Legend has it that Joseph Kennedy sold all the stock he owned the day before “Black Thursday,” the start of the catastrophic 1929 stock market crash. Many investors suffered enormous losses in the crash, which became one of the hallmarks of the Great Depression.What made Kennedy sell? According to the story, he got a stock tip from a shoeshine boy. In the 1920s, the stock market was the realm of the rich and powerful. Kennedy thought that if a shoeshine boy could own stock, something must have gone terribly wrong.
Now, plenty of “common” people own stock. Online trading has given anyone who has a computer, enough money to open an account and a reasonably good financial history the ability to invest in the market. You don’t have to have a personal broker or a disposable fortune to do it, and most analysts agree that average people trading stock is no longer a sign of impending doom.
The market has become more accessible, but that doesn’t mean you should take online trading lightly.
When you buy and sell stocks online, you’re using an online broker that largely takes the place of a human broker. You still use real money, but instead of talking to someone about investments, you decide which stocks to buy and sell, and you request your trades yourself.
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