Active Traders in the US: Perspectives on Trading, Behavior, and Technology Adoption

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13 March 2016
Ashley Longabaugh


Self-directed investors are individuals who place their own trades online and are a subset of the retail investor market. The online self-directed brokerage market consists of investors with a wide range of trading activities, demographic profiles, risk tolerances, and technology adoption levels. Active traders, defined by Celent as traders who make at least 10 trades per month, are a critical segment of the self-directed retail brokerage market in the United States. Active traders represent a small percentage of the overall self-directed market; however, they are a profitable division to most online brokerage firms.

This report provides an overview and analysis of the active traders market, including key market and technology trends, major market players, and Celent’s outlook for the active trader segment.

The larger online brokerage space is a highly competitive and crowded market in the US, and the same is true of the active trader market. The active trader has a plethora of choice when deciding between active trader platforms.

“The proliferation of the Internet and evolution of technology has brought the financial markets to the retail investor,” says Ashley Globerman, an analyst with Celent’s Wealth Management practice and author of the report. “Advancements in technology and the growing sophistication of retail investors have motivated firms to innovate and offer more sophisticated features, while putting pressure on commissions.”

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Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus
North America