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If you want to invest your money in the stock market and other instruments, you need to get a stock broker. A Stock broker is the middle man between you and the market. He buys and sells stocks and other instruments on your behalf, and in consideration charges you with a small commission.
Today stock brokers provide you with a number of services besides trading. There are a large number of brokerage firms which provide different services and features. So it becomes an important task to find a broker which suits your need well.
Exchanges have purchased many of the independent ECNs (electronic communications networks, the basis for electronic trading), expanding their presence in the budding electronic trading market. For example, NYSE Euronext bought the Archipelago ECN, and Nasdaq bought Instinet, its own ECN. CME and CBOT offer Globex and e-cbot, respectively, etc. ICE and ISE are almost exclusively electronic.
Investment products and services
Online Stock Broker Commission Chart http://www.bullishness.com/online-stock-brokers