The financial services industry has long been a proponent of technology use. However, when it came to retail offerings, the best technology was often kept in the hands of institutional users. Eventually, slowly but surely, the internet changed everything.
From traders’ method of accessing the markets to the speed of execution and charting, the late 90’s and early 2000’s were years of dramatic changes in stock market participation. First, inclusivity improved by an order of magnitude, leading to a dramatic rise in the number of day traders lured in by discount brokerage rates and greater accessibility.
While the playing field was still tilted in favor of financial services giants and large funds that invested heavily to maintain a technological edge, the gap gradually closed as these technologies filtered down to the retail level. Moreover, the technology itself helped improve market conditions and the accessibility of value-added services alike.