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The Emergence Of On Line Tradi Essay

4546 words - 18 pages

All the enthusiasm in the brokerage industry no longer centers on mutual funds as it did before internet became an everyday household word. Now, much attention surrounds on-line investing in the brokerage industry. On-line investing has only recently begun to expand at astronomical rates. As personal computers become nearly an essential part of life, consumers are beginning to manage their portfolios on-line. Full-service brokerages may now be facing competition from their cyberspace counterparts as these Internet firms expand into their market. With the proliferation of new firms in the industry, consumers are becoming exposed to increasingly lower trade prices. As in any industry, the growing role of technology will lead to many changes. The structure of the industry as well as the conduct and performance of the firms within it will give an idea of where this industry may be moving. From my research and analysis, it seems evident that the industry is growing due to the emergence of on-line investing. Also, on-line brokers and full-service brokers are converging towards a middle ground as the industry adapts to this new technology.First, it is necessary to give some background information on this industry. As of September 1998, there were 5,591 firms in the industry. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the NASD Regulation (NASDR) regulate these firms. "The Nard's responsibilities include establishing rules governing its broker/dealer members' business conduct; setting qualification standards for securities industry professionals: examining members for their financial and operational condition, as well as their compliance with appropriate rules and regulations; investigating alleged violations of securities laws and the NASD's own rules; discipline [these violations]; and responding to inquiries and complaints from investors and members" (nasd.com). The jurisdiction of the NASDR is limited to the NASD members and their investors. The SEC handles matters outside the NASDR jurisdiction. The SEC is an independent quasijudicial regulatory agency that administers the federal securities laws. The two most important of these laws are the Securities Act of 1934 and the Security Exchange Act of 1934. The Securities Act of 1933 requires that investors receive financial and other information regarding securities being offered for public sale. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 prohibits companies from participating in fraudulent and unfair behavior. It also requires that investors have access to current financial information regarding securities. These laws entitle the SEC to oversee the securities markets, register and regulate brokerages, and review new products in the industry. Thus, a potential entrant must seek the approval of the SEC and possibly the NASDR before it can enter the industry. This is only one of the entry barriers facing this industry.The entry barriers in this industry were much higher prior to 1975. At this time, all...

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