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Most affluent Gen Yers use social media for personal finance, investing

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Seven in ten Generation Y investors now regularly engage social media for personal finance and investing purposes, according to a new study.

Cogent Research, Cambridge, Mass., reveals this finding in the report, “Social Media’s Impact on Personal Finance & Investing.” The study examines, among other things, the impact of major social media outlets on investing behavior and the perceptions of specific brands among affluent investors.

The report reveals that affluent Gen Y investors—individuals born during the 1980s and 1990s—now represent 9 percent of affluent investors. More than 8 in 10 (81 percent) of these investors work with a financial advisor.

Facebook is the most widely used online portal for investing among Gen Y investors: More than 4 in 10 of this demographic cohort (42 percent) use this social media platform. YouTube and financial firms’ web sites/blogs are used by 32 percent and 23 percent, respectively, of Gen Y investors. The penetration rates for Twitter and LinkedIn are 19 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Among investors belonging to Generation X (those born between 1964 and 1980), financial firms’ websites and blogs are the main social media sites: Nearly three in ten (28 percent) turn to this portal. The penetration rates of Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter among this demographic group are 15 percent, 6 percent, 7 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

By gender, the Cogent study observes only narrow differences in social media usage across age groups—with one exception. Men turn to financial firms’ websites and blogs at a significantly higher rate (26 percent) than do women (16 percent).

Among the affluent and high net worth, social media usage breaks down as follows:

Facebook—9 percent

LinkedIn—3 percent

YouTube—4 percent

Financial firms’ web sites and blogs—26 percent