A recent survey by Bankrate has shown that over half of American’s think that the stock market is rigged against individual investors.
The study of 2,525 people which was published in February of this year, found that 56% of the investors surveyed and 41% of non-investors agreed with the statement: "The stock market is rigged against individual investors."
This is somewhat unsurprising after the market frenzy in January which saw Game Stop skyrocket, only to plummet again, seeing unwitting investors lose thousands, and Robinhood to halt so-called meme stocks.
A 2020 survey by Finder showed that only 33% of Britons own shares, whilst the Bankrate survey showed that more than 39% of Americans had no money invested in the stock market - with the biggest reason being that they didn’t understand them.
More often than not, the investment industry is a closed shop - information is protected, relationships matter more than data, and the same large institutions dominate the field. Then you have the apps, which may make investing more accessible, but - if you’re not careful - you could end up losing more than you expect. There is an assumption that we are all meant to know what we are doing.
In the UK at least, there is little (if anything) taught to school children about the stock market or investing. How is anyone meant to know that they are good at investing if they don’t know the basics?
Learning online through various channels like YouTube, Instagram and Reddit is easy enough - but how can you know who to trust? We all think we are savvy enough to spot a scam, but sometimes FOMO can be too much to bear - no one wants to feel like they’re missing out on their FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) opportunity.
This is why at Upside we are developing a space to learn from the ground up, from people who have worked in the investment industry and managed billions of dollars of other people's money. We're teaching everyone whether a seasoned pro or someone who doesn't know their EBITDA from their elbow.
We are bringing the equity back into equities - investing shouldn’t be only for the few, it shouldn’t feel rigged, or too complicated to understand. At Upside we’re on a mission to bring investing to everyone, especially those shut out from the current systems, to help them understand investing at their own pace and without pushing them out of their comfort zones.
In the U.K., only 13.5% of UK shares are owned by individuals, the rest is owned by banks, investment firms and other financial institutions, but by empowering people to understand and most importantly enjoy investing we could balance this out a little more. Open up this mysterious corner of the world so anyone interested can get involved.