Trader (finance)

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A trader is a person or entity, in finance, who buys and sells financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, commodities, derivatives, and mutual funds in the capacity of agent, hedger, arbitrageur, or speculator.

Finance Academic discipline studying businesses and investments

Finance is a field that is concerned with the allocation (investment) of assets and liabilities over space and time, often under conditions of risk or uncertainty. Finance can also be defined as the art of money management. Participants in the market aim to price assets based on their risk level, fundamental value, and their expected rate of return. Finance can be split into three sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.

Stock financial instrument

The stock of a corporation is all of the shares into which ownership of the corporation is divided. In American English, the shares are commonly known as "stocks". A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. This typically entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets, or voting power, often dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is necessarily equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders.

Bond (finance) instrument of indebtedness

In finance, a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. The most common types of bonds include municipal bonds and corporate bonds.


Duties and types

Traders are either professionals (institutional) working in a financial institution or corporations. They buy and sell financial instruments traded in the stock markets, derivatives markets and commodity markets, comprising the stock exchanges, derivatives exchanges, and the commodities exchanges. Several categories and designations for diverse kinds of traders are found in finance, these may include:

Stock market public entity for the trading of company stocks and shares

A stock market, equity market or share market is the aggregation of buyers and sellers of stocks, which represent ownership claims on businesses; these may include securities listed on a public stock exchange, as well as stock that is only traded privately. Examples of the latter include shares of private companies which are sold to investors through equity crowdfunding platforms. Stock exchanges list shares of common equity as well as other security types, e.g. corporate bonds and convertible bonds.

Derivatives market

The derivatives market is the financial market for derivatives, financial instruments like futures contracts or options, which are derived from other forms of assets.

Stock exchange organization that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade securities

A stock exchange, securities exchange or bourse, is a facility where stock brokers and traders can buy and sell securities, such as shares of stock and bonds and other financial instruments. Stock exchanges may also provide facilities for the issue and redemption of such securities and instruments and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Securities traded on a stock exchange include stock issued by listed companies, unit trusts, derivatives, pooled investment products and bonds. Stock exchanges often function as "continuous auction" markets with buyers and sellers consummating transactions via open outcry at a central location such as the floor of the exchange or by using an electronic trading platform.

A floor trader is a member of a stock or commodities exchange who trades on the floor of that exchange for his or her own account. The floor trader must abide by trading rules similar to those of the exchange specialists who trade on behalf of others. The term should not be confused with floor broker. Floor traders are occasionally referred to as registered competitive traders, individual liquidity providers or locals.

In financial markets, high-frequency trading (HFT) is a type of algorithmic trading characterized by high speeds, high turnover rates, and high order-to-trade ratios that leverages high-frequency financial data and electronic trading tools. While there is no single definition of HFT, among its key attributes are highly sophisticated algorithms, co-location, and very short-term investment horizons. HFT can be viewed as a primary form of algorithmic trading in finance. Specifically, it is the use of sophisticated technological tools and computer algorithms to rapidly trade securities. HFT uses proprietary trading strategies carried out by computers to move in and out of positions in seconds or fractions of a second.

Pattern day trader is a FINRA designation for a stock market trader who executes four or more day trades in five business days in a margin account, provided the number of day trades are more than six percent of the customer's total trading activity for that same five-day period.

See also

Commodity market physical or virtual transactions of buying and selling involving raw or primary commodities

A commodity market is a market that trades in the primary economic sector rather than manufactured products, such as cocoa, fruit and sugar. Hard commodities are mined, such as gold and oil. Investors access about 50 major commodity markets worldwide with purely financial transactions increasingly outnumbering physical trades in which goods are delivered. Futures contracts are the oldest way of investing in commodities. Futures are secured by physical assets. Commodity markets can include physical trading and derivatives trading using spot prices, forwards, futures, and options on futures. Farmers have used a simple form of derivative trading in the commodity market for centuries for price risk management.

In finance, a trading strategy is a fixed plan that is designed to achieve a profitable return by going long or short in markets. The main reasons that a properly researched trading strategy helps are its verifiability, quantifiability, consistency, and objectivity.

Related Research Articles

Financial market generic term for all markets in which trading takes place with capital

A financial market is a market in which people trade financial securities and derivatives at low transaction costs. Securities include stocks and bonds, and precious metals.

Financial capital is any economic resource measured in terms of money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or to provide their services to the sector of the economy upon which their operation is based, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc.

Speculation is the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable in the near future. In finance, speculation is also the practice of engaging in risky financial transactions in an attempt to profit from short term fluctuations in the market value of a tradable financial instrument—rather than attempting to profit from the underlying financial attributes embodied in the instrument such as capital gains, dividends, or interest.

Day trading Buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day

Day trading is speculation in securities, specifically buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day, such that all positions are closed before the market closes for the trading day. Traders who trade in this capacity with the motive of profit are therefore speculators. The methods of quick trading contrast with the long-term trades underlying buy and hold and value investing strategies. Day traders exit positions before the market closes to avoid unmanageable risks negative price gaps between one day's close and the next day's price at the open.

Futures contract standardized legal agreement to buy or sell something (usually a commodity or financial instrument) at a predetermined price (“forward price”) at a specified time (“delivery date”) in the future

In finance, a futures contract is a standardized forward contract, a legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future, between parties not known to each other. The asset transacted is usually a commodity or financial instrument. The predetermined price the parties agree to buy and sell the asset for is known as the forward price. The specified time in the future—which is when delivery and payment occur—is known as the delivery date. Because it is a function of an underlying asset, a futures contract is a derivative product.

Futures exchange Central financial exchange where people can trade standardized futures contracts

A futures exchange or futures market is a central financial exchange where people can trade standardized futures contracts; that is, a contract to buy specific quantities of a commodity or financial instrument at a specified price with delivery set at a specified time in the future. These types of contracts fall into the category of derivatives. The opposite of the futures market is the spots market, where trades will occur immediately after a transaction agreement has been made, rather than at a predetermined time in the future. Futures instruments are priced according to the movement of the underlying asset. The aforementioned category is named "derivatives" because the value of these instruments are derived from another asset class.

Hedge (finance)

A hedge is an investment position intended to offset potential losses or gains that may be incurred by a companion investment. A hedge can be constructed from many types of financial instruments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, insurance, forward contracts, swaps, options, gambles, many types of over-the-counter and derivative products, and futures contracts.

Chicago Board of Trade The worlds oldest options and futures exchange, located in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), established on April 3, 1848, is one of the world's oldest futures and options exchanges. On July 12, 2007, the CBOT merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to form CME Group. CBOT and three other exchanges now operate as designated contract markets (DCM) of the CME Group.

Market maker financial markets term

A market maker or liquidity provider is a company or an individual that quotes both a buy and a sell price in a financial instrument or commodity held in inventory, hoping to make a profit on the bid-offer spread, or turn. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines a "market maker" as a firm that stands ready to buy and sell stock on a regular and continuous basis at a publicly quoted price.

Stock trader

A stock trader or equity trader or share trader is a person or company involved in trading equity securities. Stock traders may be an agent, hedger, arbitrageur, speculator, stockbroker. Such equity trading in large publicly traded companies may be through a stock exchange. Stock shares in smaller public companies may be bought and sold in over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

Position (finance) binding commitment to buy or sell a given amount of financial instruments for a given price

In finance, a position is the amount of a particular security, commodity or currency held or owned by a person or entity.

A commodity broker is a firm or an individual who executes orders to buy or sell commodity contracts on behalf of the clients and charges them a commission. A firm or individual who trades for his own account is called a trader. Commodity contracts include futures, options, and similar financial derivatives. Clients who trade commodity contracts are either hedgers using the derivatives markets to manage risk, or speculators who are willing to assume that risk from hedgers in hopes of a profit.

Option (finance) Right to buy or sell a certain thing at a later date at an agreed price

In finance, an option is a contract which gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price prior to or on a specified date, depending on the form of the option. The strike price may be set by reference to the spot price of the underlying security or commodity on the day an option is taken out, or it may be fixed at a discount or at a premium. The seller has the corresponding obligation to fulfill the transaction – to sell or buy – if the buyer (owner) "exercises" the option. An option that conveys to the owner the right to buy at a specific price is referred to as a call; an option that conveys the right of the owner to sell at a specific price is referred to as a put. Both are commonly traded, but the call option is more frequently discussed.

In finance, a trade is an exchange of a security for "cash", typically a short-dated promise to pay in the currency of the country where the 'exchange' is located. The price at which a financial instrument is traded, is determined by the supply and demand for that financial instrument.

  1. Order initiation and execution.
  2. Risk management and order routing.
  3. Order matching and conversion into trade.
  4. Affirmation and confirmation.
  5. Clearing and Settlement.

In finance a covered warrant is a type of warrant that has been issued without an accompanying bond or equity. Like a normal warrant, it allows the holder to buy or sell a specific amount of equities, currency, or other financial instruments from the issuer at a specified price at a predetermined date.

Exchange (organized market) highly organized trading market

An exchange, or bourse also known as a trading exchange or trading venue, is an organized market where (especially) tradable securities, commodities, foreign exchange, futures, and options contracts are sold and bought.

A financial data vendor provides market data to financial firms, traders, and investors. The data distributed is collected from sources such as a stock exchange feeds, brokers and dealer desks or regulatory filings.

Sharia and securities trading Muslim view on trading

The Islamic banking and finance movement that developed in the late 20th century as part of the revival of Islamic identity sought to create an alternative to conventional banking that complied with sharia (Islamic) law. Following sharia it banned from its practices riba (usury) – which it defined as any interest paid on all loans of money – and involvement in haram (forbidden) goods or services such as pork or alcohol. It also forbids gambling (maisir) and excessive risk.