There can be no argument that much in the world has changed technologically in the last thirty to forty years. Virtually every machine we use these days has a computer inside it, and when it comes to personal computers, many people own more than one. Conversely, about forty years ago,Microsoft was in its infancy, and personal computers were just beginning to be introduced to the consumer for purchase with only 64K of RAM, but a hefty price tag of three or four thousand dollars apiece.
You might be wondering what this has to do with investing. The answer is that with the advancements we have seen in technology, we have been forced to make changes in the way we invest. Here are 8 ways that technology has changed investing.
1 Physical Stocks Have Become Electronic
Gone are the days of old when securities were traded on actual stock certificates. Although this change took place around forty years ago, it was made possible through technological advances enabling the trades to be done electronically. This advancement also allowed more transactions to take place at a much faster rate.
2 Stock Day Trading Jobs Were Created
Along with technology changes, lower commission rates on stock trades due to the banning of fixed commissions has increased trading volumes and enabled many more transactions to take place. This resulted in the creation of day trading jobs.
3 More Americans Own Stocks
According to many internet sources, the number of Americans who own stock has also increased significantly over the last thirty to forty years. The continuing evolution of the computer as well as the internet, smart phones, and other technological advancements has enabled people to trade stocks overseas as well as within our own borders.
Buyer and sellers are brought together by technology in ways that were simply not possible before. Plus, the internet has spread knowledge of stocks and investing so more people are able to find out the answers to their questions and feel more comfortable to get started investing.
4 Stock Brokerage Firms are More Efficient
For brokers, one advantage of being able to do more in a faster period of time is an increase in their overall efficiency. What used to take hours on paper now takes mere minutes on a computer. Freeing up, this time, allows them to better manage your investments and handle a larger client base. Of course, a larger client base means a better bottom line for them.
5 Some Investors are Bypassing Stock Brokers
Consumers who invest are now only a mouse click away from making changes in their portfolios. Some are skipping brokerage firms altogether. This can have a negative impact on their bottom line when they make trading blunders due to their own inexperience.
6 Real Estate Agents Have Greater Access
The smartphone was introduced approximately nine years ago, allowing agents nearly instant access to changes in property portfolios. Agents who are attempting to find investment real estate for their clients have faster, more accurate information available. Properties which have been sold or are under negotiation can be updated easily via the internet, allowing agents and their clients to move on to others which are still available.
7 Clients Have Direct Access to Real Estate Properties
Properties can be viewed by prospective buyers via the internet. The client can then bypass real estate they have no interest in, which can save time for both the client and the agent. Having the ability to look up information online about potential real estate investments turns the client into a partner with their agent. Today’s customer teams up with their agent to find, view and make decisions about their potential investments properties.
However, there is a downside. Clients sometimes come to count on the same access to their agent’s time. They text, tweet or call with the expectation of getting an immediate response and, furthermore, also anticipate being able to view the property at a moment’s notice.
8 Real Estate Advertising
The ability to update a property listing with just a few keystrokes is a definite advantage for the staff of a real estate office. Social media is a great way to advertise properties in addition to uploading photos and descriptions to a company website. This, in turn, can increase the amount of exposure a listing receives and get it sold faster. Faster sales potentially lead to more sales and increased revenue for the real estate agency as a whole.
It is true that the technological changes we have achieved in the past thirty to forty years are here to stay. Therefore, we must continue to change the way we use that technology to invest in our future. But no matter what changes are on the horizon, one thing is very clear. The power is now in the hands of the consumer.
About the Author: Kayla is a personal finance blogger in her mid-20s who loves to write about money topics of all kinds.