Online v Offline Trading: The Differences You Simply Must Know


It’s fair to say that in most walks of life we’re switching our input to online, whether it be banking, booking holidays or even doing our grocery shop. Over the years investing in stocks has also seen that very same switch.

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It’s easier than ever before to do your trading online, with numerous online brokers now around to deal with your investments. With an online stock broker you can open up your investments to much more, but what are the key differences that are making online trading the real deal?

Below we take a look at why if you haven’t already (if so, why?), switch all your trading to online…


One of the main reasons people switch to trading online is simply convenience. There’s no need to visit a stock broker, all you need is a connection to the internet and you’re good to go. The likes of Ameritrade are seeing huge numbers of customers and that’s because you can start your share trading experience anytime, anywhere.

Should you use a stock broker, you either need to visit the office or call a stock broker over the phone during working hours, seeking their services for every trade you wish to make.

Got an internet connection? Got cash you wish to invest? Well, then you’re good to go.

You Can Supplement Your Investment With Numerous Apps

Once you’ve made your investments, trading online will allow you to take advantage of all the fantastic apps on the market that can supplement how you trade. DIY on the stock markets is huge these days and there are a whole range of portfolio tools to help you analyse.

By syncing up your investments to these apps, you can help identify trends within the market and have a better understanding of when to buy, sell and when your current investments would benefit with more funding. All this can be done without the need of a broker, and you can even download a robo advisor to help you make decisions. These use a sophisticated algorithm to analyse your portfolio and make sound advice on what you should be doing.

The likes of SigFig are fantastic tools, while the number on the market really is endless and if you’re starting to trade online well worth using.

Of course, if you’re new to the stock market, it would always be advisable to seek help from a professional broker to get you started, as investing wisely can be a difficult task.

Save Your Money For Further Investments

The DIY element of trading online can save you a significant amount of money, if you know the right stocks to invest in anyway.

Because you’re removing the need of a broker and staff offline, you remove the paycheck you’re obliged to send them. Instead you’ll generally pay the monthly fees or maintenance costs of your online platforms, but that will be minimal in comparison.

This surplus capital can then be placed into further investments and expand your portfolio and increase your chances of seeing big returns.

Real Time Information

In the past, you’d have relied upon your broker to keep tabs on your investments and contact you or work on your behalf should anything go wrong. By trading online you can view your investments in real time and identify trends and when to sell.

With portfolio apps in particularly, and apps such as Yahoo! Finance you can even get push notifications delivered to you, something of which simply doesn’t happen when trading offline.

We’re reliant on newspapers, TV reports and simply get information after it’s happened, making decisions you make less timely and reactionary after the horse has already bolted.

Safer Investing

While we aren’t suggesting using a professional broker is unsafe, you’ll find online trading is much safer as you’re ultimately trading behind layers of digital encryption on a device that’s only used by yourself.

Offline trading is using someone that you’re kind of at a mercy with. If they’re not part of a major firm, and sole brokers particularly could have lesser internet security and less secure office space, leaving your data potentially open to violation.

Mistakes from other people can also lead to you losing serious money, and even if you make a mistake or are a victim of fraud, at least you know it’s on your own head.

Installing antivirus software and VPNs can boost your online security even further, making it almost impossible to have your information hacked and keep your online trading accounts safe.

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