Peter Jobes is a tech & blockchain writer. Featured in VentureBeat.
Disclaimer: Trading and investing involves risk. This is not an endorsement to invest in stocks and companies or trade via platforms mentioned in this article. Trade at your own risk.
Global stock markets have rallied across the world on the news that a Covid-19 vaccine with 90% effectiveness has been announced by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.
The widespread optimism that the world could soon be returning to a form of normality has caused the FTSE 100 to rise by almost 5%, while in America, the benchmark S&P 500 climbed to a record-breaking high before a small retreat.
With many different industries affected in a variety of ways due to the arrival of the devastating Covid pandemic, significant recoveries in shares for airlines, hotels, energy firms and various other industries that were adversely affected by the virus were soaring by over 40% in some cases.
However, many tech-based shares fell upon the news of a vaccine. Investor confidence in companies like Zoom and Amazon waned due to the ramifications of prospective end to lockdowns on stay-at-home technology like on-demand entertainment and video collaboration tools.
It can be very difficult to successfully catch the bottom of an ailing stock market in a pandemic as catastrophic as Covid. However, the announcement of a vaccine - provided there are no setbacks before a rollout - acts as the light at the end of the tunnel for suffering industries, allowing brand new investment to roll in.
Although the markets have already been climbing, many experts expect further rallies to take place across the board. Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, told CNBC that he believes stocks could leap a further 10% before the end of the year: “People have been doomsaying for so long. It’s more likely we’re going to rally for some period of time. We’re in the final months of the year, and that Santa Claus rally could kick in,” he explained.
Due to the widespread market uncertainty throughout 2020, or the lack of market optimism in recent months, you may be gearing up for a return to trading after a prolonged hiatus, or you might be looking to embrace the rallying markets and make some easy profits as the world recovers.
Either way, it could be worth exploring the technology that exists to make investment easier today. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the simplest tools to trade in confidence and better manage your assets:
When engaging in absolutely any activity that involves the movement of high-value assets, it’s imperative that you find a platform that makes you feel comfortable at all times.
All investors are different and have different wants, needs, and goals for their forays into the market. You may be ambitious enough to look out for feature-rich platforms that can cater better to your needs, but if you simply want to buy and hold a handful of stocks in companies that you’ve already researched, this abundance of metrics and features can be bewildering.
There are plenty of platforms available for users to acquaint themselves - or re-acquaint themselves - with trading. Notably, platforms like Fidelity, Ameritrade and E*TRADE stand as strong choices that offer generous fees and user-friendly interfaces for ease of navigation around portfolios.
Fundamentally, you need to ask yourself what you’re looking to gain from your trading platform. Are you aiming for simplicity? Do you want more educational texts to read in order to brush up on your skills? Or would you rather have more features in order to hone your ability faster?
Every investor is different, and the abundance of different trading platforms out there means that there’s always going to be a platform out there that closely matches your expectations on trustworthiness, cost, support, ease-of-use and competence. It may require more homework and personal insight, however.
As we transition into the realm of the ‘new normal’, the stock market is going to be heavily affected by external factors. Right now, the effects of Covid, the aftermath of the US Presidential election and Brexit are just three examples that could deeply affect the value of stocks in a positive or negative way.
This means that it’s never been more important to take your portfolio with you, and have easy access to it in order to make big decisions while on-the-go.
Mobile trading apps have steadily developed into highly-responsive tools that can be secured with Face ID verification and packed with virtually all of the same features that a desktop platform contains.
The market for mobile portfolios is expanding, and while there are some great constructs boasted by the likes of IQ Option.
Some investors prefer to avoid the temptation of having their portfolio by their side to refrain from making knee-jerk decisions. However, in the current volatile climate, it’s never been more important to manage your portfolio and react quickly to downturns and moments of optimism.
Besides, modern mobile apps can be extremely accessible and very intuitive with the types of features that can be packed into a smartphone.
Automated trading systems, also known as mechanical trading systems or algorithmic trading, enables traders to set up rules for trade entries and exits that can be automatically executed by a computer. Today, the practice is so popular that some platforms report that between 70% and 80% of shares traded on US stock exchanges come from automated trading.
Traders and investors alike can chart their precise entry, exit and money management rules through an automated system that actions their targets on their behalf.
For new and returning traders, this can be an extremely appealing draw, because the automated trading system can remove emotional trading techniques from the buying and selling of assets. By setting up the highest/lowest price you would like to sell at, and the lowest price you’re willing to buy at, you can program clear objectives into your trading platform and stick to them where circumstances might cloud your judgement if you had to perform the action yourself.
There are some strong automated trading platforms available to investors of varying levels of experience, and Trading 212 competent solution. But once again, different platforms come with different features and usability, so it’s definitely worth doing your homework before getting started.
Thankfully, for the first time since Covid struck fear into the global markets, there appears to be plenty of reason to believe that the volatile markets of 2020 are behind us - with the hope of a vaccine spreading global optimism.
For investors, now may be the best time to buy into the market’s newfound confidence and welcome a wealthy, and healthier 2021.
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