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When most of us think of investors, we think of those folks in sharp suits yelling into the phones like in The Wolf on Wall Street. The reality is, however, that anyone can invest in the stock market. The rise of the internet has made online investing not just easy, but actually a lot of fun.
And, if you know what you are doing, it might be less risky than you think. Now, there is always some level of risk in investing, so you want to make sure you know what you are doing. You wouldn’t, for example, want to drop your entire life savings into gold futures without understanding how they work.
Facts, Stats, and Stories
But, if you do it right, investing can be a great way to build your retirement nest egg and grow your savings. Here are a few fun (and useful!) facts, stats, and stories about investing.
More than $5 trillion in currencies are traded every day
According to Nasdaq, more than $5 trillion was traded on currency exchanges every day in 2019. It is the largest market, by volume, in the world. For perspective, 5 trillion seconds is equivalent to 158,549 calendar years.
Orange juice was a big winner in the commodity market in 2020
When it comes to commodities, most investors think of oil, wheat, and corn. However, orange juice futures are up 23% year-to-date, even as the stock market was down by over 20%. This has led to orange juice getting a lot of press, which is unusual.
In 1992, George Soros “broke the bank of England”
The well-known trader made $1 billion in a single day by buying short positions in pounds sterling, essentially betting against the British pound.
The day became known as Black Wednesday, and it cost the Bank of England big.
No one actually knows who created Bitcoin
The founder uses the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, but has never released their true identity. While plenty of theories exist, no one is sure who founded Bitcoin — it may actually be several people. Satoshi Nakamoto owns an estimated 1 million bitcoins but has never traded them.
In 2010, a bug accidentally created 184 billion bitcoins
The Value Overflow Incident occurred because the code for checking Bitcoin transactions didn’t function correctly when the numbers were very large.
A hacker discovered this issue and took advantage of it and created nearly 9,000 times more bitcoins than 21 million bitcoins limit. Luckily, the error was discovered and rectified in less than five hours.
Amazon stock shares have increased nearly 1,300 since 1997
In 1995, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in his garage. Two years later, at Amazon’s IPO, one share cost just $18. Since then, Amazon shares have split three times and increased in value by almost 1,300 times.
Ten shares bought in 1997 for $180 would be worth almost a quarter of a million dollars by 2019.
Millennials and GenZ are saving to combat financial uncertainty
The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020, which asked more than 27,000 millennials and Gen Zs about their financial habits, found both generations are concerned about their financial future.
The survey also found that half or more of them are saving money to cope with an uncertain financial future. That could be good news at a time when 60% of American’s don’t have $1,000 in emergency funds.
Passive investing controls nearly half of the US stock market
CNBC recently reported that nearly half of the US stock market is controlled by passive investments, such as ETFs and index funds.
Passive funds tend to focus on long term growth rather than short term gains. For investors looking for long term growth and lower risks, passive investments may be the answer.
More than half of capital market professionals will use AI by 2022
According to The Future of Trading: Technology in 2024, most capital marketing professionals expect artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to be fully incorporated into the trading process in the next four years. Just 44% of professionals were using it in 2019, but 17% said they intended to implement AI tools in the next two years. What that will mean for the future of trading is yet to be seen!
Investing can be a way to grow wealth. But, the market is more complex than many beginners (and even those with a bit of experience under their belt) think.
The stats and stories above are just a few examples of how the investment world is not always as it seems.