I have spent a lot of time on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and generally meeting people. Interacting with people in the real world and on social media is useful, no doubt. And even better is meeting them as a teacher, guide, coach, sales person, trainer, customer, etc. is an awesome experience. I find a new class of investor who is dependent on the social media for his investing. So let me pen my observations about this new animal called the social media person (this is not just investing, but in general):
1. For many people it is almost instinctive to ‘like’: After all how can you not ‘like’ something posted by a friend, a pretty girl, or a person you like/admire?
2. I have seen ‘like’ on some of my posts within seconds of my posting: Many, if not most likes are without even reading the text.
3. Confirmatory bias: People want to read / hear what they want to hear. So it is very easy for me to say a) PPF is awesome so all your money should be in PPF b) LIC is government controlled so it is awesome c) Buy a house as soon as you can d) While investing costs are everything, fund manager competence does not matter…………..etc. etc. EVERYTHING WILL BE LAPPED UP.
4. On the social media the words like, friend, etc. have sinister meanings.
5. Sex sells. Posts with sexy pictures get shared 100x times more. I hope the people at amazon,in, Flipkart and Homeshop TV18 ask my publisher for some sexy pictures on the cover of the book at least. I will be happy with a 100x jump in sales.
6. The title need not have too much relevance to the body of the article. Subramoney.com is a one man show. If I had to hire a person, I would ask him / her to do titling of all my 3600 articles. SEO zindabad.
7. As in real life people do not like analysis, the love bias. I have some biases – private sector fund management is superior, because it is easy to poach from a Psu amc. Or ‘Over a 10 year period equities will give better returns than bonds’. If I were to write articles with far greater facts and analysis and come to a different conclusion..people are likely reject it.
8. People want quick, confirmatory answers, it does not matter if it is wrong.
9. Investing anecdotes are far better received than scientific facts.
10. Like does not mean read, understood, implemented….it just means seen.
11. People read, pretend to understand, sound like an encyclopedia but may have bank fixed deposits and ULIPs.
12. Social Media makes everybody sound like an expert !! Even if the knowledge has been acquired from poring over books. Sadly Investment behavior is about meeting and talking to people.
13. The person making the comment or writing the article – the name – is far more important. His bias, his lack of real life experience, etc does not matter. So it is easy for BBC / WSJ to say something and get away. Then it is for people like us to break out heads….
here is a baker’s dozen…more in 2017…if I should not repeat these 13!!
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