What Are the Different Types of Secondary Market Trading?

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  • Written By: Osmand Vitez
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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Secondary market trading is typically the most common form of exchange between different types of securities. For example, a few of the largest secondary markets include the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ, both located in the United States. Here, investors buy and sell stock on a daily basis, where the profits and losses go toward individual investors rather than companies in secondary market trading. Primary market trading occurs when a company issues stock at an initial offering. Financial institutions are typically the purchasers of these stocks, with proceeds going directly to the issuing company.

During an initial public offering, the underwriter of a company’s stock offering looks for institutional investors. In most cases, these investors are large banks, securities firms, and other financial institutions looking to make a profit through passive investments. The underwriter also ensures that some of the company’s stock goes into the secondary market, where individual investors trade securities. Secondary market trading — with profits and losses on an individual basis — can provide information on the sentiment of investor belief in a company. For example, a company whose stock does not trade well on the secondary market may experience lower expectations for future securities trading.


Another secondary market trading exists for other asset types, such as mortgages and loans. In this market, lenders can sell mortgages and loans to other financial institutions. The purpose of this trading is to gain the majority of money made in a loan at a single time. Though the lender selling the mortgage or loan does not usually get the full amount of the loan, they can benefit from receiving a large cash inflow. The buyer in this secondary trading market then makes money off of the purchased mortgage or loan as the borrower makes repayments; the remaining interest owed on the loan typically provides the income for the secondary market buyer.

Secondary markets in an economy allow investors of all types to generate passive income through financial investments. In some cases, strong secondary market trading environments can encourage investments from foreign companies or individuals. This in turn places more money into a domestic economy because the secondary market moves money from an outside investor — that is, a foreign entity — to a domestic investor, who will most likely use this money in the domestic market. Primary markets also experience this phenomenon. Either way, strong trading markets are necessary to encourage economic growth through passive investments.


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