YOUR MONEY-As you 'like' it: Investing in the social media age

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:52am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) - By now, we all know what social media is best for: Instagram shots of your delicious brunch, videos of cute kittens and a twerking Miley Cyrus.

But could your Facebook and Twitter streams also be a rich mine of potential stock ideas?

The folks at LikeFolio.com think so. The service, which TD Ameritrade Holding Corp and Louisville, Kentucky, developer SwanPowers LLC launched in August, scans your social media feeds for the top five stocks that you and your buddies are talking about and spits out a hypothetical portfolio.

The service is free, but for it to work, you have to grant access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, which might give some privacy activists a stroke (even though LikeFolio promises not to post on walls, share your data or spam your friends).

"It's all about allowing people to use social media to extract greater value out of that dialogue," says Nicole Sherrod, managing director of TD Ameritrade's trader group. "It's like the old Warren Buffett concept: Invest in what you know."

A fun idea, that there might be some real wisdom in the torrent of tweets out there. But that notion alone is enough to give some personal finance experts the willies. "I find it terrifying, to be honest," says Cliff Robb, an associate professor of personal financial planning at Kansas State University.

There is no doubt that the idea of leveraging Twitter for stock ideas has some investors and academics very interested indeed. Associate professor Johan Bollen of the University of Indiana's School of Informatics and Computing has published studies of how moods prevailing on Twitter can affect share prices.   Continued...