There was a time before the internet when investing in the stock market was something only certain people did. If you weren’t a Financial Times reader or someone with money and, in turn, an interest in finance, you probably didn’t think too much about buying stocks and shares. Today, however, things are different thanks, in part, to technology. Online investment sites have brought the stock market into people’s homes like never before. In much the same way anyone can go online and use OpenLearn to access free university courses, there are ways to unlock investments via your computer and mobile.

More options mean better access. Logically, this tells us that more people have the opportunity to make investments and the statistics support that notion. For example, in the US between 2018 and 2020, approximately 55% of adults had invested in the stock market, according to Statista. Further research from the Investor Education Foundation found that 55% of those who made investments did so online. Moreover, 32% of people surveyed said they used an online app/service to guide their decisions when investing.

Three ways to use technology to invest

What we can see here is that people are not only using online apps to invest in the stock market but also learn about the market. In other words, technology has made investing accessible both from a practical perspective and an educational perspective. There are still risks involved and playing the financial markets isn’t for everyone. However, the point here is that people now have the power to decide for themselves. With that being the case, let’s take a look at three ways you can harness modern technology to invest in the stock market.

Online investment apps

Stock market share price

Trading apps don’t simply offer access to the stock market. They do that, of course. However, in this new era of investing, apps need to have something for a wide variety of people. This means offering products such as stocks and shares ISAs for people that want to take advantage of the UK’s tax-free savings schemes if they want to be considered as the best trading app for beginners. Investment apps also have to have resources that outline the fundamentals of the financial world but also provide daily updates on relevant news stories. Finally, apps for beginners should also have a community hub where people can share ideas and ask for advice.

Analytics, news feeds, and data

Access to information is something the internet does extremely well. For example, if you want a complete breakdown of Apple’s financial history, you can go online and find it. As well as reading the company’s official reports, you can use websites dedicated to tracking and analysing financial data. Then, of course, there are news networks. The BBC, for example, has a finance section on its website. So too does the Guardian newspaper. If you want something a little more in-depth, the Financial Times not only publishes its content online, it has a podcast.

Social media

The final technological innovation that’s made investing more accessible is social media. Even though it can be a risk taking unsolicited and unqualified advice from Twitter et al, there are people on there who know what they’re talking about. For example, you can go onto YouTube and find interviews with Warren Buffett (see video below), John Bogle and Bill Ackman. These interviews are free to watch. That means you get to hear how billionaire investors think.

Whether or not you follow their advice is another matter. The point is that it’s available and that’s thanks to the technology. Using the internet might not make someone an expert overnight. However, it has opened up the financial markets and created opportunities where once there were none. That’s the power of technology and the reason more people are starting to invest in the stock market online.