Last Updated on 11 September, 2023 by Samuelsson
When many people think of stock markets and trading, their immediate notion is one of seemingly chaotic floor of the New York Stock Exchange, or the sight of London based bankers furiously phoning to get the shares and close deals at the right time for the best price. Put simply, the trading floors and banking headquarters still, to many people, represent what trading is, where it is done, and who is doing it.
Much like many commercial, social, or financial activities, trading has become an online staple, ubiquitous and now mainstream. In the days when the trading floors and upper echelons of banking halls were the only place where trading and stock exchanges happened, the idea of online trading, open and accessible to anyone who wanted to create a free account was not imaginable. How things have changed.
It is all about the options now available to people wanting to trade. In essence, trading and playing in the stock market is now widely accessible, open to all rather than being more of a closed fiscal fortress only for bankers and the wealthy. Much like biggest crypto success stories, where currencies such as bitcoin went from niche to mainstream, trading has become commonplace among the masses, or at least way more people invest and trade than ever used to.
Internet Investors Create Whole New Trading Landscape
Cast your mind back to the early days of the internet age. Few people had access, then more, and now it is accessible to most of the population, used for everything from ordering groceries to buying cars, booking holidays to securing home insurance and everything in-between. It also revolutionised the trading landscape. First, the information available about how, where, when, and why to invest became widely and openly available to anyone who had online access.
From videos to guides, banking blogs to investment tips, the internet became a repository for information. During this revolution, trading slowly but sure became open to a wider demographic, with people who never thought of stock markets as being for them, dipping their toes in the oft choppy but sometimes calm investment and trading waters.
One of the main evolutions was the opening of apps and trading platforms that, quite simply, were there for anyone who wanted to sign up. Internet investors became the new stock market trading floor traders, as it were. Whether small sums just to enjoy the excitement of watching a stock rise, or fall, or larger sums designed to diversify portfolios with the investment strategies guidance of those financial gurus behind the apps or platforms, the landscape of trading became a more level playing field.
As the virtual trading floor and investment fraternity became populated by people from all walks of life and often less money than one would expect from what we perceive as more ‘traditional traders’, the evolution of trading moved apace, and continues to do so. But does this diversification of investment opportunity mean that trading becomes potentially less profitable or confusing? With a profusion of trading platforms online and new apps by the day, maybe the opportunities have become too great.
Sometimes, choice is wonderful. Sometimes, it can become so great as to become confusing. This is absolutely true in the investment world, the trading sphere, the stocks, and shares labyrinth that so many meander around, with varying levels of advice and equally variable levels of success. With a plethora of trading techniques, investing is undoubtedly more open and available. But perhaps the key to making the right choices can boil down to garnering advice from the right people.
With the dawn of online investment opportunities, the diversity of opinions and expert advice also emerged. From trading apps that are backed by investment professionals to online course that ‘teach’ you the basics of stock market and other investment portfolio activities. In short, a profusion of choices can be confusing, making educating oneself in financial investments, trading, and indeed the rules, regulation, and potential pitfalls becomes even more critical.
We all know that online markets have, almost undeniably created a diverse market of both investments and investors, some apps even investing small, rounded up pennies for you as you spend on a debit card. With this, however, comes the investment diversification conundrum: Do I diversify my portfolio by doing it myself online, perhaps with tiny amounts increasing based on market fluctuations, or stick with my more traditional, investment banker recommended investments?
Though there is no silver bullet answer to these questions, the reality is that trading techniques and investment opportunities are unrecognisable compared to what they were before online opportunities became commonplace. In closing, then, it may be wise to go back to an earlier piece of advice; whatever your trading techniques of choice, and however you may wish to diversify your portfolio of investments, or indeed start investing, advice from a financial advisor, even beforyou sign up to an app, may be worth its weight in gold.