Trading tools refer to the software and data that is supplied by each online broker to assist you in managing your portfolio and monitoring market movements. Most online brokers allow you to select a number of shares to place in a personal ‘watch list' and also view current buy and sell orders, known as ‘market depth'. While indicating the current price of a particular share you also get to view whether the greater price pressure is on the buy or sell side. Other indicator tools offered by online brokers include the various sector indexes, charting tools and real-time price data. The timeliness of price data may vary from end of the previous day, 20-minute delayed, real-time or dynamic. Most online brokers offer real-time or dynamic these days. The importance of timeliness of data will vary depending upon the type of trader you are. The shorter your buy and sell timeframe, the more important it is that you're making decisions with the latest information available. Charting tools may vary in sophistication from static price graphs to interactive charting across a number of shares and or indexes. Most online brokers also allow you to manage your portfolio online using their portfolio management software. The value of your portfolio is updated either at the end of each day or in real time. For an indication of the tools and timeliness of data offered by each online broker.
Published: 5 October 2005