Slowly but surely, the UK is catching up with the United States where internet investment and online investing is concerned. A number of leading brokers have developed impressive online trading websites, and more are expected to follow suit in the near future.
In the past, so-called online dealing meant contacting your stockbroker via the web, who then executed the deal on your behalf. Whilst this was quicker than communicating by post, it didn't really offer any advantages over regular telephone trading. Over the last five years or so, the system has gradually improved, with some websites allowing traders to carry out their own share trading. This new technology has been a successful development for many reasons, but mainly because its immediacy means that people are able to sell and acquire shares at the rate they see onscreen. Before this, prices often moved before the process was complete, meaning that investors often lost out on their best or required share prices before the deal had gone through.
So, how do you go about trading online? First of all, you'll need a fast modem as well as an up-to-date web browser which will protect your data and keep transactions secure.
Is online dealing cheaper than traditional methods?
Because only a handful of UK online trading sites are currently available, competition is fairly limited and there is therefore no real need for these companies to offer special online deals. What is more, you will still have to pay stamp duty on all trades and in some cases may find that trading online works out to be more expensive. However for many people it is a much easier way of keeping track of their portfolio than other methods like telephone trading, and can be a lot more fun, too!