Tag Archives: social media

Online Stock Tips? Buyer Beware.

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal on February 4, 2009  about new social networking services that allow users to share investing and trading tips. It is a great way for like minded people to build a community and share ideas. In many ways the idea is not new – we have seen chat rooms, message boards, and the like before. However, these sites operate more like Twitter where messages are limited or truncated to a preset number of characters and people only build ‘followings’ only if they have something of value to say. The idea definitely is progressive and timely as many people are seeking ways to build or rebuild wealth in a deepening recession.

But buyer beware! There are a few things to keep in mind or questions you ask yourself before you throw your money into any investment based on the advice of someone – especially someone you don’t know.

No one knows where this market is headed – let alone any individual stock. The current financial crisis is evidence that not even the pros on Wall Street have a handle on the markets. This could be one of the riskiest times to put your money into the unknown.

Speaking of unknowns, who is providing the information on the stock? What is the track record of this individual? I always seek advice from someone who has been successful in whatever subject they are discussing (not just money). So, if the person dishing out the information retired from an investing career, it might be worth considering. Otherwise, be careful.

Be realistic. We have seen with the Maddoff scandal – and countless other examples – that if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Yes, we have heard this before, but the tough economic times are giving life to more scams and con artists than ever before.

Is the timing right for you? Given how hard the markets and our portfolios have been hit, is now the time to put your hard earned money into ’stock tips’?  We all are eager to make up for our losses, but there is (still) no quick fix. Building wealth is a lifetime endeavor. Don’t get yourself into deeper financial straits by trying to make up for the market meltdown. We all are hurting.

Final thought. Personally, I would rather see my financial or investment adviser tracking and researching the markets. I worry that someone who is texting stock tips or using social networking services may not be focused on the right activities. Markets move rapidly. Information changes even faster. I need and want an informed adviser – not a good sales person.

Copyright FELA, Inc. 2009
Ms. Career Girl, a Financial Education & Literacy Advisers company


Social Media Networking 101

images1Anyone who knows me is well aware that I love networking and I have a strong belief that it is so important to be networking in some form every day.

Now that we are out of college, we have to start from scratch when it comes to building our own personal brand and network. Since the term “networking event” makes most twentysomethings cringe, I suggest networking the way most of us Gen Y’ers are most comfortable: through social media outlets.  Just remember to use these tools a little differently than you did in college!

Many companies preach that their most valuable asset is their people. You should be thinking the same way. Keep meeting people and you never know where it will lead you or how you can help others simply by knowing someone.

Are you using status updates? Use status updates to get information you need, tell others what projects you are working on, get feedback on a new idea, share a valuable article or even to get people to your page.
Does your “About Me” section share something about your professional background, strengths and goals? You never know when someone is looking to hire someone just like you.
Don’t be afraid of using facebook to the fullest. Make a facebook group, post an event or send out a “note” to let others know about an important event or issue you are passionate about.
Blogs. Check out facebook’s cool blog application to see top rated blogs in your network and read about issues that affect you. Commenting on blogs, emailing the blogger, or writing as a guest blogger are other great ways to get yourself out there.

Are you “Linked In”? If not, make a profile today and start growing your professional network. Your Linked In profile is basically like an online resume. Linked In is an amazing tool to meet others in your field. It is also great for networking with recruiters and finding jobs.

I’m new on the Twitter scene, but I can already see the value of this tool, especially for entrepreneurs and/or bloggers who are trying to establish themselves and develop a personal brand and following. Twitter is simply a “micro-blog” similar to facebook’s status updates. You can send out a “Twitter” (limited to 140 characters) which is usually based on “what are you doing right now?” to those who are following you, and they can respond back. I’ve already connected with some amazing entrepreneurs through this tool. Check it out and follow me at ExecutiveVision.

I hope this helped you see the websites you log into every day in a new light! Don’t be afraid of “branding” yourself!

For more on this topic, check out this awesome article too.