The iFX trading expo has wrapped up now in Dubai. Typically these trade shows have been very FX-centric – as perhaps they should be given the name – but the focus this time round has shifted dramatically to address the multi-asset landscape.
There seems to be a myriad of factors behind this, ranging from the idea that currencies – at least the majors – are no longer offering the volatility they once did, through to the sheer availability of other asset classes. Be that single stocks, cryptocurrencies and NFTs, less liquid commodities like lumber or even the new generation of instruments based on sports players organisations like All Star Traders are creating. The investing landscape appears to be on the cusp of some significant change
Just how educated are the current cohort of investors?
This event caters to a global audience, so as a result it facilitates a very wide discussion of what we might be trading in the future, but a key point that was raised during a panel debate today was “just how educated are the current cohort of investors?”. This proved to be a hugely polarising question, with some from the broker side praising not only the sheer number of investors active in the market now – driven largely by the lockdowns – but also applauding their ability to stick it to the man, following the meme stock saga of last year. Needless to say, that opinion was far from universally shared, and I think it’s naive – having personally spent time looking at those Reddit boards – to conclude that engagement and active trading correlates with educated or informed investment.
More education is needed
What it does lay bare is that the product providers need to be prioritising education today to ensure inclusivity when it comes to trading this new range of assets, be that next week, next month – or even in the next decade. The market is moving so quickly that without common terminology and the step by step guides covering the whole journey, those with the biggest propensity to invest – the 40+ cohort – will be largely side lined. The product innovation is hugely exciting to see, but the explanations need to be made in reasoned ways – TikTok, YouTube and Instagram influencers will have little cut through with the bigger fish. Education will be critical in ensuring the opportunities – and the pitfalls and the inevitable scams – can all be properly understood.