Closed Loop

The Lifecycle of an Online Trade

Investors make millions of online stock trades each day. Once you click, tap or hit enter to buy or sell a stock—what happens next? It’s likely more than you realize.

Many investors who trade through online brokerage accounts assume the next stop is a direct connection to the securities markets. Not quite. When you enter an order to buy or sell securities, your order is sent over the Internet to your brokerage firm—which in turn decides which market to send it to for execution. A similar process occurs when you call your broker to place a trade.

Our infographic walks you through five key steps in the lifecycle of an online trade.

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