Brokers are obligated to execute their clients orders as soon as it is reasonably possible. In some instances brokers delay selling and buying stocks despite the wishes of their clients and in other instances simply refuse to execute the order. If this occurs it is possible the broker has an ulterior motive. For instance, if a broker is trying to inflate the value of a stock as part of an unethical investment scheme, it may be against his interests to sell the stock. The goal in many unethical investment schemes is to manipulate the value of a stock upward so that it appears as if the stock is "hot", than to advise "preferred costumers" to sell, allowing the stock to collapse on unsuspecting investors who are not in the "loop".
In times of rapidly advancing technology, there is a tendency for people to place too much trust in technology. Online trading is a good example of this tendency. In many cases the "advanced" technology that is being used is only a few years old and not completely debugged.
The following are some problems with online trading:
1) Inexperienced investors: occasionally clients get in over their head and conduct trades that are out side their financial ability to handle.
2) Unreasonably priced trades. Sometimes trades are executed at unreasonably high prices.
3) Technical problems. In some instances general computing errors occur and trades are misplaced. In other instances the on line brokerage firm lacks the infrastructure to handle large numbers of orders on a heavy trading day, the servers are overwhelmed and a trader is unable to trade.
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