The Human Touch

From its beginning in 1792, commissions for trading on the New York Stock Exchange were enormous, and fixed to a Byzantine rate card of quantities, rates, and values. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, threats of anti-trust action prompted negotiated commissions and, since 1975, the costs of buying stocks in the U.S. markets have been in a steady downtrend, with institutional rates falling to just pennies per share by 2008.

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