to floor trading continued to increase with many of the major exchanges around the world moving from floor trading to completely electronic trading.
While the majority of retail trading in the United States happens over the Internet, retail trading volumes are dwarfed by institutional, inter-dealer and exchange trading. However, in developing economies, especially in Asia, retail trading constitutes a significant portion of overall trading volume . For instruments which are not exchange-traded e. US treasury bonds , the inter-dealer market substitutes for the exchange.
This is where dealers trade directly with one another or through inter-dealer brokers i. They acted as middle-men between dealers such as investment banks. This type of trading traditionally took place over the phone but brokers moved to offering electronic trading services instead. However, starting in the s, a greater portion of transactions have migrated to electronic trading platforms. These may include electronic communication networks , alternative trading systems , " dark pools " and others.
The first electronic trading platforms were typically associated with stock exchanges and allowed brokers to place orders remotely using private dedicated networks and dumb terminals. Early systems would not always provide live streaming prices and instead allowed brokers or clients to place an order which would be confirmed some time later; these were known as ' request for quote ' based systems.
Trading systems evolved to allow for live streaming prices and near instant execution of orders as well as using the internet as the underlying network meaning that location became much less relevant.
Some electronic trading platforms have built in scripting tools and even APIs allowing traders to develop automatic or algorithmic trading systems and robots. The client graphical user interface of the electronic trading platforms can be used to place various orders and are also sometimes called trading turrets though this may be a misuse of the term, as some refer to the specialized PBX phones used by traders.
During the period from to , the development and proliferation of trading platforms saw the setting up of dedicated online trading portals, which were electronic online venues with a choice of many electronic trading platforms rather than being restricted to one institution's offering.