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The Changing Face of our Financial Markets

Scott Richardson

2008 yielded more than just the collapse of the global financial system, it forced the world’s global governments to examine the corruption endemic in our financial markets. It is important to realise that the markets, equity, fixed income, FX are all forms of gambling. Bookies always stack the odds in their favour, the odds quoted tally to give them an automatic percentage gain regardless of how much money is placed on any given bet.

The examination from 2008 to date has merely forced these same bookies to be even more ingenious and secretive in their deal making. The ones that were not too clever went to the wall, the quicker organisations found boulders to hide under

The markets move according to technology these days. Technology is constantly evolving to cater to the ever-more inventive requirements of a financial market that needs to make money, which is in fact addicted to making money. Not a lot stands between an addict and his fix. So, it is with the purveyors of financial instruments, which on the face of them, look legitimate and are designed for the common man to participate in our economy and the brands they wish to support.

The cost of doing this is prohibitive for many and need not be.

In every step of the financial trade life-cycle someone takes a tiny slice. That tiny slice might be the only profit you make on that trade or bet and thus you end up flat or losing, due not to the performance of the asset, but to the cost of buying or selling that asset for you.

You would have made more money investing in the FTSE 100 Tracker over the last five years, than you would with a fund manager (managed fund) looking after your money. This is not because the fund manager is no good, they probably are very good. It is because the costs of the trade life-cycle take away a chunk of your profits.

In conclusion, it has statistically been shown that you would make more money investing in the FTSE tracker funds that an actively managed fund.

The need for technology would be very different, possibly cheaper and the regulatory bodies would find it a lot easier to protect the retail investor.