Deep Into Right Field
I don’t exactly know when we crossed the threshold into the conceptual age, but we’re certainly walking into it.
I wouldn’t say that it has completely overshadowed its predecessor – the information age – as big data and its interpretation by skilled scientists are in ever greater demand. But the very notions of our world and its operations are quickly shifting.
Exhibit A: Uber. Regular taxi services can fight all they want, but the victory of this disruptive shift is inevitable.
Exhibit B: Airbnb: A hospitality service worth more than Hyatt Hotels Corp., without a single hotel in the world.
But the services industries are not where the technological ingenuity stops. The financial industry is slowly being introduced to the fair and square game of disrupting the status quo, and the general population’s access to the world of investing is being broadened.
As Reddit’s founder, Alexis Ohanian, would cleverly put it: The world is now flat!
Now, there are the likes of Aspiration, introducing new financial advisory services to people who can’t quite spare $500,000 to open up an investment fund. Suddenly something so elite is democratized, and money can once again be grown by the people, for the people.
But a shift in one system will imply shifts in others, and now that more people are being drawn to investing in stocks, constructing financial plans, and choosing their own portfolios, they’ll also need to educate themselves. And this means letting go of the age old assumption that we’ll always act rationally in our financial undertakings. Times change, and the world does, too. Yes, even we change, but only to a certain degree. History reveals to us the cycles of wars and conquest, of successes and failures, of love and of hatred, which ultimately indicate that we’re not as different from our ancestors as we think we are. And our behaviour can be predictable enough to offer us lessons that could teach us how we should invest and spend our money.
Yes, we’re entering the age of mobile apps that will allow you to directly invest in stocks, and platforms that will grow your portfolio without any commission fees being deducted from your earnings. But before you do, do your homework; learn what you should and shouldn’t do.