TSX TRADING

TSX TODAY: Competition Between Online Brokers Reduces Commissions

There's much to learn about the online brokerage industry. Unfortunately, many investors learn this the hard way.

With so many options available, choosing the right broker is as crucial as making the right investment.

For years, investors were accustomed to paying $9.95 or higher per trade based on their account equity or trade activity. However, those days have come to an end.

When evaluating brokers, keep these factors in mind:

* How fast can the broker execute my trade?

* What type of technology does the broker use?

* What level of customer service does the broker provide?

* How much will the broker charge me per trade?

The competitive nature of the new online trading industry has led to lower commission rates for all investors. While well-known brokers such as Ameritrade or ETrade are still charging around $10 per trade, smaller firms can charge less than $3.

Investors willing to look beyond the industry leaders also may find that smaller brokers, such as RushTrade, have more to offer in other areas, including customer service, order routing and trading technology.

RushTrade has made a name for itself as a leader among online brokers when it comes to fast, reliable trading and customer service. With the increase in competition among online brokers, RushTrade has structured its commissions to attract every type of investor.


What is S&P/TSX Composite Index?

S&P/TSX Composite Index

The TSX stock exchange defines an index as a statistical measure of the state of the stock market, based on the performance of certain stocks. The performance of the index is typically viewed as a broad indicator of the direction of the economy. Originally known as the TSE 300 the composite index was created in 1977, with a base level of 1000 as of 1975. Through the years the index consisted of a sample of 300 companies, though the companies that comprised the index varied from year to year. Stocks were dropped when they no longer met exchange requirements for size and liquidity.

Effective May 1st, 2002 the index has been managed by Standard & Poor's Corp. of New York. The name was changed from the TSE 300 to the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Along with the S&P branding came new rules. Tougher criteria for meeting size and liquidity standards were imposed and there is now no fixed number of companies in the index. Since May 2002 the number of companies has dropped from 300 to 212 as of November of 2003.

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