When the first internet prototype connected various computer networks around the world together in 1983, no one had an idea of how it would change the world of investing. Prior to the internet, personal investing involved calling your broker, discussing what you wanted to do, and waiting for them to complete the task and call you back. With a few clicks of a mouse or by logging into a mobile app, however, today's investors can bypass all that waiting and make their own decisions and purchases, from fractional shares of stock to micro futures contract trading. As brokerage houses began to understand what investors wanted, opportunities grew, and also shrank.
Traditionally, investors were required to invest large sums of money at once to make it worth their broker's time and effort. Buying 100 shares at a time is not in every investor's budget, however. In fact, brokers had a name for the purchase of anything less than 100 shares at a time—an odd lot. The purchase of odd lots was not necessarily discouraged, but there were higher fees for placing an odd lot order.
Luckily, the advent of the internet eliminated the need to purchase odd lots through a broker. Today individual investors have options for buying in smaller quantities, including:
Modern investing is truly a case where size does matter. Smaller shares of stock, lower-priced stocks, and micro futures trading all let budget-minded investors dip their toes in the stock market in a way that they never could before.
Contact a financial advisor near you to learn more about topics like micro futures trading.