When it comes to investing in the stock market, being able to buy and sell stocks at the right price requires a lot of research. You can’t just merely buy a stock based on price alone, but you have to look into key fundamentals and price analysis to determine that you will be able to buy stocks at the right price. It is the ability to obtain that information quickly and accurately that enables investors to make the right decisions.
For those who do stock analysis as a profession, obtaining this information has always been much easier than the typical retail investor. Not only are they able to obtain information quickly, but the institution of it enables trade to happen faster before the retail investor can even get pertinent information. This has been exceptionally the case up until about ten years ago before the smartphone and large-scale data building on the internet.
Nowadays, the individual investor has many tools in their arsenal for doing stock analysis, as well as receiving information to make prompt buying and selling actions. Not only is information available on the internet, but many applications on smartphones help provide instant notifications, and archive financial information such as a stock analyst target price. There are also applications that are able to assist entry-level investors, such as fake money applications to give investors a test to experiment with the flows of money in the market.
Another suite of investor applications has been easier access to low fee brokerage accounts to encourage more people to start investing. Typically, some of the big-name brokerage firms had high fees which discouraged new investors from opening their own brokerage accounts. Now with the advent of new technology, processing trades are so cost-effective that many brokerages offer unlimited no-fee trades which have brought in a whole series of new investors. On top of that, there have been brokerages such as Robinhood to encourage investors with small amounts of money to buy fractional shares.
Another application that has been extremely helpful for retail investors is Yahoo Finance, which is widely regarded as one of the better public-facing stock analysis sites out there today for archived information. This is critical in today’s digital world. Nearly almost all information that could concern an investor about a stock can be found on a stocks portfolio webpage, including previous and current financial reports, analyst predictions, types of options, and other fundamental analysis tools. Most importantly, it’s a free resource even though there are advanced features.
There are also tools now that can help investors who like to trade on technicals to track consumer behavior in buying and selling their favorite stocks. There are some applications that are available to help investors track all kinds of technicals whether oscillators and moving averages.
A great app that is available is called the trading view that enables you to enter a company stock symbol and track real-time technical analysis. This application can enable traders to get a sense of the overall trajectory of a stock’s price movement, from as little as five minutes, to as far out as a full month.
Finally, stock coverage from some of the big-name analysts used to be difficult to obtain because it used to be on cable tv and investors who were otherwise occupied in work or life were never able to watch a lot of this coverage. However, with the advent of the YouTube app, many big-name as well small-name investors post a lot of their videos online whether they are on cable TV or not. This gives investors access to more professional coverage of company names. Although YouTube is not a financial-specific application, it has become one of the most popular sources for obtaining much necessary stock information and news stories.
Technology will continue to help the retail investor moving forward. At the end of the day, investing is all about access to accurate information in a timely matter. With that said, you can expect more retail investors will be able to take advantage of commission-free trading platforms for their non-retirement accounts and be able to achieve amazing returns moving forward.