Hi! I love your question! Here is an analogy: when I was little (in the 1960’s) one main phone company existed. We had to rent the actual telephone from them. Consumer rights hadn’t really been “invented” yet, and we had no options with phone costs or handset styles. Now (in the 2010’s) we have lots of competing phone companies, land- and cellphone lines, and many styles and types of phones. The ACT of telephoning a person hasn’t changed, but everything else surrounding that act has. Consumers have control, information, and privacy with regard to telephoning.
I think of stock market trading in a similar way. The act of buying or selling a stock is no different now than ever – you buy a stock that you hope will increase in value so that you can sell at a profit. You pay a service fee to buy or sell that stock. That part of the stock process is unchanged. However, EVERYTHING else has changed. Now I can sit at my computer in my jammies with my Tradestation account open giving me real-time access to the stock market to buy and sell as I please. I can use the internet to find out information which is, for the most part, as pertinent and as sensitive as that which Warren Buffett or Jim Cramer get. I don’t have to tell anybody what I plan to buy or sell.
The internet has allowed regular people three things that they didn’t have before the internet: personal control over stock purchases and sales; unprecedented access to financial and economic information; and privacy to act without having to tell others, like a broker. These freedoms have hugely influenced the stock buying and selling process. If you would like to read more about this topic, check out Investopedia here: http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0212/how-the-internet-has-changed-investing.aspx. Have a great day and good luck with YOUR internet stock purchases … and, hopefully, profits!
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