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Social Media impact on Finance

Interesting article on how social media tools help investors.

According to Nicholas W. Stuller, president of The Financial Information Group Inc., these tools – available to both investors and advisors – not only enhance the appeal and effectiveness of the current advisor directory listing services, but also will help investors more easily interact and share information online to both advisors and their network of fellow investors.
“Through our technology partner, Firestarter Software,” Stuller elaborated, “we’ve embraced the latest Web 2.0 technology to further our mission of helping investors find advisors. Moving way beyond simple advisor listings, we have empowered investors with the ability to interact with advisors in a dynamic online community via their own customizable dashboard, community news features, forums, blog access, network creation, private discussions and more. In short, investors and advisors can now interact in a vibrant online community via an unprecedented array of social media tools.”
Charlie Stroller, Financial Advisor magazine president & CEO, added, “When initially launched over seven months ago, the FinancialAdvisorMatch(TM) (FAM) Web site was, and still is, the most comprehensive directory on the Web today providing investors who are shopping for a financial advisor free-of-charge access to information on virtually every financial advisor in the United States. Specifically, FAM provides a list of advisors that match an investor’s shopping criteria inputted via an easy-to-use, online search engine: Practice specialty, years of professional experience, preferred compensation method, and geographic location.”

Book Review: Invest the Happionaire Way

Invest the Happionaire Way is written by Yogesh Chabria and published by Network18. The book is subtitled “Create wealth through the Indian Stock Markets in a fun, interesting and simple way”

Let me admit from the outset that I keep away from the stock market. The jargons loaded by the talking heads on TV play a big part in my keeping away. The intense media focus on the booms and busts of the stock market makes me even more ambivalent about it. As a person who’s never believed it is possible to make ‘easy money’, the stock markets’ public perception never seemed to match my personal value system.

Which is one of the reasons I took a couple of weeks (and more) to finally get down to reading it. Yogesh had mailed me, and I was intrigued by the title and the fact that an author has his own blog around the book, even though it has the marketing muscle of the Network18 group behind it.

The book is very easy to read – written in easy to understand language it demystifies terms like “upper circuit” and “lower circuit” that the stock market analysts keep saying. The book also takes a few pot-shots at stock analysts themselves like this quote:

“Why did God create stock analysts? – To make weather forecasters look good”

Yogesh simplifies the way to evaluate an investment – if you as a consumer like eating in fast food restaurants, using the same toothpaste like your dad and granddad before him, and love watching movies in the multiplex – there are three investment options for you.

He also helps to dispel some popular myths – like “land is always a safe investment – as they are not making any more of it” (words that Gene Hackman said as Lex Luthor in the first Superman movie – but I digress!)

Yogesh says that’s not true.

Every high rise building, he clarifies, adds real estate. So land is as much a commodity that can be increased.

There are other very useful bit of advice, amongst the difficult ones are “Never get emotionally attached to your investments”

However, the most important message that the book conveys is that making money is all very good – but not at the cost of smiling and happiness. That is why the book has the Happionaire in the title.

There was a humorous description of a hacker in my school text book “A person who wants to master the computer by being a slave to it”

The book keeps reminding people that the objective of investment is not just to make money. The objective of making money is to be happy. If the former happens at the cost of the latter then it serves no real purpose.

Go ahead. Read the book. You won’t regret it.

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