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One: The New Business Environment

How Is Social Media Changing Investor Behavior?

“If you're not on social media, you don't exist."

– Jeremy Ransom, 24, Texas Tech personal financial planning student

You remember that small innovation called e-mail? It changed everything from how we behaved to how we managed our workloads.

In e-mail's early days, many compliance officers insisted, “We'll never adopt this.” But soon enough, e-mail became a part of their daily lives. Compliance officers and marketers were forced to embrace it as the rest of the world did, leading them to invent new policies and procedures in order to remain compliant with regulators.

Imagine where your business would be today if you hadn't adapted to e-mail. The service is such a part of the landscape that nobody bothers to give it much more than a second thought. That's how it is with transformative technology – it upends the market, the market adapts, and its use is taken for granted.

Now fast-forward another two decades or so, and have a look at the latest game-changer: social media. Today, it's a New Tech World Order, as I call it. Our society has never seen anything like it; information can be sent in nanoseconds and shared in ways that are empowering people and upending traditional ways of doing business. In the financial world, that can be information shared between investors, from a company to investors, or vice versa.

For you or your business, that dynamic can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing, for those who embrace it, includes getting out of the starting gate early as the market evolves. The curse is the uncertainty of the new – Am I doing this right? How do I prepare for risks I don't fully understand right now?

One way to understand what social media means in the New Tech World Order is to look more closely at how it's affecting the lives of the clients on whom the financial industry depends.

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