Real Time Stock Quotes - Crucial Data for Traders, While Often Not Needed for Investors
While real time stock quotes are indispensable data for active traders, pasive long-term investors shouldn't particularly worry about not having them.
There is a mass of financial data providers offering real time stock quotes to investors, which makes sense, because this is a profitable business. Stock exchanges worldwide are selling real time and delayed quotes to their members and vendors, who try to sell them further to end clients not only to cover their cost for getting the data, but to make some profit out of it. Each stock exchange is having its own policy regarding data distribution, but in developed countries people are already used to "no free launch" approach. In some emerging markets, where stock exchange data is not that interesting for global financial data providers, you might find stock exchanges providing real time data or perhaps delayed data even for free. Regardless of the type of stock market participant you are (active or passive), vendors will try to convince you that you definitely need real time stock quotes to succeed in playing the stock market game. But hey investors, did you honestly ask yourself if you really need such quality data?
If you will do a little search over the web, you will find number of articles suggesting almost direct relationship between having real time stock quotes and trading success. One could only wish it would be that easy. The truth is, investors, you don't need to work with real time data. If you buy a stock every now and then and then hold it for certain period of time, you can easily satisfy with delayed and most of the time even end of day (EOD) data quality. This way you can refresh your portfolio regularly and you know exactly where you are with your positions. At the same time, you don't spend any money for the quotes, since EOD and often also delayed data can be obtained on the web for free.
And then there is another group of stock market participants, whom we call traders. When speaking about trading, the holding period of positions is shortened dramatically compared to investors. While investors can hold positions for few weeks, months and even years, traders often hold positions for only few minutes, hours, rarely even a few days. To put it in other words, timing is all there is for traders, nothing else matters. Real time stock quotes are therefore crucial for their success. Actually, they can't even trade without real time data. Most of the time traders do their job as professionals, they do it for living. In comparison to investors, traders need real time stock quotes, while investors just like to have them.
We are writing this article because we would like to point out, that inexperienced investors often spend a lot of money on software, data, and different services, which on the provide little or no added value to their trading/investing success. You should focus on things that are really important, which we understand, can be often difficult with all those people from financial industry trying to sell you anything they can to make some money. Buy the way, there is another workaround that might be fine for you. If you enjoy so much real time blinking quotes on your screen, why don't you open an CFD, Forex, Spread Betting or any other similar account, where you don't trade directly stocks, but providers do offer you free real time quotes for these instruments, which are based on the underlying stock or commodity price. The thing is that this data (which is not stock exchange data but brokerage house data) is delivered to you for free most of the times and you even don't have any minimum trading requirements or other obligations. One such broker is for example English broker eToro.com or Swiss broker Dukascopy.com.
Some real time stock quotes can be also found within our website, just follow the stock market today section in the navigation bar at the top of the page.
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Written by: Goran Dolenc