If the term “stock twit” sounds more like a personal insult instead of a great resource, then it’s time to enter the 21st century. Social media may have started as a way of sharing daily activities with friends and family, but it’s come a long way in a very short time. It is now the tool of revolutionary political action as well as that of the savvy investor. If information is power, the investor using social media just became the Incredible Hulk!
Financial and investing websites are great resources for information however social media outlets allow investors to actually talk to each other, giving a whole new meaning to the term “networking”. It is literally changing the way business is done across the board. The barriers between companies, their customers and investors have been swept away and relationships are being redefined.
Investors are using social media in a variety of ways, not the least of which is to seek advice and opinions from other investors. They discuss stocks and other investment vehicles, financial advisors and brokers, compare mutual funds and fees, and develop overall investment strategies.
Aside from simply sharing information, shareholders/investors are using social media to exercise their newly awarded right to weigh in on how their company is doing business as well as the executives that run it. They garner support or opposition to proxy proposals, overthrow boards, oust embattled CEO’s, and literally change business practices and policies, all through investor pressure using social media. A perfect example of this was a blog started by one single investor unhappy with the performance of the CEO of Yahoo. By gradually assembling enough investors who represented 2.6 million shares worth about $60 million, the CEO was forced to step down. Social media provided the mechanism, or gathering place, for this kind of shareholder/investor activism to take root.
A popular social network forum unabashedly designed to affect change is www.moxyvote.com. According to their website, “Moxy Vote’s platform enables you to find your voice, band with others and influence companies to alter their policies in support of the causes that are important to you.” They proudly proclaim they are out to “change corporate behavior”. Among other things, they have a myriad of letters to various corporations urging actions on everything from recycling and phasing out fur products to encouraging employee diversity and more eco-friendly practices.
There are a variety of social media outlets, some more popular than others, that provide this kind of platform to investors. Whether it is YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Seeking Alpha or countless others, they each have something to offer the investor. For those investors in the HNW (High Net Wealth) category, there are exclusive sites requiring registration and “approval” to participate. Minimum requirements for those generally start at assets of $5 million and up. They include Family Bhive and Affluence.org. Those outlets basically serve the same purpose, just at a much higher level of income.
One of the most widely used outlets by investors in general is LinkedIn. This is the ultimate “networking” site on which professionals connect, communicate and conduct business with other professionals. Investors also used LinkedIn to connect with other investors with similar goals, objectives and strategies. According to a study in 2010 by the Spectrem Group, 69% of LinkedIn users would consult members of their network on the site prior to making a critical investment decision. That’s powerful!
But, the very same power that enables the investor to network and gather valuable information and advice can also put them at a higher risk of fraud. What has been a revolution in empowerment for the investor has also been a golden opportunity for those who deceive and steal. They are on those outlets as well, often pretending to be something they are not, setting up shop on a very legitimate looking website and gathering critical information on naïve investors. Social media has been just as lucrative for those who would use it to cheat.
The problem has become so pervasive that the SEC (Security Exchange Commission) has dedicated an entire portion of their website (on the alert section which is good for every investor to review occasionally) to social media and investing. The page dealing with fraud in general covers what seems like common sense practices, yet investors, especially seniors, continue to fall prey to these types of scams. http://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/socialmediaandfraud.pdf warns of offers too good to be true, guaranteed returns on an investment, the dangers of unsolicited offers, pressure to purchase immediately, and countless others. They review various scams currently prevalent and provide a concise outline of issues to be aware of when using social media as an investor.
Also included on the SEC site are ways to protect the investor. These include tips to be mindful of privacy default settings which are usually broader and less secure. The investor should consider minimizing those settings. Avoid sharing unnecessary biological data or any account information. If communicating with a financial professional regarding your investment portfolio, do so only through secure means, not over the social media outlets. Choose strong passwords and change them frequently. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Exercise extreme caution when using public computers or wireless connections. Use secure devices instead, particularly when conveying any important data. All are valuable and sensible points.
So go ahead…twit, twitter and tweet your way to investing success, using the proper safeguards, of course. Like the Incredible Hulk, you’ll be all the stronger where it counts the most! In this case, it is your portfolio.
What does this mean for you? The cautious investor has much to gain by using social media as part of their investment strategy. Whether to simply gather additional information and advice or to actively participate in changing company practices, it’s an invaluable tool that provides yet another avenue for the investor to gain “the edge” in today’s complex world of investing. Our aim is to give exclusive advantages. Buy custom paper and essay online here. Our aim is to give the best and impressive essays without compromising the content of all the content for school and essay online here. Our versatility towards our work makes us different. . http://guidessay.com/buy-essay/ We provide the quality. Our aim is to give exclusive advantages. Buy custom paper and intellectual team give exclusive advantages. Buy custom paper and college students. The expert and intellectual team give exclusive advantages. Buy custom paper and also endow with the content for school and also endow .