The World of Online Investing
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The financial services industry is diversifying and democratizing rapidly with the introduction of information technology. Previously reserved for the few and well-connected, more and more financial services are becoming available to more and more people as time goes by.
Instead of using an actual person as their advisor and/or broker, more and more people are increasingly looking towards online investing. Some people use apps and a whole range of software programs to manage their finances from the comfort of their own home. And some have even made the decision to not only eschew having an advisor, but even a virtual one in favor of doing it all by themselves.
How to Go It Alone
In order to play the solo game, there are a few prerequisites that make sense. First and foremost is an appreciable amount of prior financial literacy. Simply put, you need to know the ins and outs of money in order to make money with money. You will need to have a very strong base in order to make prudent calls on what is to be done.
You will need to have a good understanding on how to read market signals and translate that into implications for the assets you are looking to invest in or the assets that you have that you are considering selling. Being able to read trends and, very importantly, in between the lines of the headline news is essential for anyone wishing to do their own thing.
You will also need to have a sizeable pool of funds beforehand in order to properly invest. This is simply because having a diversified portfolio is vital to prevent huge swings in the value of your investments, and if you are on your own, you will need a large amount of cash to achieve that diversification.
Even though you are going your own way, one thing you simply cannot run away from is using a broker to execute your trades. Therefore, it is very important that you are familiar with reputable brokers. Read this TD Ameritrade review to familiarize yourself with one of the best options out there.
Admittedly, there are some interesting benefits to investing by yourself. One of those would be that you bypass any potential advisory fees that you might incur in person or online. No one, save the taxman, is entitled to a cut of your earnings, which makes your personal take that much greater and you investing pool that much deeper.
If you are one of those people who has deep pockets and is able to self-invest, you can gain access to exotic investments that are only open to those with a certain level of wealth. Many venture capital projects have very high minimum sums that shut out the vast majority of the population. So, if you are one of those few, you can find some very interesting financial vehicles.
Another benefit, which is derived from the nature of investing by yourself, is the increased knowledge you inevitably end up acquiring as a result of having to do your own homework. And over time, this knowledge base can only keep growing, which might come in handy sometime in the future when having all this knowledge enables you to see opportunities that almost no one else could have seen.
Another benefit some people cite is the sense of independence that this process gives you. If you are one of those people who enjoys being their own person, self-investing can give you a sense of empowerment and confidence that carries over to other areas of life and could produce some positive side effects.
Having said all of that, there are quite a few drawbacks to investing on your own. The main one is not having access to the economies of scale a lot of these larger investment funds have. You do not have a whole team of analysts working tirelessly day and night watching the markets and figuring out what this means for everyone’s money.
Instead, you will need to do all of that yourself. While this can be a challenging adventure for some, it can become a lot of headache down the line for others. Unfortunately, most people are simply not cut out for this type of endeavor simply because they either lack the time needed to conduct thorough research or they simply lack the expertise.
Another is that this method requires a large sum of starting capital that most people in their present stage of life simply do not have. By virtue of not having deep pockets, most people simply do not have the wherewithal to properly diversify their portfolio by themselves.
Put simply, self-investing can be great and pose a bold adventure with potentially a golden pot at the end of it, but it is simply out of most people’s capacity to pursue. For most of us, the conventional way of mutual funds and CDs is what we can afford at the moment.
Making the Most Out of Your Money
Most people would agree that you will not get ahead, financially speaking, by putting your money under your bed. At some point, you will have to take the plunge and choose a place or several places to park your money so that it is sitting there nicely waiting for you when you finally choose to use it.
Fortunately for us, the 21st century has brought with it a plethora of innovations that make this process easier, cheaper, and more accessible. The age of mass customization is upon us and the financial industry will not be an exception to this.
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