In this section, we discuss the practical matter of going about buying and selling shares of stock. Individuals typically buy and sell shares by using a licensed brokerage firm or broker who makes the actual trade. Historically, stockbrokers were hired only by wealthy individuals and families, but today a wide range of stock brokerages exist for all price ranges. So-called “full-service” brokers offer a suite of research, opinion, and expert advice and can offer a personal relationship between the broker and the client. For more budget conscious clients, discount brokerages exist that offer a much more bare-bones service offering, in some cases simply executing purchases and sales. Over the past two decades, electronic trading has grown significantly, with many online brokerages offering both research and opinion as well as trades at low prices, some asking as little as $5 or less per trade in commission. (See also: How To Choose Your First Stock Broker.) Regardless of the type of brokerage used, the mechanics of buying or selling shares is fairly uniform. First, a stock quote is obtained. In the early days of stock exchanges, price information was transmitted via tickertape​ – a long ribbon of paper that printed basic data via telegraph wire. That is why today we still refer to stock quotes as the ticker. Read more: Stocks Basics: What Causes Stock Prices To Change? … z5K6iCU6ZJ Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook 97750