How Decentralized Finance Makes Investing Accessible
Historically, global financial markets have been restricted to those with exactly the right contacts, in the right locations, and with vast amounts of wealth already at their disposal. Investing for the general population, however, was typically expensive, cumbersome, and inaccessible.
Fortunately, today’s infographic from Abra demonstrates how the decentralized financial market has brought about solutions to these hurdles.
Why Investing Should be More Accessible
Many factors such as theft, inflation, and political or economic shifts can erode personal wealth over time.
Being able to invest in the global financial market offers a hedge against these risks, and yet for those with modest resources and limited connections, investing has typically been out of reach.
Consider several well-known platforms or funds:
- Etrade ─ $500
- T. Rowe Price ─ $2,500
- Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index Fund ─ $5,000,000
Investment minimums range from several hundred to several million dollars—making any hope of investing impossible for most.
This is especially urgent for the global middle class, which is expected to swell 180% by 2040. Having access to more avenues to build and protect wealth will be key to sustainable economic growth for a growing majority worldwide.
But how can people actually start investing if much of the current market is still too expensive?
Fractional Investing Offers Better Access
In the past, brokers were limited to buying and selling stocks as whole units.
Fractional investing, however, allows investors with a lower net worth to access valuable, expensive stocks. It also attracts investors that are less likely to buy and sell on a whim and instead focus on long-term growth.
Blockchain technology has been a key component in this democratization of global wealth—much like fractional investing—because people are no longer restricted by their resources, location, or lack of connections.
A New Wave of Investing
Decentralized finance is:
Users no longer need a third-party to verify their transactions.
Users can access decentralized financial markets from anywhere using their smart devices.
Every transaction is made publically viewable.
No one can make arbitrary changes or cause system-wide shutdowns.
Anyone can customize smart contracts based on regional and technical requirements.
Decentralized financial tools, using blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are providing excellent alternatives to building wealth by offering smaller investment minimums, lower fees, and faster transaction times.
The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies introduced the world to the simple concept of fractional investing—owning extremely small fractions of digital currencies.
Now, investors can also own fractions of high-priced stocks, ETFs, fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, and stable coins, through Abra’s novel platform.
Abra: the Blockchain-based Investment App
Abra is the world’s first global investment app that uses the Bitcoin blockchain to make investing more accessible. Abra makes it fast and easy to manage your investments—all from one app.
- Simple: Easy to use and globally available, Abra’s app makes investing a breeze.
- Secure: Abra is secure and private—backed by blockchain and smart-contract technology—giving investors full control of their funds through non-custodial wallets.
- Fractionalized: Invest in partial shares of traditional and digital assets, starting at $5.
- Global: Trade, store value, and invest in a range of fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and stocks from 154 countries.
The Future of Investing
Historically, investing in equities has been a key to building personal wealth, and Abra’s technology allows more people around the world to access the same types of investments, no matter their location or income.
A survey of Abra users shows the democratization of investing in action:
Affordability: Most Abra users have roughly US$50 in their portfolios.
Security: Abra users enjoy privacy of information and full control of their assets.
Accessibility: A top priority for Abra users, they are able to invest in financial markets and expensive equities worldwide.
With its intuitive, global platform, Abra has introduced the future of investing for everyone.
“For the first time, we can truly democratize access to investment opportunities at global scale.”
—Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra
Gold in the Abitibi: The Chimo Mine Project
Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is advancing the Chimo Mine Gold Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec, showing its potential with past producing mines.
Gold in the Abitibi: Cartier Resources Chimo Mine Project
Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is deploying the right strategy in the right region, with the right backers to find gold faster at a lower cost.
Proven Endowment: The Abitibi Greenstone Belt
There are many prolific past-producing gold districts in Canada, but the Abitibi is one of the largest and best understood gold-bearing regions with readily available exploration infrastructure.
This region extends from Wawa in Northwestern Ontario to the east near Val-d’Or Quebec – a landscape that hosts some of the most productive gold mines in Canada.
The company’s Chimo gold mine project located in the historic Abitibi Greenstone belt of Quebec builds on a legacy of gold production with a project ready for investors.
The best place to find gold is where companies discovered and mined it in the past. Between 1964 and 1997, three companies produced 379,012 ounces of gold at the Chimo Mine property.
This type of strategy is known as brownfield exploration. Brownfield exploration looks for gold in areas known to host gold mineralization. It offers investors less risk, reducing the amount of uncertainties a company faces.
Ounces in the Ground: 2019 Resource Estimate
The company delivered within three years its first-ever resource estimate and proved the value its Chimo Mine Project. In November 2019, Cartier published its first mineral resource estimate of the central gold corridor on the Chimo mine property:
Measured Resources: 481,280 ounces of gold
Inferred Resources: 417,250 ounces of gold
Cartier has proven a resource in one third of the Chimo property, and there is the north and south gold corridor which it is currently drilling.
Cartier Resources has built on the foundations of a proven past producer with a new resource estimate, to put the Chimo Mine project back on the Abitibi gold map.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
This graphic timeline highlights how the exchange-traded fund (ETF) came into existence, as well as the 26-year history of ETFs as an investment vehicle.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
In recent decades, there have been many breakthrough technologies that have re-shaped the nature of entire industries.
In finance, perhaps the most notable disruption has come from the rise of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) — an investment vehicle that has quadrupled in size over the last decade alone. But how did the ETF originate, and how has its use evolved through to today?
Today’s infographic comes to us from iShares by BlackRock, and it shows how the ETF has gone from an obscure index tracking tool to becoming a mainstream investing vehicle that encompasses trillions of dollars of assets around the world.
The Origin and History of ETFs
ETFs emerged out of the index investing phenomenon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and there are two early examples that can be referenced as a starting point:
- Index Participation Shares – 1989
This initial attempt to create an ETF was set to track the S&P 500, and garnered significant investor interest. However, it was ruled to work like a futures contract according to a federal court in Chicago, so it never made it to the exchange.
- Toronto 35 Index Participation Units – 1990
These were a warehouse, receipt-based instrument that tracked Canada’s major index, the TSE-35. They allowed investors to participate in the performance in the index, without owning individual shares of stocks in the index.
Since these pioneering ETF endeavors, the investment vehicle has caught on in popularity — and it is now clear that ETFs provide a range of important benefits to investors, such as: low costs, liquidity, diversification, tax efficiency, flexibility, accessibility, and transparency.
Key Milestones in U.S. ETF History:
- 1993 – The First ETF launches in the U.S., tracking the S&P 500
- 1998 – Sector ETFs debut, tracking individual S&P 500 sectors
- 2004 – The first U.S.-listed commodity ETF is formed, offering exposure to gold bullion
- 2008 – Actively-managed ETFs get the green light from the SEC
- 2010 – Term-maturity ETFs debut, holding bonds that all mature in same year
- 2015 – First factor-based bond ETFs are launched
- 2019 – U.S.-listed ETFs hit $4 trillion in AUM, and global bond ETF AUM crosses $1 trillion
How ETFs are Used Today
Today, the U.S. ETF industry has $4.04 trillion of assets under management (AUM), covering a wide spectrum of assets including equities, bonds, alternatives, and money markets.
ETFs are now the go-to index vehicle for 78% of institutional investors, according to a study by Greenwich Associates. Here are the 10 most popular applications for ETFs based on the same data:
|Tactical adjustments||72%||Over- or underweight certain styles, regions, or countries on the basis of short term views.|
|Core allocation||68%||Build a long-term strategic holding in a portfolio.|
|Rebalancing||60%||Manage portfolio risk in between rebalancing cycles.|
|Portfolio completion||57%||Fill in gaps in a strategic asset allocation.|
|International diversification||56%||Gain efficient access to foreign markets.|
|Liquidity management||54%||Maintain exposure in a liquid investment vehicle to meet cash flow needs.|
|Transition management||44%||Facilitate manager transitions with ETFs.|
|Risk management||42%||Mitigate undesired portfolio risk and hedge asset allocation decisions.|
|Interim beta||37%||Maintain market exposure while refining a long-term view.|
|Cash equitization||37%||Put long-term cash positions to work with ETFs to minimize cash drag.|
In the 26 years since the introduction of ETFs, they have grown and evolved to cover almost every aspect of the market. The next stage of growth for the ETF will be driven by investors finding even more uses for these versatile tools.
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