3 Ways Online Tools Empower You to Start Trading
What is one of the most powerful tools that allows you to trade without breaking the bank? INFINOX Managing Director, Jay Mawji, highlights how technology plays a critical role in helping Africans trade, and what you should look for in a trading partner.
“Accessibility, accountability and affordability. These are the 3 keys to understanding how the financial trading industry has opened up to allow customers in Africa to reap the rewards that come with responsible and regulated trading,” says Mawji.
Provided there’s adequate internet connection, an individual can trade from any location imaginable. This means that trading is not only available to stock brokers on the trading floor, but that you can get in on the action too.
“I opened my first demo account when I was 23 years old, in a hotel room on the way back from a holiday after a flight was cancelled. That’s how accessible it was in 2005 – and it’s even more accessible now,” says Mawji. “The rise of apps allows for mobile trading so you can purchase and trade shares anywhere and at any time from the convenience of your mobile device.”
Technology also allows you to access countless trading tools and read up on the latest industry news and information, so you can hold your broker accountable for pricing, execution and services. This creates a more trusting environment where you are comfortable enough to participate.
“In fact, if you ask your social circle, you’d probably be surprised how many people you know who are already trading,” says Mawji.
You no longer need to spend thousands of dollars or “know someone” in the trading industry. Now, all you need to start trading is an investment around $100 and access to the internet.
“You can open your own trading account for less than $100* with Infinox,” says Mawji.
How technology helps protect traders
The changes in online technology have not only affected your ability to trade – they have also had an impact on how the industry is regulated. Regulators have to constantly adapt and adjust trading regulations that set out how firms operate and the products that they can offer you.
This is done with the goal of protecting you.
Although this adaptation can slow down regulatory advancements, it also allows traders the opportunity to slow down, and take the time to make sure that they understand your needs and provide solutions which work for you.
So, what are the key traits to look out for when you’re in the market for a trading provider?
“Find a partner who is regulated, and embodies a client-centric ethos,” says Mawji. “They should also focus on aspects such as pricing and ensure they are using the best trading technologies in the market.”
Consider how reliable the trading partners’ server is, because you don’t want to receive a report that the server has crashed just when you’ve made a significant trade. This also ties in with your trading partners’ execution speed, because timing is of the essence when it comes to online trading.
While true trading power and knowledge comes from experience, it’s also important to keep learning. Reading up on trading best practices, paying attention to market trends, and the risks involved is a good start. There are numerous tutorials, applications, guides and videos readily available online, but keep in mind that fast information may not be valuable knowledge.
Make sure your trading partner has its finger on the pulse – and it’s even better if they can provide you with additional support throughout your trading journey. “Our research channels, manuals, academies, and electronic trading tools help you identify the next trading opportunity. And our multilingual support team is available to you 24 hours a day, 5 days a week,” says Mawji.
When it comes to finding a trustworthy broker, the best place to start is with the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB) who keeps an up-to-date register of all firms and their business activities. Conducting research on the trading firm and the regulations that they abide by will help protect your consumer rights.
“Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” says Mawji. “In the trading world, this means that you should be wary if it’s too easy to open an account, too easy to deposit, too easy to trade and especially if you hear promises that making large amounts of money is easy. This is a clear sign that the broker has limited regulations and processes in place.”
While the impact of technology cannot be understated, it should be remembered that at the heart of the trading industry lies the client, and how you use digital tools has a profound effect on which technology is developed in the first place, and how it evolves. “It’s for this reason that we say that even in a digital world, human value is still the key to success,” says Mawji.