If you mutter in annoyance each time you pay your brokerage $30 to buy or sell stocks, here's some cause for celebration: Brokerage trading fees have been falling, according to a recent report from Jane Kim in The Wall Street Journal.

Kim explains that, ". a wave of mergers among discount brokerages is creating opportunities for competitors to poach disgruntled customers. At the same time, established financial services firms are looking to capture more of their customers' assets." Want some examples of lower fees? Here you go:

TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD), formed when Ameritrade merged with TD Waterhouse, cut online trading commissions from $11 at Ameritrade, and between $10 and $18 at TD Waterhouse, to $10 across the board. E*Trade (NYSE:ET), which has grabbed BrownCo from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and also digested Harrisdirect, is offering trades from $7 to $13, while honoring $5 trades that BrownCo customers enjoyed before the acquisition.

Charles Schwab (NASDAQ:SCHW) has cut its online fees from $20 to $13, while Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) are also offering low fees. Kim notes that Fidelity "has cut commissions and other fees on its stocks, bonds, options and other products 13 times since 2003." Many newer, lesser-known outfits are offering extremely low fees -- such as $1 to $5.

For all the useful information in her article, I must take issue with the subhead the Journal's editors attached to Kim's piece: "It's getting cheaper to play the market." When we Fools talk about investing in the stock market, we're usually talking about the carefully considered and selected firms where we park our hard-earned dollars. The idea of "playing" the market is really the antithesis of true investing. Sure, some people are reckless gamblers in stocks, buying and selling on whims, holding for minutes or days, betting on psychology or graphed patterns, and trying to time their way to wealth. But this reckless approach rarely works.

To start building your wealth the Foolish way, pop in to our Broker Center to learn how to choose the brokerage that's best for you. You can even compare several respected brokerages, including one that offers $4 trades.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. The Fool has a disclosure policy.