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All the enthusiasm in the brokerage industry no longer centers on mutual funds as it did before internet became an everyday household word Now much attention surrounds on-line investing in the brokerage industry On-line investing has only recently begun to expand at astronomical rates As personal computers become nearly an essential part of life consumers are beginning to manage their portfolios on-line Full-service brokerages may now be facing competition from their cyberspace counterparts as these Internet firms expand into their market With the proliferation of new firms in the industry consumers are becoming exposed to increasingly lower trade prices As in any industry the growing role of technology will lead to many changes The structure of the industry as well as the conduct and performance of the firms within it will give an idea of where this industry may be moving From my research and analysis it seems evident that the industry is growing due to the emergence of on-line investing Also on-line brokers and full-service brokers are converging towards a middle ground as the industry adapts to this new technology First it is necessary to give some background information on this industry As of September 1998 there were 5591 firms in the industry The Securities and Exchange Commission SEC and the NASD Regulation NASDR regulate these firms The Nards responsibilities include establishing rules governing its brokerdealer members business conduct setting qualification standards for securities industry professionals examining members for their financial and operational condition as well as their compliance with appropriate rules and regulations investigating alleged violations of securities laws and the NASDs own rules discipline these violations and responding to inquiries and complaints from investors and members nasdcom The jurisdiction of the NASDR is limited to the NASD members and their investors The SEC handles matters outside the NASDR jurisdiction The SEC is an independent quasijudicial regulatory agency that administers the federal securities laws The two most important of these
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