Stock trading today is both easier and faster than ever before, owing to the adoption of new technology in the investment industry in recent years. The widespread use of new technology has transformed the investment industry in multiple ways - introducing new competitors, increasing accessibility and ease of use, and reducing fees - which has created more diversity among investors. Access to new types of information , such as advanced and alternative data, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to help calculate risks has further contributed to the shifting landscape of the industry.

How has technology changed investor demographics?

There are two main ways technology has made investing more accessible to larger groups of people from more diverse backgrounds: Robo-advisors and online trading platforms . Primarily, both offer investments with lower fees due to the absence of human expertise. The popularity of online trading platforms, such as Robinhood, eToro and WeBull (just to name a few) has been especially prominent since the start of 2021 . Today, most online trading platforms offer commission-free trades, but that has not always been the case. Robinhood, the most popular online trading platform , was designed specifically to provide retail investors easy access to commission-free trading, which disrupted the market by setting the new stardard: it is affordable, and it is for everyone, opening the market also to investors with lower wealth.

Can technology be used to beat the market?

While most fund managers use more traditional types of methods, artificial intelligence is becoming more popular . AI can be used within the investment industry to help analyze large sets of data and predict market movements, which has shown to deliver higher long-term returns. Despite the well-proven results of machines, human expertise in investing is not pointless. Combining human knowledge with a deeper access to information and alternative data (like app usage, social media, and online search trends) can also help investors make better investment decisions.


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