SOURCE: Marketwired

Marketwired

May 13, 2013 13:54 ET

Wall Street and Social Media: Study Reveals Generational Divide

Marketwired Survey Finds Decision-Makers Under 40 Most Likely to Trust and Rely on Social Media to Inform Investment Decisions

TORONTO--(Marketwired - May 13, 2013) - A recent ruling by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on social media usage by public companies, paired with the hacking of a Twitter account belonging to The Associated Press (AP), have sparked ongoing debate about the influence of social media on Wall Street. There is much speculation about social media's impact on the trustworthiness of information and its effect on investment behavior, and a recent study commissioned by Marketwired uncovered some telling facts: A generational divide is emerging, with people under 40 increasingly turning to and relying on social media to inform investment decisions.

Marketwired recently published "The Future of Investing and the Great Social Shift," an infographic summarizing insights from 120 stockbrokers, financial and market analysts, financial advisors, individual traders and fund managers. Research findings reveal social media's impact on Wall Street, specifically: sources of information consulted when making investment decisions, access to social networks at work, perceived credibility of information found online, and how the SEC's social media ruling will impact decision-making.

"Nearly 40% of respondents use information from social media when making investment decisions, and the number jumps to 60% when looking at the next generation of decision-makers," explained Jim Delaney, CEO of Marketwired. "This is why we believe companies should take an integrated approach to investor relations, combining traditional and social communication, so they are able to reach their stakeholders and influencers wherever they are most active."

Key findings from the survey include:

  • News sources: Where 60% to 70% of all investors say they use traditional sources of investment information (i.e., press releases, newspapers, analyst reports), 40% of survey participants say they are using social media as one of their sources. Considering the relatively short length of time this technology has been available, this reflects a significant level of use.
  • Access to networks: Just less than half (49%) of respondents say their company blocks access to social media sites; however, 39% of those people admit they consult them during the workday on personal electronic devices.
  • Credibility: Respondents under 40 are most likely to seek information about investments using social media and are three times more likely than other age groups to say the information is credible. As the next generation of investors becomes decision makers and manages larger portfolios, public companies need to keep up.
  • SEC impact: Eighty percent (80%) of the investors believe the recent SEC ruling will result in more companies using social media to share information. A majority (53%) of the respondents feel the SEC decision will be beneficial for investors.

More survey results are available in the infographic, "The Future of Investing and the Great Social Shift." 

About Marketwired

Partnering with companies of all sizes -- from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises -- Marketwired is an innovative, social communications company offering best-in-class, global news distribution and reporting. Powered by Sysomos, Marketwired's products also provide state-of-the-art social media monitoring and analytics. This critical business intelligence provides instant and unlimited access to all social media conversations, allowing brands to see what's happening, why it's happening, and who's driving the conversations.

Marketwired is majority-owned by OMERS Private Equity (www.omerspe.com), which manages the private equity activities of OMERS Administration Corporation and today has $6.4 billion of investments under management. OMERS Private Equity is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices in New York and London.

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