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.

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