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“Trade like a pro!”.
“The whole stock market on your screen!”
“Take control of your securities transactions yourself and be independent of time and place.
place. “

The three advertising messages from two online brokers pointedly refer to a fundamentally changed trading practices of many small investors that have resulted from the possibilities of online trading. Until the end of the 1990s – and often beyond and often beyond – generally relied on the telephone and bank advisors to trade securities. Trading, the proliferation of discount online brokers and the establishment of the internet in everyday social life mean that today’s retail investors are able to operate independently on the financial market, regardless of time and place. To put it in the words of a small investor: With the computer the retail investor has “slipped into the driver’s seat” (cf. Zwick 2005: 30).

With the rise of the digital do-it-yourself investor, the Internet has also become a central place for market observation, market analysis and knowledge acquisition as a form of self-expertization (cf. e.g. Zerfaß et al. 2012; Williamson/Smith 2010). One example of this is the now unmanageable online secondary market for which, among other things, includes free financial portals, trading software, newsletters, stock market blogs, YouTube tutorials and the internet forums that are the focus here.

About the author

Michael Walter
Dr. Michael Walter has been a research associate at the Institute of Sociology / SOCIUM at the University of Bremen since July 2013. Previously, he was a research associate in the DFG project
“Migration and Comedy — Social Functions and Conversational Potentials of Comedy and Satire in interethnic relations in Germany” at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Essen. His studies of sociology and modern German literature at the University of Konstanz, he completed his in 2007 with a master’s thesis on the reception of conspiracy theories about September 11 in the leading media. Michael Walter completed his doctorate on the subject of “Image politics of economic and socio-political reform initiatives in the Federal Republic of Germany”.