A major survey of financial services professionals – including trustees, fund managers and advisors – has confirmed that readership habits have splintered dramatically due to the mushrooming dominance of online information sources.
The survey, of 644 financial professionals, based primarily in Australia, showed that mainstream media had been marginalized in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, according to George Lucas, chief executive of Wealth Know How, which sponsored the study. The survey was designed and produced by Shed Social, an affiliated business of Investor Strategy News, and carried out by McGregor Tan Research.
As a group, the ‘trade press’ of both online and print publications was the most commonly used source of financial news, with about 23 per cent relying on the sector as their principal source. A distant second was Bloomberg, with 10 per cent, followed by the Australian Financial Review, with 9 per cent, and then the other daily newspapers and websites. Individual trade publications were not identified in the study.
Online news and information (excluding social media) accounted for 72 per cent of readership, compared with 17 per cent for offline, including TV and radio, and 11 per cent for social media. Among investment professionals, Linkedin was the social media of choice, ahead of Facebook and Twitter by a wide margin.
Alex McGregor, a director of Shed Social, said: “Whatever the platform or the source, this survey shows there is a genuine hunger among financial professionals for regular up-to-the-minute financial intelligence and commentary… When 80 per cent of financial professionals say they access financial news online ‘several times a day’, it is important to know where they are looking. In the funds management sector, the number was 87 per cent.”
Another feature of the research was the importance of mobile technology. A total of 64 per cent of respondents said they used a smartphone to access financial information.
Lucas said the use of mobile and other portable devices would only increase as the technology became more sophisticated and the finance industry adapted the digital distribution of its data.
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