What is it that makes something truly great, and can they stay great or are they just great right now?

At some point Blink-182 went from the most famous and beloved punk band, to a parody of themselves. They’d sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and were even ranked 4th in the most influential bands in the last 30 years (by some guy who was supposed to know), eclipsing even Radiohead (which shows you what media and ranking sites know…pfft).

I’ve always thought that, at some point, fame destroys the very thing that gave rise to its fame in the first place, and the thing that is famous then becomes a sad parody of the thing it was. Happened to Kanye. Happened to the Simpsons. Britney. Will Ferrall. Ellen. Blink-182…

They all started off as being cutting edge, new, fresh, hip. Then they were slowly caught up in their own BS, or maybe, like sportsmen, they stopped being at the top of their game but felt compelled to keep ‘pleasing the fans’, and just destroyed their legacy. And became parodies.

It’s hard to sing about teenage angst and toilet humour in your 40’s and be taken seriously.

‘What’s my age again?’ was probably the catchiest, NovaFM friendliest, preppy punk thing they released. It’s about whether it’s appropriate to keep acting like a fool as you grow older, and you probably know a lot of the words and sing along.

But regardless of the seismic improvements in new technology, a large number of people still hang on to the old ways and don’t embrace the improvements tech has brought to our lives.

I still see taxis banging around. Sure, they’ve lifted their game a bit since Uber crashed into town (maybe, sometimes) and if I’m really lazy I’ll wave one down, but always regret it. Apart from the expense, I have to tell the guy where I’m going, I have to pull out a credit card and watch the credit card charge get tacked on to the bill, the seats are often vinyl and there’s no need for the driver to care one way or another about service.

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So my laziness actually made me do more work and reduced my enjoyment of the journey.

It takes a moment or two to download the Uber app, and a moment or two to use it. Then, it’s a major change to the way you get home from the pub. It’s both cheaper and more enjoyable.

Both types of transport take me from a place to another place when Joe Law says I shouldn’t drive myself. But its ‘All the Small Things’ that the Uber technology and business model have brought to the table that make it both cheaper and more enjoyable.

Let’s talk about technology in share trading. If you are still using the same online broker that you have been using for more than a year, then you are still lining up in the proverbial taxi rank. And a guy in an Uber, with his choice of music, his preferred temperature control, his preferred level of chit-chat is zipping by without even having to tell the driver where to go.

When you log-in to our state-of-the-art trading platform, you’ll immediately notice how much quicker it is to get to the important information you need than your legacy broker.

I used to use one of them. First you opened a webpage asking ‘which of the bank services you wanted today’, then you clicked ‘share trading’, then you went to another webpage to fill in your log-in details, that then took you to get another webpage that was the main screen. Then you had to navigate to another screen for each stock, waiting for the thing to load up each time.

On Marketech Focus, once you are logged in you only need to open the app and you are straight in the live market. You pull your phone out of your pocket, unlock it, open the app, see your watchlist, have a quick scroll and put it away. Seconds, not minutes.

Check out this video on the PC version, only goes for a few moments, might change your life…

All your separate portfolios (individual, joint, super fund, and family trust?), which are all linked to the one log-in, are hidden away behind your PIN number until you need them, so there’s no need to fumble with unnecessarily high levels of security each time you want to look at the market – because you probably look at the market a hell of a lot more than you actually place a trade.

When you set some stuff up on your charts – or look at a particular stock, or leave a watchlist open when you close the screen – those settings will remain the same for the next time you open up the platform, regardless of whether you do it on your mobile phone or your PC. There’s nothing more infuriating that having to go back through the log-in screens, find the stock you were looking at and then reset your charts.

Beep, off goes an alert, phone out of pocket, check the stock you are actively following, quick scan of the watchlist, then back in the pocket.

It’s the little things, like how easy and quick it is to scroll through your watchlists and see if there’s news and if there’s a trading halt and the match price, and how much it’s up or down today. It’s the portfolio view, where your cost-bases are easy to see, and how much they are up or down today.

You can quickly move to an intraday chart, or a monthly chart, or different chart types (like candles or lines or a whole bunch of others) and then scroll through a whole bunch of technical tools (even if you don’t know what they do!) or whack on some trendlines to see what the patterns look like.

And the order ticket system is snappy! If you open a ticket, live-streaming pricing is shown in the ticket itself, so you don’t have to navigate away to check the latest price and then back, losing seconds in a quick market.

Once you hit buy or sell, and you slap in your PIN number and choose the account you want to buy them on, you are asked whether it’s a limit or a market order – takes moments, not seconds. Choosing ‘Market’ order then opens up a trading ticket, and you can pick the dollar amount or the number of shares, and bam.

Choosing ‘Limit’ order then opens up a line on the chart, and you slide it to where you want it (then choose account and amount as above), then BAM! You see your order hit the market in the depth, which you open with a click to see all of the various orders in front and behind you on the ASX.

When you own the stock, you see the cost-base pictured on the chart for that company, ditto your various orders. When you want to sell all of the holding, it’s two clicks. Click the line, sell the line. If you want to amend the order, click the line, drag the line on the chart, accept the changes. So quick and easy!

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Great for chasing speccy stocks intraday – or just because you have better things to do than load up various webpages waiting each time for the data to load. All of our price data is live at all times, just chilling in ‘the cloud’ waiting for you to access it, streaming it out quicker than any other method. It’s like keeping a tap running, and all you need to do is hold out a glass, not turn it on and off.

Oh my god, there is so much else. Everything just works and everything is just where it should be. Maybe it’s not exactly where your existing platform has it, but it’s in the right place for a mobile platform, and you surely have better things to do than stare at a screen trapped in your office all day now that the sun is shining and the country is reopening.

Equally, there’s no unnecessary crap laying around dirtying up your screen. Mostly the banks’ platforms are trying to sell you other bank stuff (like 0.0035% term deposits!), or there are lots of flashing lights with no other value than to make the platform look futuristic and superior.

But it’s not. It’s old, and most of that stuff are the unnecessary equivalents of a neon-lit wannabe Jetsons flying car that makes them undecipherable.

And don’t forget after spending a few minutes opening a trading account that the stock is on your own HIN and the cash is in your own Macquarie Bank account, and you keep the interest you earn (whatever paltry amount that is!). We’ve cut no corners; used best practice.

There’s a lot of chatter about cheap brokerage. Ours is very cheap, in fact for most people it’s the cheapest. But there is cheap and there is “cheap”. We used technology to get the lowest pricing possible without removing expensive, but important, features in share investing – like the current share prices of the companies you are buying and selling… With money…

So you can be the guy that still uses cash to pay for everything. You can be the gal that does their banking with a bank teller. You can have your answering machine and a dial-up internet connection. Or you can be cool, like the Robinhood set, buying into something that is ‘hip’ and ‘now’.

But there’s a third option. It’s for managing your money and it’s not a toy. It’s like a scientific calculator, not an Instagram account.

Use the latest technology. Get the lower prices. Gain an advantage with speed and precision. The stockmarket isn’t a game, it’s THE game and you should take it seriously.

At Marketech our platform is about technology, providing you the tools and technology to trade. We encourage our high-function trading platform to get you live pricing, live charts, live market depth to ensure you have the tools and trading capability at your fingertips, and on your mobile phone or PC.

You trade your own stock on your individual HIN. It is your cash in your own Macquarie account where you keep the competitive interest you earn.

Our subscribers get access to live-streaming prices, brokerage starting at $5, and then 0.02 per cent for trades over $25k. If you want to trade the market you need immediate access wherever you are and the seamless Marketech mobile app means you are live anywhere anytime. Go to www.marketech.com.au to set up a free trial – you will be astounded by the simplicity and tools that this technology gives you. No spin, just low-cost trading and the tools that give you advantage over hype.

This article was developed in collaboration with Marketech Stockbroking Pty Ltd (AFSL 486148), a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing. This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

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