So in the past, before they had computers, I imagined brokerage was the fee given to a stock broker to give you advice on what stocks to buy, or to ring up and make a trade for you.
But now everything is automated and on the internet so what is it you get when you pay brokerage? In essence I'm asking what are the activities that a brokerage firm actually do.
I can think of stuff like build a website so you can buy and sell the stock, communicating with the stock exchange to buy and sell etc.
I imagine (and I could be wrong) the stock exchange would be kind of just like this massive database sitting somewhere , and brokerage firms would have software to access this database in order to buy and sell stock. Maybe to access the stock exchange, there would be some sort of access fee?
So in theory, would it be possible to build your own software to buy your own stock?