Where do you get your investment ideas from? A whopping 21% of investors aged 18-34 get stock tips and market forecasts from Instagram, as well as 16% looking at Facebook, 14% sourcing ideas from Reddit and even 8% on TikTok.
Unsurprisingly, for those investors aged 55+ those numbers fall to 0%. If you are older, chances are financial companies websites are top of the list of sources, if you’re like 38% of men, and 28% of women.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Reddit were highly popular during the pandemic, which saw many younger investors jumping in on the highly volatile dynamics of meme stocks, often to their own detriment.
Specialist financial websites remain popular
Financial websites are popular across all investor age ranges, geographical regions of the UK and employment status, in fact rising to 46% of people amongst the self-employed. This is according to data from broker and wealth manager Hargreaves Lansdown, part of a survey of 2000 investors carried out in May 2023.
“Other sources of ideas are different amongst different cohorts, with women more likely to ask friends and family for idea and guidance, while men and older investors prefer to trust their own judgement,” said Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research at Hargreaves Lansdown. “After that, newspapers and specialised financial publications are a source of ideas across men and women of all ages – though less so with younger investors who prefer to turn to social media for ideas.”
Regionally there are few differences – most investors across the UK prefer the same sources for ideas – although people in the East Midlands at 39% and London at 33% trust friends and family for investment ideas far more than those in Wales and the West Midlands at just 17% and 11% respectively!
Of course, the most important factor when looking for investment ideas – regardless of your source – is that they are right for you, and your personal financial plan. Those readying themselves for retirement probably shouldn’t be invested in the same portfolio as a Gen Z investor who is in their first job.
Wall says you should consider your risk appetite, investment horizon and what you may already be invested in before acting on any investment ideas.
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“Ensure a good mix of sectors, regions and styles in your investment portfolio, to help build ballast to weather choppy markets,” she adds.
While engagement with investing should be applauded at any age, taking tips from unregulated or unverified sources, such as social media, should be done with caution. Always take time to do additional due diligence on any ideas. If you are at a pivotal life event – retirement, marriage, becoming a parent, and you are really short of investment ideas, consider getting professional advice before taking the plunge.