As most of you know, I spend most of my time in markets. I’m almost 10 years in now as someone who has helped build communities and products for the new wave of investors and traders. I’ve seen a lot in this industry as it started from nothing to becoming the primary way an entire generation of millennials follow markets.
There’s no question it’s never been cheaper to trade or invest. It’s also never been more accessible. Both of these things are great. But all good things come at an expense and this post was written to talk about what that expense is: patience.
First of all, the new generation of apps and investment processes are not much different from the old. You are still doing the same thing they did in 1931 – buying, selling, and saving. What’s really changed is the platform, the phone in your hand, and the connectivity behind it all.
“Scientific power is like inherited wealth: attained without discipline. You read what others have done, and you take the next step. You can do it very young. You can make progress very fast. There is no discipline lasting many decades. There is no mastery: old scientists are ignored. There is no humility before nature. There is only a get-rich-quick, make-a-name-for-yourself-fast philosophy.” – Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park
I think this quote is perfect for what’s happening in the investing world at the moment. There have never been more investors than there are right now. We have seen the gamification in markets, the new layer that’s been added. When you place a buy order confetti fires across your screen. Keep it up! Buy and sell again! It costs nothing. You get emails, notifications, and highly targeted ads telling you to do more and more.
It is a full assault on patience. Because what’s being built in the financial industry now can’t survive in a world of patience. The apps need more of your money moving more often so it can be chopped and spliced. They need more of your attention so that they can sell ads against it or build products on top of it. They take a few pennies here and few there. Then it starts to add up.
As a newb retail trader who has grown up in this scene, yelling buy the dip for years now and literally helping to put it on a t-shirt, one thing I can’t say enough is that market makers will take your cash faster than you can process the patience needed to wait. The buttons are so easy to press. There’s a reason trading has become so easy, because someone has figured out that the easier it is, the more transactions that happen, the more money they can make.
So I write this post as a reminder to myself and to anyone else interested in the rise of new wave trading or investing companies – Patience is probably the hardest skill today for investors or traders. Apps want you to buy and sell. They want your attention and time. The one thing none of them want you to do: nothing.