It’s widely known that more of us than ever before have been drawn to online trading over the last few years. This fact was reinforced only recently when eToro (www.eToro.com) the free to download online trading platform recorded its millionth customer download. What’s less clear is exactly why this upsurge in popularity for online trading has happened. Simply put, what has changed in the circumstances or behaviors of millions of people to lead them towards online trading and what are they getting out of this experience that billions more people may be missing out on?
No Such Thing As Bad Publicity
The global economy has received a series of sucker punches over the last few years and at the very center of this phenomenon have been the world’s financial markets. Given that this is so, how can the explosion in popularity witnessed by do it yourself online trading be explained? Part of the answer can be found in the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. As global financial crisis has followed global financial crisis over recent time, whether it be in the banking system, the euro, the oil industry, or in the way financial markets are regulated, the result has been to place financial markets center stage in the public’s eye, in a way they never have been before. It is perhaps inevitable that this should contribute to increased global interest in financial markets and as a result to more online trading.
The financial markets operate on a scale that is far beyond anything most of us can readily imagine. For example, the foreign currencies market alone records trading volumes which are greater than $3 trillion per day. The sheer wealth of opportunity that such vast sums of money suggest can go a long way to explaining the growing popularity of financial trading. Before the development of online forms of trading, however, the ability of the majority of people to get personally involved in the financial markets was very much limited. Online trading platforms have changed all that forever, enabling anyone in the world with an internet connection and a credit card to purchase a personal stake in the financial market. In fact, because of the ease with which people can trade online today its reach now extends further than any other form of financial investing.
Rather than dampen the boom times that online forms of financial trading have been experiencing, it appears that the financial crises experienced over recent years have actually accelerated this process. This seems to be because more people have come to appreciate the opportunity for personal control over their investments and savings which trading in the markets provides them, at the same time that they have lost faith in large financial institutions.
People Friendly Trading
Many people, when they think of financial trading think of a complex and prohibitively expensive activity; an activity reserved only for a relatively small and wealthy elite. Online trading, whether it be in currencies, stocks, commodities or options is changing that perception forever. Whereas once financial trading meant speaking over the phone to your broker, today it means engaging online with user friendly software like eToro’s, which is designed to take the pain out of financial trading. The redesign of the trading experience which eToro pioneered puts the experience of the first time trader at the center of trading. Simple, accessible and enjoyable: the online trading of today is far removed from the popular stereotype of long series of numbers and charts repeating endlessly across lifeless screens.
The importance of a more people friendly online trading experience – which is what trading platforms are trying to supply these days – is fairly monumental. Today there are few people who don’t know even one person who’s tried out one or other form of online financial investing for themselves. As these early adopters report back their positive perceptions of online financial trading so the rest of us hear about it and seek to get involved for ourselves; causing the growth of the industry to maintains its relentless pace.
Today more of us are online, doing more, for longer, than ever before. Increasingly we do far more than browse the web: we shop, bank and work through the Internet. In this context trading online simply makes sense. Like much of the online world, online trading offers people the opportunity to do something they wished to do anyway – in this case investing their money – in a more flexible and convenient manner; from wherever in the world they wish to do it and at whatever time of day suits them best. Today’s internet is increasingly focused on building an ever richer and more personalized user experience. Likewise with online trading where the range of trading experiences available is increasingly broad. Whereas online trading was once largely restricted to forex trading – the buying and selling of currencies – trading is now a far more comprehensive affair where traders are free to trade ever more asset types for themselves: from commodities like Gold and Oil to indices like the Dow Jones and S&P 500.
As the way we use the Internet has changed – to become a more social and more community focused experience – so too has the way we trade online changed forever. Today online trading is an increasingly community based experience where traders are able to harness the insights and experience of other traders – whether individually or collectively to enrich their own trading experiences. Trading platforms like eToro are now doing more than ever before to connect their users to each other in order to give them the kind of community based trading they are seeking. This has made online trading more user friendly and more inviting and meant that ever more people have been able to engage with the investment potential of financial markets.
Ultimately, whatever the cause for the upsurge in online financial trading one thing is clear: online trading is now firmly established in the public eye and it is one genie that it’s now far too late to shove back into its bottle.
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