Sorry stockbrokers and financial advice providers – you’re falling out of favour with ASX investors.

New research from share platform TradingView has found investors are increasingly relying on social media and online forums among their main sources of education.

This is particularly so among investors who have only got into the markets in recent years.

23 per cent of TradingView users who have been trading for less than three years (which is over 60 per cent of total respondents to the survey) have mentioned social media as a source of education and another 12 per cent rate online forums.

However, more seasoned investors have been slower to take these up – only 8 per cent rely on social media and only another 9 per cent rely on online platforms.


Investors relying on one another ‘a positive change’

Record low interest rates and rising unemployment as COVID-19 hit Australia led to a significant number of people trying share trading for the first time in an attempt to increase their incomes.

While it would be difficult to conceive a succinct figure for the entire market, TradingView’s growth is one sign of the general trend. It had only 30,000 registered users in 2019 but now has 230,000 in Australia alone.

TradingView’s director of growth Glenn Leese thinks it is a good thing that investors are relying on one another.

“In the past, trading education could be an isolating process for many retail investors, so the fact they can now tap into each other’s knowledge, often in a creative and fun way, is a positive change,” he said.


Risking poor financial advice?

However there have been concerns that newer investors might not do enough homework, follow the wrong people or even be misled as trading becomes easier and more taken up.

The survey found that 58 per cent of people thought there should be more educational initiatives before traders can access sophisticated products or trade significant amounts of money.

Leese says his firm is doing its bit, noting among other protections TradingView users aren’t able to delete individual posts, making it difficult for users who mislead to hide from what they’ve said.

Nonetheless, Leese noted that seven in 10 respondents claimed they had made profits or substantial profits.

“Even if we put these results in the context of an exceptional year on the markets, I do believe that community learning is having a beneficial effect on investors and their level of enjoyment,” he said.