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How Does Stock Market Trading Work?

May 26, 2008
Stock market trading is a popular way to earn money with unlimited earning potential when you completely understand how things work. And with a few basic how to's, it can be easy to get started.

So What is Stock?

Stock is actually owning part of a company. Each share of stock stands for a small slice of ownership in the overall corporate pie. When a person holds more shares, he owns a larger portion of the company. Owning a greater portion of the company means bigger dividends are earned by the shareholder when the company profits.

About The Stock Market

The stock market is the forum where publicly held company stock and related financial instruments are traded. Financial instruments may include stock index futures and stock options. Stock market trading is the actual sale or purchase of commodities or securities in the stock market itself.

The Two Ways To Trade

Basically, there are two methods of stock market trading. The traditional way of trading occurs in an open outcry manner on the stock exchange floor of the stock market. Modern stock trading is conducted via electronic exchanges and all occurrences take place in real time online.

On the stock exchange floor, the stock market trading atmosphere is chaotic and noisy. The stock market is filled with hundreds of people gesturing, shouting and rushing around when the stock market is open. Stock traders are seen chatting on phones, entering data into computer terminals and watching the consoles closely.

With online stock market trading, computer networks are used as opposed to trading off the stock market floor. A large network of computers is employed to match sellers and buyers in the electronic market instead of using human stock brokers. Although this method is not as bustling and exciting as the stock market exchange floor, it is quicker and more effective.

How To Get Started

What is the first step to take when stock market trading? Whether a person decides to invest electronically or on the stock market exchange floor, the first step is to get an investment broker.

To start traditional stock trading on the floor, a person requests the broker purchase a said number of shares on the market. Once the request is made, the order department for the broker forwards the order to the floor clerk. The clerk then alerts a trader to locate another trader who will sell the shares the investor wanted. The deal closes when the two traders agree on a price with notification sent back the same way. Ultimately, the broker gets in touch with the investor to tell him the final price for the shares. The entire process may take awhile, based on the current market and stocks. After a few days, the investor will finally receive a confirmation in the mail.

Investing electronically is much faster and far less complicated. Computers match the buying and selling of stock in real time. Savvy investors have the distinct advantage of instant updates on stock trade happenings.
About the Author
For more information on stock market trading -- including a growing collection of tips, strategy and advice -- visit: http://stockinvesting101.net
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