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In Tok We Trust – Exploring Social Media’s Role in the Worlds of Retail Investors and Institutions

Savage, Michael (2023) In Tok We Trust – Exploring Social Media’s Role in the Worlds of Retail Investors and Institutions. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Savage, Michael

The dual trends of retail investing and social media’s role as a channel for investing advice are on the rise. The objective of this study is to determine the forces that shape retail investors’ trust (or lack thereof) in financial institutions, and conversely the forces that shape trust in social media platforms and content creators as alternative sources of financial and investing advice. Understanding retail investors’ behaviours and perceptions toward these sources of investing advice sets the foundation for retail investors to be more informed and equipped with areas of further exploration in the current and future investing landscapes.

This study approaches the research objective through a combination of primary research with retail investors who leverage social media as a source of advice, a supplementary literature review to explore emerging themes and perceptions further, and a foresight exercise which illustrates alternative futures and alternative ways in which key signals of change evolve.

Following the analysis of findings for each methodology and subsequent synthesis, this study identifies that financial institutions face less of a crisis of trust, but more so one of faith in favourable outcomes. Institutions must grapple with (particularly younger) retail investors’ lack of faith that the perceived-general level of advice, combined with the cost of services, will facilitate their wealth goals. Social media platforms are not seen as necessarily more trustworthy, but more capable of delivering timely, targeted advice to retail investors. Signals of change in the financial industry and marketplaces point toward hyper-personalized investing services, aggressive increases in personal financial data sharing and segmentation to deliver services, and a pronounced emphasis on ESG-forward investing options. In futures where ESG-related advice is orchestrated and better standardized, social media-delivered advice stands at risk of obsolescence in the face of more empowered and surgical retail investors.

Date: 6 September 2023
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2024 17:48
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 17:48
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4164

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