Everyone in the world increasingly lives in what Marshall McLuhan and Alvin Toffler call, the Global Village. In South Africa we can all see the beginnings of a phenomenal change in our way of life. These changes will sweep across the world and into our continent. It will leave a society for our children that is substantially different to the one we now know.

Consider these changes :

Small, efficient electronic bank tellers that work all night and can be found in almost every shopping centre throughout our country. Adding to this are the units at some food stores where your bank account will be instantly debited to pay for your shopping.

Financial investments and trading information, which used to be exclusively available to executives in their boardrooms, is now available to small investors in their homes through computers.

There are huge databases where people from all over our country and from all over the world can meet to discuss issues relevant to themselves. The result is that hobbyists can meet and activists can reach each other and form pressure groups on issues that might never have been raised.

In the 1992 US Presidential elections, Ross Perot glamorized a long held concept of everyone having a say in the governing of America, by registering their opinions via computer and being present at political meetings via tele-conferencing.

The gap between things happening and when everyone hears about it, is shortening daily. For example there is a story about when the US President Reagan was shot in 1984 and someone in the same street was phoned by his business partner in London who told him what had happened.

What we are witnessing is (in effect) a drive to create free flow of information, instantly, anytime, anywhere and in any form required.

This principle has become a crucial issue for those who invest. In response to this need, databases and services have sprung up worldwide to give both the small and big investors instant access to their chosen markets. Here in South Africa, there are already many companies that distribute world-wide or local financial information and news, as it happens.

The information can be supplied in many ways, so as to meet the users budget. The larger traders can take a permanent connection and receive live feeds of information on several financial topics ranging from Gold, Currencies to stock market-prices, Futures prices, Gilts, Unit Trusts or Traded Options Markets. For those who do not need to have instant access to these details, they simply receive software which allows their computer to fetch the information from the computers at night.

This once-a-day service when combined with the supplied advice and technical or fundamental analysis, can be effective to anticipate the markets sentiment and increase the prospect of successful and profitable investing.


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