Online trading in securities began as a novelty, but has become more the norm in recent years. Some online trading firms exist on an Internet-only basis, while others combine networks of physical offices and advisors with an online presence.
Online trading firms compete heavily with each other and with traditional brokers for business. They compete on price on two levels, the cost per transaction, and their ability to get the customer favorable price levels, for purchases and sales, on the financial markets. They also compete as to the level of services their offer, particularly the ability by customers to access statistical, trend and analysis services online, often with impressive graphical interfaces.
Traditional stockbrokers do give advice, which, despite the level of resources, is usually absent from the world of online trading. The public’s attitude toward advising brokers who earn fees by trading securities for their clients is, at best, somewhat cynical, however, supporting to a large extent the success of online trading.
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