Online Trading Companies

Written by Jacey Harmon
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The Internet has reshaped the financial services industry from a company controlled environment to a client controlled environment. The Internet has given individual investors the power to take control of their investments through market access and research. No longer are an investor's hands tied while they rely solely on the help and advice of a broker or company analyst. Many financial companies have recognized this mass migration to the Internet by investors and have created services to meet their needs.

There are a plethora of online stock brokers that individual investors can choose from. Stock brokers aren't the only type of broker on the Internet. Bonds, commodities and futures brokers have capitalized on the growth of alternative investments since the stock market's peak in 2000.

An abundance of online trading companies has led to price wars between major online brokers. Commissions for trading stocks are now as low as $7, while a futures trade can cost as little as $4. This is much less than commission costs of over $100 from traditional brokers, which enables a larger swath of the investing public to participate in trading activities.

Online Research Tools

Research is a key ingredient for any successful investment strategy. The Internet has dramatically increased the amount of information available for investors to analyze. Everything a person needs for research--charts, financial statements, earnings expectations, economic data and quotes--can easily be found on the Web. A majority of necessary research items can be found for free from financial services websites. Every investor stands to gain from the many changes the Internet has brought to the investment community.

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