Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.

We’ve all got used to buying books on Amazon or ordering the weekly shop online. We take for granted that once we’ve clicked ‘confirm’ we can sit back and wait. We don’t worry too much about the magic behind the scenes. Maybe we don’t care too much as long as we get the delivery we’re expecting.

Just as we’ve all got used to new ways of shopping, investors who used to pick up the phone to a stockbroker are now much more likely to invest at the click of a mouse. For one thing, it’s much cheaper to do it electronically. But buying or selling a share on a platform like Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service might seem just as mysterious.

So, what actually happens when you buy a share today? What’s going on behind the curtain? And how can you be sure that it’s all going to go to plan?

To answer these questions, I picked up with Alex Skrine, the head of electronic trading at Winterflood Securities, one of London’s leading market makers.

Alex explains how platforms like Fidelity’s use market makers like Winterflood to find the best price for your deal - literally in milliseconds.

He outlines the unique way in which UK retail investors can consider the price of a deal and decide whether to proceed. Or leave it to the platform to get the best price for them.

What Really Happens When You Buy a Share?

Important information: Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.

Topics covered:

BrokerageSharesUK

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