The Stock Market – How Does it Work?
A stock market, equities market, or bond market is an association of investors who buy shares of a company’s stock and subsequently sell those shares to fellow investors. These can include securities listed on the public stock exchange (TSE) – a system of trading and buying securities owned by an investor in a particular company. Alternatively, a bond market – which tracks the performance of government bonds – is another type of stock market where it involves the purchase of debt instruments from investors.
Since the emergence of the modern stock market, institutions of all sizes have become involved. Larger companies often have whole departments whose sole purpose is to monitor and evaluate the stocks of different companies. Smaller firms tend to hire investment bankers whose sole purpose is to trade in the stock market. There are also investment clubs consisting of mutual fund companies, insurance companies, and other financial groups who meet regularly to discuss their mutual interests in the stock market.
There are numerous types of trading in the stock market. The most common form of trading is day trading, which occurs during the late hours of the business day. This involves selling securities in one session and purchasing more securities in another session. The two types of trading are long-term trading and short-term trading. Day traders and swing traders buy and sell shares of a corporation, or group of corporations, depending on their position at any given moment.
An investor can participate in the stock market either through trading in person, by making transactions by phone or by using an online brokerage account. The best and most reliable brokers provide services from a centralized location. Although there are many online brokerages, some still do business with brokers that come to their office for face-to-face transactions. With the advent of the internet, direct trading between investors via the telephone has also gained popularity. Many investors and financial professionals utilize the telephone and online transaction services to make more efficient use of their time.
Another option for investors interested in trading in the stock market is buying shares through over-the-counter (OTC) exchanges. These exchanges allow stocks, securities, futures, options and warrants to be listed and trades to be executed without any commission or mark-up fees charged. There are many OTC markets. Some of the most popular include Commodities Futures Trading, Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB), Pink Sheet and Security Exchange Traded Funds.
In addition to the stock exchanges, there are numerous discount stock exchanges (SCIF) in the United States. These exchanges allow companies to list their shares and offer discounts to investors. SCIFs are similar to the over-the-counter stock exchanges but are not managed by a central administrator. Investors can purchase shares through a broker, through telephone, on the internet, or by a company’s sales force. These trading venues offer the convenience of placing trades at any time from anywhere with Internet access.