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Cogent Research: Many consumers use social media to help make investment decisions

About a third of affluent investors are now using social media as one way to gather information they use to make investment and personal finance decisions, according to a new report from Cogent Research, a market research and consulting firm based in Cambridge.

Titled “Social Media’s Impact on Personal Finance and Investing,” the report is drawn from insights gained from a national survey of more than 4,000 investors with more than $100,000 in investable assets, Cogent Research said in a press release.

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One report finding: “While most investors continue to rely on a variety of resources for investment information, nearly 70 percent have reallocated investments or began or altered relationships with investment providers based on content found through social media.”

In many cases, these investors are using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube as well as company blogs.

The report’s authors also examined how social media impacts financial companies and what the positive and negative fallout is from people posting comments about a particular financial company’s performance.

“For every positive comment and favorable investment decision comes the possibility for damaging content,” Tony Ferreira, managing director at Cogent Research, said in a statement. “However, the larger risk to a firm is ignoring negative comments that may already exist. Overall, there are significant opportunities to strengthen brand equity for firms that regularly pursue strategies to foster positive relationships with brand followers and address negative sentiment.”

Generally investors recall a higher ratio of favorable to adverse brand-related content for several financial firms on social media, including Fidelity Investments, ING, and Vanguard, the report found.

Chris Reidy can be reached at
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