Reviewed by Sep 30, 2020| Updated on
A system relaying information to a user at a near-instantaneous speed or has a short delay from when the event occurred, it is called real-time. Further, a real-time stock or bond quote is a security's most recent offer to sell or buy. When a quick jump in a stock's price or the constant index change is reported, it means you are getting real-time information. In terms of technology, real-time is an interactive program that collects data and reports results immediately.
Online brokerages provide a real-time dashboard that displays stock quotes to the general public and their respective real-time changes, with very less lag time of up to 20 minutes. This way, clients can take their investment decisions on the most updated information.
While many financial websites give the public free stock quotes, many of them may not be in real-time they may be up to 20 minutes in delay. Therefore, when reading stock quotes from any financial website, check the posting time shown next to the stock quote to see if the quote is in real time.
The most significant factor impacting real-time stock trading is the sluggish approach the news agencies take. While intra-day traders urgently need real-time quotes instead of delayed quotes, they are not covered by financial news agencies. They postpone it for 15-20 minutes. Active trading will significantly fluctuate the price from minute to minute, and second to second.
In a rapidly rising or falling market, i.e. a volatile market, real-time quotes may find it difficult to keep up with the variations. It takes both energy and technology to keep up with real-time quotes; thus an updating expense is incurred. The companies will only give delayed quotes in order to escape this expense. Company A, for example, offers plenty of financial information but its stock quotes are delayed by at least 15 minutes.