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The Obvious Switch To Modern Ways Of Investing

The Obvious Switch To Modern Ways Of Investing

Even for a slow adopter like me, it is clear. The time to make the obvious switch was yesterday.

Some moments of change are so easy in hindsight.  When people made the switch from outdoor long drop toilets to inside flushing units.  From big box TV’s that took up half the lounge, to flat screens that could be mounted on the wall.

And yet at each of those moments in history, the switch was not instant, nor obvious.  I know it sounds crazy, but it took time for people to get used to the idea that going to the toilet indoors was not only ok but better than walking outside on cold rainy days.

And while this resistance comes in many forms (too expensive, not sure it will work yet, let others try it first) most often it is just the plain old resistance to change.

And here I own up and raise my hand as a late adopter.  In most circumstances what I know, and am comfortable with, is just great thanks.

Until, under pressure from a friend or relative, I try the ‘new’ and realise what I have been missing all along.

My first lessons in investing were from my grandfather.  As a young teenager, he took me with him to his share broker, who spent hours going over what seemed to me endless tomes of paper.  When he joined some friends in buying a small industrial building he showed me the files the lawyers had sent over for him to sign – in a box, because there was too much paperwork for even the biggest envelopes.

He taught me some key principles.  Work smart and hard for your money, then make your money work smart and hard for you. Even if you start small just make sure you start.  Spread your risk.  Invest for the future while ensuring you have a bit of fun now.

The principles remain true for today, though what has changed and continues to change constantly, is the tools and systems that we can now use to invest, and manage our investment.  Financial Technology (FinTech) is here and changing quickly.  Soon we will consider the old systems of investing as old fashioned as tube TV’s.

The recent FinTech Africa Awards held in JHB show cased the best of these modern online based investment platforms, with two SA companies taking first and second prize.  Easy Equities makes it easy and affordable to invest in shares, while Wealth Migrate opens the world of global commercial real estate to all online investors.

And the change these platforms bring is ease of use, convenience and just a radically better way of doing things – like the difference between an old outhouse in my garden vs the end suite in my house.

Fintech platforms make smart investing exponentially quicker, easier, cheaper and with far more functionality.

Smart algorithms match my risk appetite and link my share preferences to similar shares.

I can now be part owner of an individual commercial building in New York or London that has been carefully selected by global experts for great returns, at the swipe of a finger and within the starting range of the smallest investor – even if you start small, make sure you start.

Fintech platforms remove the middle man, significantly reducing fees which means more of my money goes directly to my investment, and brings me greater returns – make my money work smart and hard for me.

With a range of Fintech platforms I can choose to be a smart, savvy investor in a wide range of local and global investments – spreading my risk.

And for me most importantly I can do this all from anywhere.  I can be looking after the future of my family making smart investments and managing my money while taking a break on the beach with my kids.

Even for a slow adopter like me, it is clear.  The time to make the obvious switch was yesterday.

This article initially appeared on Entrepreneur Magazine, 4 December 2017.