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Canada's market ecosystem

Who's who in Canadian markets Add to ...

When you buy and sell securities, your money flows through a network of advisers, dealers and marketplaces. Market participants include:

  • Investors – In Canada, there are many kinds of investors. Two kinds of investors include: “retail” investors (individuals investing their own money) and “institutional” investors (including pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies).
  • Intermediaries – Intermediaries include dealers and advisers. Dealers buy and sell investments on behalf of investors. Advisers provide investments recommendations and manage the portfolios of investors.
  • Marketplaces – Marketplaces are where the buying and selling of certain publicly traded securities (for example, stocks, bonds, investment funds, derivatives, futures, etc.) takes place. Marketplaces are exchanges and alternative trading systems (ATSs). Canadian stock exchanges include the Canadian National Stock Exchange (CNSX), the Montreal Exchange, the TSX Venture Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Canadian ATSs include Chi-X Canada, MATCH Now and Omega ATS.
  • Information Processors – Information Processors gather and distribute order and trade information to provide investors and market participants with a single source of such information.
  • Clearing Agencies – Clearing Agencies provide a centralized facility to clear and settle trades or act as a centralized depository of securities.
  • Issuers – Companies or investment funds that sell securities to investors.

Key players in Canadian markets

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To see how the different market participants are connected, use this infographic that shows their relationship and interaction.

High frequency trading: High frequency trading is made possible by the power of technology. It allows for the rapid buying and selling of shares using algorithms that analyze and execute orders depending on market conditions.

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

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