Market makers

Market makers are typically banks and brokers who commit to trade shares and bonds, often in larger quantities than most other investors.

Markets only work well if there is a decent number of buyers and sellers, so that deals can get done. Otherwise, they become 'illiquid'. Enter market makers. In the equity market these are specialist members of the London Stock Exchange typically banks and brokers who commit to trade shares and bonds, often in larger quantities than most other investors.

They are particularly useful in relatively illiquid markets for, say, smaller stocks, where dealing can be difficult. But be warned: each market maker sets its own buying and selling (bid and offer) prices and the gap (or spread) can be wide when few market makers compete to trade a security.

So the more market makers there are, the better, as it increases competition and keeps prices keener.

See Tim Bennett's video tutorial: What are market makers?

Most Popular

Fan heater vs oil heater – which is cheaper?
Personal finance

Fan heater vs oil heater – which is cheaper?

Sales of portable heaters have soared, as households look to cut their energy costs. But which is better: a fan heater or an oil heater? We put them t…
21 Nov 2022
Stock market crash? This time it’s (slightly) different
Stockmarkets

Stock market crash? This time it’s (slightly) different

The bears expecting a stock market crash have got it wrong, says Max King.
30 Nov 2022
Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day?
Personal finance

Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day?

The weather is getting colder and energy bills are rising, but is it really cheaper to leave the heating on low all day or should you only turn it on …
1 Dec 2022