An investigation of financial information and its presentation in online investing
University College Cork
Online financial investing has progressed in many ways since it first emerged as a practice two and a half decades ago. Much has changed in that time, nothing more so than the information needed to make financial decisions and the mediums through which this financial information is obtained. While investors have traditionally made decisions on stocks based on advice from financial advisors or through their own in- depth research, new developments have led to a whole new array of methods to obtain this financial information. This thesis studies how investors get their financial information and how this information is presented. In addition, this thesis looks at the medium through which investors obtain their financial information. Traditionally this has been visually but recent developments in audio technology has allowed financial companies to provide information audibly as multimodal systems that combine audio and visual information together have become available. While looking at how investors get their financial information, this thesis also examines whether these multimodal systems can be beneficial in providing the financial information to investors. This thesis contains three core chapters, each tackling a separate research question as part of the overarching research objective which examines how investors receive their financial information. The thesis begins with an examination of the new practice of social trading - acquiring financial information over a social network. It investigates how people use this information to copy other people’s trades - a practice known as copy trading, and what motivates them to do so. The results suggest that for a participant in a social trading network to engage in copy trading, they must be provided with information that leads to affect-based and cognition-based signals of trustworthiness of the investor they are copying. As the study develops, it moves into examining multimodality and how investors receive their financial information, specifically examining how multimodal systems compare to their single modality counterparts for imparting financial information. In total four Proofs of Concepts systems were developed for this thesis. Two separate comparison tests used these proof of concept systems, comparing a multimodal system against a single modality system. The results of each of these tests are analysed in order to derive conclusions about the effects of multimodality in online investing. The results of this thesis show how retail investors now have more ways of obtaining financial information. The thesis also shows how, by presenting financial information using multimodal systems, investor confidence can be increased. In doing so, it demonstrates how the multimodal presentation of financial information can be both beneficial to investors and preferred to single modality systems. Finally, the results found that the addition of multimodality to systems can help create informating systems from what were previously automating systems.
Informating , Financial technology , Copy trading , Information modality , Online investing
Cotter, A. P. 2020. An investigation of financial information and its presentation in online investing. MRes Thesis, University College Cork.