Cloudy with a chance of social sentiment?

What’s the first thing you do when you are looking to buy something specific? I know what I do. I hop online and have a look at what people are saying about it. I scan my Facebook or Twitter feed to see who is using what, at what price and how they feel about it. How many times have you posted something to the effect of: “Looking for a sweet holiday spot in December. Aaaaaand go!” Or: “Need a reasonably priced dentist in Jozi, know anyone?”. Word of mouth is a powerful thing because let’s face it; when you need to make a decision, you’d way rather go with something your Mom, best mate or someone who digs the same stuff as you has said works and is lekker. Kind of like how Amazon recommends books they think you’ll like based on the choices others have made who bought the same one you did. 

So why not use this plentiful digital pool of data and opinions to help you with some of your investment choices? Yes, you heard me. I’m talking socially sourced financial sentiment. Phew, what a mouthful. So what is that exactly? Well, financial sentiment is the general vibe people have toward a particular company or market. It’s all about the feels, and how that affects the price of a stock. Socially sourced, just means all of those thoughts and opinions are published in the social space – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat etc. Now the more experienced investor whiz kid may scoff at this idea as a kind of airy fairy way to go about picking investments. They may rely on the hardcore research and analytics. I hear that. But for the DIY or starter investor, it could be a really kiff way to at least narrow down the options. It’s a vast universe out there man, and there is a lot (like a lot) of choice. It helps to know what some of the bigwigs and the in-the-know guys are saying about certain stocks and which ones are being spoken about the most. And like what Amazon and iTunes Genius do, it’s handy to know what choices you’re likeminded peers are making. Here’s the #easy version you would have received when you bought some shares:

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We’re all about making your investment journey like, ridiculously #easy. So here’s what we did. We picked a couple of movers and shakers in the investing game who really know their stuff - some media peeps, some investing influencers and some key conversationalists in this space – and we grouped all of their twittersphere banter into a cloud. That would be the icon you see on our EasyEquities site when you are browsing through companies you might like to invest in. It’s a cute little thing and it looks like this:

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If you were to click on that icon (aww, so cute) another window will open displaying a cloud, with different sized puffs and poofs surrounding trending words. The bigger the puff, the more talked about and topical that word is.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah but how can I use this thing to make money you say? Well you can go and take a look at those conversations, at what people are saying and how they feel about a particular share or the market in general and perhaps that helps you lean towards what investments you want to make, or not make. The same way your decision to purchase a brand of washing powder might be directed or influenced by the feedback people give it online. If a company releases a batch of dodgy tomato sauce, chances are you’ll make the ol’ switcheroo. Of course it’s not that simple and there are a lot of factors to consider when picking investments. Our own #easy community shared some of their thoughts in the article above and we’d love to hear yours. We make it lank #easy to be part of the conversation too, so when you buy a share you’ll be sent this:

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And when you share your investing choices, this is how they’ll come up on your social feeds:

Facebook message:

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Twitter message:

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