Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trading Places; Even in Difficult Financial Times There Are Still Ways for the Online Investor to Make Money. Having the Right Broker in Your Corner Is a Bonus

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trading Places; Even in Difficult Financial Times There Are Still Ways for the Online Investor to Make Money. Having the Right Broker in Your Corner Is a Bonus

Article excerpt

Byline: NIKI CHESWORTH

DESPITE the fact the dot com bubble has burst and the stock market has dropped, the number of online stockbroking clients has risen to 327,000, according to figures released by the Association of Private Client Stockbrokers and Investment Managers.

E-trades account for 20 per cent of execution-only trades (share deals where the investor takes the decision). But the events of 11 September have taken their toll. The number of online trades is down by 21 per cent since the second quarter of this year, in line with falls in share trading.

Online stockbrokers have revolutionised the world of the private investor.

They offer cheap, instantaneous sharedealing, a wealth of information and the software tools required to run a portfolio and make investment decisions.

(See below for the top seven online stockbroker sites.) The cost of a trade is generally no more than [pound]15. At Comdirect the cost is [pound]12.50 and, at Nothing Ventured, [pound]13.95.

There are a number of factors that an investor needs to bear in mind when trading online:

* Deals and prices should be in real-time

* The site should be reliable - even a few minutes delay can cost investors dearly

* Ask what backup and support is provided if the system fails * Find out what research is offered and at what cost * Look for hidden or extra fees such as administration charges * Find out what extras are offered. Some online brokers, such as Barclays, offer a price improver service and most, including Schwab and www.stockacademy.com, have investor education centres.

The drawback with sharedealing is that when markets are volatile or falling, investors cannot make profits. If the value of the share falls, the investor loses. However, online traders can still make money by betting on a share price or stock market index falling. …

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