The democratisation of trading and investing

Business Insights

There’s a prevalent view that ‘everyday’ people aren’t equipped to trade and invest themselves and should rely on ‘robo-advisors’ that will put their cash into index-tracking passive investment funds.

This investment approach looks backwards to when investing was for the elite. However, today investment is being democratised.

What does the everyday person need to get the most out of investing?

Side-step Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors are a class of financial advisers that provide advice or investment management online with moderate to minimal intervention from humans. Their advice is based on mathematical rules or algorithms alone. And management fees can be 1% of your funds.

Although passive-investing has worked while the markets have been going up, this won’t go on forever. Michael Burry who predicted the Subprime Mortgage crisis which led to the financial crisis of 2008/09 has warned that Index Funds are the next big bubble.

Next Step:

With some research, anyone can create their own long-term, low-cost multi-asset fund held via a platform, with total costs below 0.5%. Explore platforms like eToro or IG Index to buy an index fund that holds a range of stocks directly, or create your own.

To spread your risk, pick stocks from different industries and decide what percentage of your portfolio you want to allocate. If that percentage becomes higher or lower, you can buy or sell to balance it out.

Have a strategy rather than trend chasing

When the dotcom Bubble ( collapsed, those left holding worthless stocks were mostly the retail investors who’d gone for the ‘trend-of-the-day’. Today’s trend is passive investing into index funds.

Next Step:

I use a ‘Barbell strategy’ by keeping the majority of my funds in safe, liquid assets with only about 20% of my portfolio invested in high-risk high-reward assets, like cryptocurrencies or certain tech stocks.

Cash in a 0.1% rate savings account may not seem attractive, but having the majority of your money in cash, bonds, or gold means you’re protected. When others are in a panic and selling during a market crash you’ll have cash available to buy.

Use advanced trading tools

Robo-advisors give you average annual returns in normal times. But when times are bad, I wouldn’t want to be sitting in an index fund when everybody is trying to get out at the same time.

Those who get out first are the ones who won’t suffer. In March 2020, when markets dropped over 30%, Hedge Fund Pershing Square reported $2.6 billion in profits in less than a month.

Next Step:

Hobby investors tend to shy away from anything more complicated than buying and selling. However, a simple ‘Put’ option can act as an insurance that allows you to sell a certain financial asset at a predetermined price: perfect when you want to protect yourself against a market drop.

Automated trading rules allow hobby investors to use algorithms to trade like professionals. Platforms like Coinrule ( ) provide the tools to build strategies that protect against losses and help catch market opportunities. By designing and then automating the strategy you don’t need to sit by the computer all day. Innovation is starting to provide access to the markets for more and more people.

Learning is key

Most of the problems holding normal people back are related to access. Access to the right trading instruments, the right knowledge and the necessary experience. If you just put your money into a passive fund, you never learn and are forever victim to whatever crisis hits the market.

Next Step:

Study the markets. Books like “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham “What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars” by Paul and Moynihan and others provide great introductions. Free resources and communities allow normal people to get up to speed quicker than ever.

Decide for yourself

Platforms like Robinhood, Freetrade or Revolut have made waves in the retail online investing market. But they don’t go far enough when it comes to financial inclusion.

The need for a market that, at least has the potential for full transparency, fast learning and large opportunities, is there. Cool tech is making this a reality.

Next Step:

Do your own research. Learn to make your own judgements. Use the platforms and tools offering full transparency and which have the ethics you value. Companies like Luno, eToro, Coinrule, Kraken, and TradingView stand out as frontrunners in making exciting investment opportunities accessible to normal people.

Trading involves time and risk. However, with the tech now available opportunities abound for the non-professional. Democratisation is with us.


Oleg Giberstein is co-founder of Coinrule, a beginner-friendly and safe trading platform enabling you to automate your crypto investments across multiple platforms, helping you protect your funds and catch the next great market opportunity.

By Oleg Giberstein, Coinrule