We have a lot to thank the internet for. Being able to speak to family across the other side of the world at the touch of a button, annoying memes that we get tagged in, but mostly, making trading accessible to everyone all over the world.
Through online platforms like CMC Markets, anyone can log on and start trading. This is a massive boost to financial sector, as more and more private customers are coming on board to do their own trading online.
Since the markets opened, there has always been a skewed stereotype that trading can only be done by experiences stock brokers with rolled up sleeves on the trading floor, talking on two phones at a time while shouting ‘sell’. Now, anyone with access to the internet can start trading within minutes by logging on and signing up to an online trading platform.
There are many benefits of online trading for the individual looking to get and ‘entry’ into stockbroking. For a start, it almost cuts out the middleman. It wasn’t so long ago, that buying stocks and shares was a complicated process which meant calling through to a broker, or even actually having to meet them. In the meantime, the great price that you wanted to buy at is fluctuating. This is another great benefit. Time. Online trading platforms make it easy to buy stocks in real time. You can get the price you want in the click of a button.
Another reason even people that have been trading for years are turning to the online format, it because it’s cheaper. Although most platforms will charge you a fee for each trade, it isn’t anywhere near as much as a broker will charge you. This is great if you want to carry out multiple trades and do not wish to be burdened with loads of fee’s, and also means you can spread your wings into things like Forex and CFD without it being costly and time consuming. More intricate trades are usually charged at a higher price by brokers themselves, but most online trading platforms have a one off, flat rate fee for any trades that you wish to place, which gives you a lot more flexibility and choice.
Being able to monitor your investments in real time is also a great benefit. This saves you from needing to make countless phone calls to automated systems just to find out your current value, or at worst trying to work it out yourself from unit price and then risking having potentially inaccurate information. Potentially, one day we could live in a world where ALL trading is carried out in this way.
When using a brokerage or a stockbroker, there is always the worry in the back of a person’s mind that they may be bias for one reason or another towards certain investments. At least when you are choosing the trades yourself, you have full and complete control. This also means that you take on your own risk, and no on is to blame if you make losses.
Most sophisticated trading platforms offer ‘buy at’ and ‘sell at’ options, so if you don’t want to, you don’t even need to continuously monitor your investments. If you do want to, however, the possibilities are endless. Near enough all of the online trading platforms that are currently popular offer the ability to have an application on your phone, so you really can track your investments anywhere. There’s something therapeutic about sitting on the long commute to work tracking your FTSE tracker fund to see how it’s doing in the current uncertain market.
In future, it is likely there will still be a need for financial experts to actually give advice on trades, but it could be that in our lifetime we will see bodies on the floor executing trades as a thing of the past. Technology is increasingly taking over, and the financial market still hasn’t given any indication as to whether it is going to roll with, or resist the change. Cutting out the margin for human error is also a really big bonus, and although computers don’t always get it right, they do more of the time than humans.