Financial decisions influenced by bloggers, social media and variety of websites

Online sources seen as being more credible than family and friends, Investors Group poll reveals

WINNIPEG, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - As RRSP season draws to a close, a new poll from Investors Group reveals that more than four-in-ten Canadians who save and invest (42 per cent) use social and online media to find information to assist with their decision making.

Next to their financial advisor (66 per cent), Canadians who save and invest are most apt to get financial information from websites belonging to financial services companies and from online media belonging to traditional media and investment firms (40 per cent). Six per cent visit blogs and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for financial and investing information. Other significant sources include friends and family (36 per cent), and traditional media such as newspapers, TV and radio (29 per cent).

The research also reveals that Canadian investors view online saving and investing information sources as being more credible (38 per cent) than family and friends (30 per cent) or traditional TV, radio and print media formats (28 per cent).

"The social network is re-shaping the financial world and how, when and where consumers receive their financial information," says Christine Van Cauwenberghe, Director, Tax and Estate Planning at Investors Group. "Online and social media are becoming go-to places for information and research purposes but Canadians still rely on expert, professional advice"

Investors are looking for professional and personal investing insights

According to Investors Group research, one quarter (26 percent) of Canadian investors and savers say they place significant value in the advice of others. The same percentage admits that they compare their financial well-being with that of their social peer group.

Of online and social media sources including Facebook and Twitter, four out of ten (43 per cent) online information seekers consider websites belonging to established financial institutions and the online formats of traditional media as the most useful sources of financial information. Blogs belonging to recognized financial commentators like financial journalists are next considered the most useful (39 per cent).

Younger investors get blogging advice 

While fewer of those seeking financial information online consider Facebook (11 per cent) and Twitter (10 per cent) posts from someone they believe is knowledgeable useful compared to most other sources, the youngest generation - age 18 to 29 - have a more positive opinion of the popular social media sites. Thirty per cent of GenYs regard Facebook as a useful source of information, 25 per cent feel the same way about Twitter and 72 per cent consider financial blogs useful information sources.

"While younger Canadians are generally more social media literate than their older counterparts, they may not have the same breadth and depth of investing knowledge," says Van Cauwenberghe. "Appropriate professional advice remains an important factor in making investing and saving decisions. Collaborating with a professional, especially when starting out, can help investors make informed, confident decisions about important investing and financial matters."

About the Survey Methodology

This data was gathered through teleVox, Harris/Decima's national telephone omnibus survey.  The data were gathered between February 10 and February 13, 2011 for 1,007 completed interviews.  A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About Investors Group

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of over 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with $131 billion in total assets under management.

SOURCE Investors Group Inc.

For further information:

Ron Arnst 
Investors Group 
(204) 956-3364 
ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com 

Teresa Pagnutti or Lisa Mills
Environics Communications
416-969-2721/ 416-969-2831
tpagnutti@environicspr.com/lmills@environicspr.com 

For more media information, please see:Investors Group's Media Room, follow Investors_Group on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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