What types of services do online investment platforms offer?

Online trading
Financial intermediaries
Robo adviser

What types of services do online investment platforms offer?

Online investment platforms typically provide a wide range of services and functions, including order execution, investment product distribution, portfolio construction, research and stock analysis, and investment advice (commonly known as “robo-advice”). Here are some common examples:

Order execution

Some online brokerage platforms may only provide clients with an order execution service (i.e. no investment advice would be provided) for listed securities.

Product distribution

Some online platforms may offer a range of funds to clients who are expected to make their own investment decisions without advice.


Some platforms may provide investment advice such as recommending a model portfolio with a product mix calibrated to the client’s personal circumstances (commonly called robo-advice). These platforms usually obtain client information through tools and processes such as risk-scoring/profiling and other questionnaires, and provide automated investment/portfolio management advice, strategies and services to clients via algorithms, data-driven strategy and other technology.

Additional services

Some online brokerage platforms may provide margin financing, securities borrowing and lending. Some also offer news, corporate information, stock quotes, research and analytical tools etc. Some platforms may also provide links to other internet resources in providing information on the investment products and social networking platforms which allow users to share and discuss investments.

Whether you are a seasoned investor or one who is just beginning to manage your investments, it is important to understand the nature of the products and services offered, terms and conditions, fees and charges involved, and operational procedures of the online platforms before you decide to use them.


16 April 2018