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What is an Online Investment?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 February 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2020
    Conjecture Corporation
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Online investments are investments that are purchased and sold using online tools to handle the transactions. In recent years, many brokerages have provided their clients with online access to their accounts, making it possible to interact with brokers and place orders with relative ease. The creation of these online investment trading forms has made it possible for investors to obtain real-time information about the status of their investments whenever they like.

By using an online investment tool, an investor can pull up the home page of his or her brokerage, then use unique credentials to access the investment account. Once in the account, the investor can make use of any of the online tools provided by the brokerage. Often, this includes tools that make it possible to identify the growth of the assets in the investor’s portfolio, both as a whole and individually. Investors can compare current prices with the security prices for the previous day, as well as create a columnar presentation of the movement of all investments for longer periods, such as thirty days.

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From this online investment interface, the investor can often conduct searches for recommendations by analysts, investigate different securities, and communicate with a broker in real time. This often takes the form of making use of a messaging function that allows the client and broker to have a virtual conversation via written messages that are delivered in real-time. With many systems, the client can use this tool to authorize the broker to execute an order as well as utilize other functions on the site to submit an order for execution.

Email is also often part of the overall setup of the online investment process. This tool can come in handy if the client has some questions, but does not need responses immediately. Many brokerages set a goal of responding to every email received within twenty-four hours or less. Brokers can also make use of this private email delivery to alert clients to upcoming opportunities they may want to consider, assuming that there is a window of a few days to decide whether or not to take advantage of that opportunity.

There are several advantages to online investment. The most obvious is that investors don’t have to skim through stock listings to find out how their investments are doing, or wait until a broker responds to a telephone call to place an order. All the information needed to make wise investment decisions can be accessed via the client interface, and orders can be placed with little to no lag time. As a bonus, confirmation that the order has been successfully executed also occurs in real-time. For brokers, the online investment method makes it possible to provide services to clients with greater ease, which in turn helps to increase the profitability of the firm.

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