Commentary

One in Three Affluents Get Investment Info from Social Media

A new survey of affluent investors by Cogent Research found that 34% use social media -- including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and blogs -- as a source of information for personal finance and investment decisions. Within this group, 70% -- or 24% of the total -- said they have shifted investments or begun (or changed) their relationships with investment providers due to information derived from social media.

According to AdvisorOne, which first reported on the study, Cogent found that investors rely on social media to form first impressions about financial firms and their products. They also use social media to assess market conditions and gather information for retirement planning, as well as tracking investment performance. Last but not least, they use sites like Facebook and Twitter to double-check information from their advisors.

However, this social media activity isn’t necessarily something for financial advisors to be nervous about: in a previous Cogent study, 36% of affluent investors said they actually rely more on financial advisors because of things they’re learning online.

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Still, it’s not clear that financial advisors are keeping up with their clients. Back in 2011, a survey by Fidelity Investments found that two-thirds of millionaires said they would like to be able to use social media, email, or texts to communicate with their financial advisors. But according to Cogent, just 39% of financial advisors are using social media to interact with clients. Another study from SEI found that around 20% of financial advisors said they have won new business through social media marketing.

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