Online Trading System
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What are Online Trading Systems?
Online trading systems also known as electronic trading platforms are used by investors to trade securities, options, futures, EFTs, cryptocurrencies, Forex, commodities, or financial derivatives electronically. These trading platforms bring together buyers and sellers creating virtual marketplaces. The Internet connects brokers to financial exchanges. Brokerages in turn offer their investors the opportunity to trade online in real-time through their own platforms, apps, and software tools.
Exchange platforms have standard technology protocols that brokerage applications use to connect. NASDAQ has the Nasdaq Financial Framework (NFF), and the NYSE uses Pillar for its integrated trading technology. These systems support marketplace execution of all sizes, managing a full range of trading functions, price information, order entry, and order matching. The exchange frameworks seek to provide efficient processing, enhanced determinism, and lower latency for trades. These systems have for the most part replaced human floor trading in global securities.
Large online brokerages use two types of platforms. They provide one platform for commercial investors (day traders and retail investors). The other is referred to as a prop platform, which brokerages develop to use for their custom requirements and trading styles.
Some commercial brokerage platforms specialize in one financial instrument such as stocks, Forex, or Cryptocurrencies. Others offer a wide range of investment choices. The advent of online brokerages and trading has given individual traders and investors easy and convenient ways to trade.
The term trading systems also refers to a set of rules based upon technical indicators or fundamental analysis that manages investments and risk. Online trading platforms usually support this functionality.
Online Trading Systems Features
Online trading systems will have many of these features.
Real-time Online Trading / Order Entry
Live Price Quotes
Investment Monitoring and Tracking
Historical and Real-time Data
Analytics and Performance Analysis
Market and Investment Research and Ratings
Risk Management Tools
Graphics and Charting Tools
Professional Broker Guidance
Investor Education – articles, blogs, webinars
Automatic Trading – rule-based
Coding Scripts – for creating automated buying and selling strategies
Social Trading – providing information on the trading behavior of peers and expert traders, supporting collaboration, chat platforms
Notifications and Alerts
Demo accounts – to gain experience prior to investing
Funding - accepts funds from bank accounts, credit cards, wire transfers
Convenient Access – 7x24 using web browsers or mobile apps
Online Trading Systems Comparison
When choosing an online trading system consider the following:
Investment Type: Platforms may support only one type of investment such as foreign exchange, futures, or commodities. Others support a variety of investment options.
Type of Investor: Some platforms are geared toward professional investors; others work well for novices. New investors might consider a platform where they can have access to a professional financial advisor. Are you a day-trader or long-term investor? Certain systems are better suited for one or the other. If you plan to trade often, seek out a system with low or no commission fees.
Safety and Security: Seek out a brokerage trading system that is a member of SIPC (Security Investor Protection Corporation) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).
Many trading systems now offer no-commission trades for securities, often with no minimum balance requirement. Others require maintaining a funded account or transacting a minimum number of trades per month. Features and services such as options and futures trading and professional advising require additional fees or minimum investment balances. Margin trading always requires a minimum account balance and depending upon the size of the margin debt, the brokerage will charge a corresponding interest rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
The main benefits of online trading systems include:
- Variety of trading and investment options
- Complete control over trading avoids brokerage bias
- Cost Savings