modern day trader6 Surprising Stats About the Modern Day Trader. Photo: Christian Zimmermann (Flickr)

6 Surprising Facts About the Modern Day Trader

As the handful of croaky veterans on sparse trading floors will eagerly tell you, trading today has changed almost unrecognisably from its recent past.

With the advent of the Internet and digital communications having dramatically changed the trading landscape beyond all recognition from a time synonymous with frantic trading floors, battered headsets and mobile phones the size of house bricks, the traders themselves have adapted and evolved for a new era.

So if you think traders are all wealthy men over the age of 50, driving around in supercars and based in the UK or US, you might want to think again, as a recent in-depth report from BrokerNotes suggests that the modern day trader is now much younger and more gender and geographically diverse than their predecessors so often notoriously depicted in books and movies.

Having read the report in full (you can do so at brokernotes.co/modern-trader), we've come to some conclusions based on their findings. These form our 6 Surprising Stats About the Modern Day Trader...

1. Asia is where it's all happening

The report estimated that a whopping 9.6 million people worldwide trade online, highlighting the jaw-dropping and industry-shifting effect that the Internet has had on trading; democratising a pursuit that was previously only ever attainable by the few able to trod the arduous journey to London's City or New York's Wall Street.

Now, however, trades can be placed from all four corners of the globe, leading to an unlikely new leader when it comes to most active online traders. For it is no longer the USA or UK where you'll find the most traders - but Asia, where its 3.2m traders account for more than Europe and North American combined.

2. It's no longer just a man's game

So long attributed solely to men, more and more women are now becoming traders as this digital democratisation not only sees geographical boundaries dismantled, but gender divides too. The report estimates that women now account for 10% of all online traders.

And here's something else to consider. Not only are the number of women involved in trading increasing, but they're also proving to be better traders too. A 2011 study conducted by behavioural economists Terrence Odean and Brad Barber found that males traded 45% more frequently than females, resulting in a 2.65% reduction in net returns per year, compared to 1.76% for women.

Infographic: An Insight Into the Modern Trader

3. Millennials are taking over

As the chart below clearly shows, the numbers of Millennials getting involved in trading has been increasing year-on-year, while the number of traders over 45 has decreased just as sharply. In 2017, 18-34 year olds represent over 65% of all online traders, showing that - unlike in previous years - experience and qualifications (37% of traders do not have a degree) are no longer prerequisites to trade.

And when looking at cryptocurrencies, that percentage increases even further, with over 75% of cryptocurrency traders aged 18-34, giving a clear indication that the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum are key factors in attracting a new, younger generation to online trading.

4. Apple can't crack this nut

Seemingly at odds with the news that trading is attracting an increasingly younger audience comes the revelation that traders appear to be one of the few markets where the world's biggest brand is struggling to make inroads. A huge 81% of traders prefer to use a PC for their trading rather than an Apple Mac.

And while this trend could well be largely attributed to the majority of trading platforms being specifically tailored to Windows, even on mobile Android gets the nod over the iPhone, with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge the most popular phone among traders.

5. Nearly a quarter of traders don't own a car

Probably the most surprising news to emerge from the BrokerNotes Modern Trader report was the stat that 22% of traders don't own a car. No doubt related to the fact that an increasing number of traders are now able to trade remotely while sat comfortably at home, the stat reflects the possibility that traders simply don't require the use of a car as much as in previous years.

Nonetheless traders in the survey still displayed a strong interest in motoring and nice cars, with Lamborghini named their favourite luxury car brand, and over 50% owning a sports car, again suggesting that car ownership is more for leisure and pleasure rather than the drudge of daily commute.

6. Forex comes out on top

When asked what style of trading they preferred, both male and female traders agreed on what was their number one: Foreign Exchange. Forex trading led by a considerable margin, ahead of Day Trading and CFD, with female traders rating Spread Betting marginally more favourably than men.

You can read the full report at brokernotes.co, and tweet us your thoughts at @_TraderLife_