Online Trading


DEFINITION of 'Online Trading'

The act of placing buy/sell orders for financial securities and/or currencies with the use of a brokerage's internet-based proprietary trading platforms. The use of online trading increased dramatically in the mid- to late-'90s with the introduction of affordable high-speed computers and internet connections.

Stocks, bonds, options, futures and currencies can all be traded online.

BREAKING DOWN 'Online Trading'

The use of online trades has increased the number of discount brokerages because internet trading allows many brokers to further cut costs and part of the savings can be past on to customers in the form of lower commissions.

Another benefit of online trading is the improvement in the speed of which transactions can be executed and settled, because there is no need for paper-based documents to be copied, filed and entered into an electronic format.

  1. Bond

    A debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity ...
  2. Option

    A financial derivative that represents a contract sold by one ...
  3. Online Banking

    The performance of banking activities via the Internet. Online ...
  4. Stock

    A type of security that signifies ownership in a corporation ...
  5. Futures

    A financial contract obligating the buyer to purchase an asset ...
  6. Forex - FX

    The market in which currencies are traded. The forex market is ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Needle In A Haystack: Investing Message Boards

    Message boards provide a great opportunity to read insightful information and opinions, but watch out for "trolls".
  2. Active Trading

    Taking a Trip to Trader Town: Exploring the Trader's Chatroom

    Traders don't have to be solitary to be successful--discover how to connect with fellow traders and experts.
  3. Options & Futures

    Brokers and Online Trading

    How do you find the right broker for your investment needs? Start by reading our broker tutorial.
  4. Credit & Loans

    Pre-Qualified Vs. Pre-Approved - What's The Difference?

    These terms may sound the same, but they mean very different things for homebuyers.
  5. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  6. Insurance

    Cashing in Your Life Insurance Policy

    Tough times call for desperate measures, but is raiding your life insurance policy even worth considering?
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Using Decision Trees In Finance

    A decision tree provides a comprehensive framework to review the alternative scenarios and consequences a decision may lead to.
  8. Options & Futures

    Understanding The Escrow Process

    Learn the 10 steps that lead up to closing the deal on your new home and taking possession.
  9. Options & Futures

    Terrorism's Effects on Wall Street

    Terrorist activity tends to have a negative impact on the markets, but just how much? Find out how to take cover.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Scared By ETF Risks? Try Hegding With ETF Options

    With more ETFs to trade, the risks associated with these investments have grown. To mitigate these risks, ETF options are a hedging strategy for traders.
  1. Do hedge funds invest in commodities?

    There are several hedge funds that invest in commodities. Many hedge funds have broad macroeconomic strategies and invest ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do hedge funds use equity options?

    With the growth in the size and number of hedge funds over the past decade, the interest in how these funds go about generating ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why do companies enter into futures contracts?

    Different types of companies may enter into futures contracts for different purposes. The most common reason is to hedge ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center