Friday, July 27, 2012

New Channels For Investment Education

Channels for Investment Education - Trends
The desire for wealth has supported the finance and investing industry, creating jobs and wealth for millions of people. With gurus such as Warren Buffet and George Soros leading the way, millions seek out to improve their knowledge in this field, in the hopes of making more money through investing. We recently conducted a survey and found out the top 5 avenues for learning about investing and finance to be:
1) The Internet
2) Books
3) Professional Courses/Seminars
4) Financial Advisors
5) Friends and family
Channels for Investment Education - Websites/Blogs
It is evident most people turn to the internet first in sourcing for information to support their learning. With the advent of websites, blogs, financial news platforms, investors are now spoilt for choice in getting their finance related questions answered. We even read about hedge fund managers programming spiders to crawl blogs and websites to gauge market sentiment, hoping to beat the market through the wisdom of crowds. As the industry is constantly evolving, new financial products bring along new strategies, and the internet is in the best position to provide such time sensitive information. Investors also tend to follow the crowd and often turn to the websites and blogs to see what others are thinking and learning.
Channels for Investment Education - Videos
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What about videos. A million? With the rise of the YouTube generation, educators have embraced videos as a new channel of teaching the people how to invest. Many of such educators have attracted followers, and built communities surrounding their expertise. Through viewing, sharing, discussing and contributing, online videos are a strong channel for self learning. However, the lack of regulation also breeds many who exploit gullible new investors through various get rich quick schemes. While the internet is the top avenue for video watching, the physical distribution of content still contributes significantly to the market.
Channels for Investment Education - Seminars
Physical seminars are a more structured and intensive channel for investment education, and are often expensive as well. Not every individual is comfortable with self learning, especially when it comes to investing their hard earned money; they want to ensure they are not learning the wrong things. For those who can afford, attending a physical investment seminar provides can provide an added level of assurance. However, physical seminars are constrained by time and space, once again leading trainers to increasingly conduct their training either through live webinars, or recorded seminar videos. The trend is clear: the more people turn to the internet for investment education, the clearer a bridge we will see linking online and offline learning.
Channels for Investment Education - Summary
What you teach today may not work tomorrow. The internet is changing the way we learn (and teach) about investing and finance. Learning material needs to be time-sensitive and adaptive to global markets to stay relevant.

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