By Viktor Prokopenya, London-based FinTech investor at Capital.com
A recent survey showed that 75% of millennials are planning to invest within the year in response to the COVID-fuelled market crash.
This new wave of investors holds the key to navigating the latest economic crisis, and will allow us to ‘Build Back Better’ as we emerge from the global pandemic.
What does ‘Build Back Better’ mean in this context? It means widening access to markets, so that everyone can invest in our economic future.
There is great social benefit to building an investor democracy open to all – because it gives everyone a stake in our economy and influence over decisions. The days when global access was controlled through London and New York by a handful of men dressed in pinstripe suits are long gone, of course.
We have further to go, however, in devolving financial power and influence to everyone. We should start with the next generation.
A study by personal finance comparison website, Finder.com, shows that three-quarters of millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and generation Z (born after 1997) were planning to invest within the year, with more than a quarter of millennials and generation Z citing the Covid-fuelled market crash as the reason for doing so, whilst another study highlighted that 75% of millennials believe their investments can influence climate change.
How will they do this? Smartphones are driving increasing investment by millennials, allowing them to be economic change makers.
FinTech has been developing new ways to satisfy this demand. Its potential to address today’s critical issues is undoubtedly far-reaching. Up to now, trading technology was solely website-based.
Building for mobile–first makes investment accessible for the ‘on-the-go’ investors; whether they’re on a lunch break, waiting for a takeaway coffee, or on their way to meet a friend.
Success for traders is key to widening access. In this stock market democracy, votes are not equally distributed. Those who have more money have more votes.
In this new virtual democracy, we do not want people to lose their ‘votes’ (money) – we want them to be profitable – so that their voice gets louder and they can be heard.
Of course, it is imperative that we protect this new market of engaged, but inexperienced, investors.
Whilst this technology presents a significant opportunity, there must be enough protection to safeguard new investors through training and intelligence – otherwise this opportunity to enter a new virtual democracy will be lost.