The evolution of share trading by Andy Rogers
The world of online stockbroking is ever changing. Investors are more financially literate than ever before and have access to a plethora of information via the internet. In today’s world, technology has aided our search for knowledge and allowed investor
F rom the inception of trading on the floor centralised at the stock exchange, taking phone calls from sellers and buyers to today’s retail traders making trades in the palm of their hand direct to markets around world, stockbroking has undergone one of the most significant shifts of any industry of late.
Back in the day the process was very methodical, investors engaged the brokers and the brokers would battle it out with the Exchanges. Brokers were the key as they controlled access to the markets.
However, increasing competition and improvements in technology caused a significant change in the market structure. The ability to trade electronically dramatically increased trading volumes and liquidity, and allowed for greater access to various financial markets. As the industry began to change, so did the investor.
Investors have evolved with the market, becoming sophisticated traders who access a range of information from various trusted sources, the rise of the self-managed super funds in Australia is certainly a good example of this.
The Australian Share Ownership Study released in 2015 by the ASX shows that Australia continues to have one of the highest levels of share ownership in the world (36%). More investors here traded online (58%) than through a broker or advisor (31%), reflecting a growing desire of investors for self-direction and control over investments.
Recognising that CMC’s client base is always evolving has meant we put innovation at the centre of everything. The need for businesses to constantly evaluate and adapt their offering is paramount in a competitive market with a well-informed customer base.
The next step in evolution of trading is access to institutional level information via mobile, tablets and the home PC. In 2001 direct retail investing became more mainstream with an increase in accessibility online, over the next decade the GFC rocked the market causing disillusionment with experts and raising awareness of the interconnectedness of world markets. Leading to retail investors becoming more considered and research reliant than ever before.
The ASX’s 2015 Share Ownership Study found 55% of direct investors believe they can only succeed if invested for the long-term and 53% have a fairly disciplined approach to the sharemarket. It’s impetrative for investors arm themselves with necessary means to make the best-informed decisions if they are to succeed. As uncertainty plagues the share market our focus is always on helping our clients to succeed through innovation and education. Following client feedback, we spent 18 months designing and developing the fully customisable Pro platform to meet the evolving needs of Australia’s frequent share traders, leading us to create an Australian industry first.
To date, the retail online broking market in Australia has not offered much choice to frequent share traders in terms of sophisticated, professional trading platforms. Overseas, particularly in the US and Europe, brokers are offering a wide array of platforms with unique features.
As clients demand more information and better quality charts all at their finger tips and accessible via any web browser to do this.
To meet our demand, we needed to create a platform on the most current mark-up language, HTML5.
HTML5 is the future for online share trading platforms, and Pro platform is the first in Australia to ensure cross-browser support that doesn’t require software plug-ins, downloads or software updates. Redefining the online share trading market in Australia, this product will become the new standard that switchers seek, across technology, service and value.
The new HTML5 Pro platform gives retail traders access to an advanced charting package with the ability to open up to 10 charts at a time on one screen, while offering a range of additional fundamental tools for our Active Investors and Frequent Traders, so they can make better investment decisions.
Pro platform is a fully customisable platform with multiple layouts. The charts work seamlessly together via our module linking feature and offers a host of new feature including over 95 technical indicators, 35 drawing tools, 12 different chart types and pattern recognition.
Through the tireless work of our global IT and product development teams, underpinning the Pro platform there is seamless connection to partner services and tools so our clients can trade effectively on one platform. The cream of these include:
• Morningstar – Summary of fundamental data for investors
• Reuters News – Live data feed
• The Screener – Star-rated valuation reports
• Leveraged margin lending facility – fully integrates with our margin lender via an API. From the trading floor to access in the palm of your hand, share trading will continue to undergo change as the industry innovates to meet customers’ needs.