The positive implications of technology are so ubiquitous that the general public has become inured to the constant proclamations of breakthroughs, game changers, and world shifting inventions. In the realm of medicine, it’s taken for granted that new treatments will be discovered, life spans will be extended, and diseases will slowly but surely fall to the stream of progress. In manufacturing, new processes are constantly refined to make goods and products ever cheaper and more available. In the world of entertainment, what we experience, as well as how we experience it, is constantly being upgraded, refined, and enhanced. One would expect no less from the institutions and procedures that are involved in retirement investing. Technology and the world of ideas should have tallied ho to increase profits, revolutionize the methods, and in general establish a safe path for retirement. And yet, according to almost all honest accounts, it’s harder to save for retirement now than at any time in recent history. Even more strange is the fact that we seem to be behaving in exactly the same way as we did years before; we take our hard earned retirement money, give it to a fund or financial planner, and sit back waiting for the good times to start. And yet they rarely do. Did technological advancement decide not to make a stop on Main Street? The answer is simple (if not frustrating). In short, there have been great technological advances in investing but the truth is you’re never going to see any of them. When we pay the funds and advisers to buy specific financial products, those handling our orders do not make any money on the products themselves. This has to be the case as they do not actually own the products. Only Apple owns Apple stock, and so to for every other company. Instead, the brokers make their money by providing a service. Since you might not know how to invest on your own, either for technical or knowledge reasons, the advisors and funds are willing to help you out for a hefty fee. The large financial institutions are actually making tons of money due to technological capability, but you’re never going to see any of it. Unfortunately there’s no easy way for the average joe to take advantage of the current financial system. Quant and other advances in investing need fairly deep pockets and infrastructure in order to be successful. If you’re not happy with your current situation as it pertains to retirement investing, (and frankly who is,) you’re best off looking into an entirely different direction to realize your retirement dreams.
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