The mobile industry is climbing at a considerable clip. Here INN looks at the key facts behind the mobile web investing industry.
Smartphone technology has transformed several industries, including investing. The ability to communicate instantly has had an unprecedented effect on our business and investing ecosystem.
Due to how quickly smartphones have evolved over the last decade or so, more people are turning to their handheld devices instead of their computers as a way of accessing the internet. That growth has increased so much that in 2019, Pew Research Center reported that five billion people globally own mobile devices. In late 2016, mobile web browsing surpassed desktop browsing for the first time in history.
Despite this, the second quarter of 2019 took a different turn, as the International Data Corporation shows that the traditional PC market increased 1.1 percent year-over-year, with 16.4 million units of notebooks, desktops and workstations sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
As global mobile data traffic is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 47 percent between 2016 and 2021, here the Investing News Network (INN) breaks down a few basic mobile web investing facts to consider before diving into the space.
Mobile web investing: What is the mobile web?
In simple terms, the answer is quite easy. The mobile web relates to “browser-based” internet services that are accessed via our handheld devices.
As PC Magazine defines it, the mobile web is “accessing the Web from smartphones and tablets.” However, just like the evolution of technology, that definition has also expanded. PC Magazine further defines the mobile web as encompassing all apps that are downloaded via a web server. Once installed, many apps still require accessing web servers for updates and other data as required.
Therefore, if you’ve ever used your phone and accessed a web browser such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), logged onto the Facebook app (NASDAQ:FB), checked your email, done online banking, used a streaming service like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or even played a game, then you’re certainly familiar with the mobile web to an extent.
In summary, the mobile web encompasses a wide range of uses that are no longer restricted to simply surfing the internet by way of a handheld device.
Mobile web investing: Market growth
In terms of mobile app spending, Zenith Media reports that mobile advertising will account for 30.5 percent of global advertising expenditure in 2020, up from 19.2 percent in 2017. In terms of numbers, mobile advertising will total US$187 billion in 2020, which will be more than twice the US$88 billion spent on desktop advertising.
Mobile web investing: How to invest
Lastly, you’re probably wondering how to invest in this space — and how mobile web investing can strengthen your portfolio. As the scale of investing apps and online investment companies grow, from Wealthsimple to Questrade, the ability to invest in the mobile space has become more accessible.
It is relatively easy to open a brokerage account online, with a low minimum investment and a suite of wealth management and investment advisor services available. In addition, the list of stock trading apps is growing. Companies including TD Ameritrade (TSX:TD) , E*Trade, Robinhood and Acorns all offer investors the ability to start investing with low commissions and fees.
When it comes to options trading, Ally Invest, an online investing website and registered broker-dealer, provides individuals with investing accounts and options trades at 65 cents per trade. Its stock trading app charges an annual 0.3 percent fee on all account balances.
Several online financial advisors offer services on mobile apps. Wealthbar, Questrade and Wealthsimple all offer financial advice on money management, investment decisions and investment strategy.
There are a number of options and investment products below, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks that offer an alternative to mutual funds. Below, INN looks at options that are easy and accessible for all types of investors.
As they are in many other sectors and industries, ETFs are an attractive option for those who are interested in a commodity as a whole, rather than one specific company. ETFs typically offer lower fees and a wide variety of investment objectives.
According to ETFdb.com, there are a select few overall internet-based ETFs, which include the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (BMV:FDN), KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (NASDAQ:KWEB), PowerShares NASDAQ Internet Portfolio ETF (NASDAQ:PNQI) and Emerging Markets Internet & eCommerce ETF (NYSEARCA:EMQQ).
For those looking for a more specific mobile web ETF, there is also the the PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF (ARCA:GAMR), which is the first of its kind.
Of course, for those who are more interested in going all-in on a company, investing in stocks is generally the way to go. When it comes to the mobile web, there are a wide variety of stocks from which to choose, such as those in apps, video games, and social media.
This is an updated version of an article first published on the Investing News Network in 2017.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Dorothy Neufeld, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.