World Investor Week kicks off to promote investor education and protection

IFEC study shows 1 in 3 Hong Kong stock investors uses social media to make investment decisions

4 October 2021

  • Half of the stock investors surveyed said their key source of investment information came from social media, while a third said they had made investment decisions based on information and tips gathered from such online sources and communities
  • Two-fifths of the surveyed investors look for quick profits from short-term trading, and this trend is more common among young investors aged under 30
  • IFEC launches World Investor Week 2021 from 4 to 10 October 2021 to reinforce prudent investment attitude and behaviour

Hong Kong investors are turning to online channels for investment information in the increasingly digitalised environment, according to the IFEC’s latest Retail Investor Study 2021. Two-thirds (67%) of the stock investors surveyed refer to financial websites and 44% use stock trading apps to gather stock trading information. Up to a third claim to rely on information and tips on social media when making their investment decisions.

Key investment objectives

While in general, many (67%) aim for long-term capital growth as their investment objective, 40% of surveyed respondents strive for quick profits from short-term investments. Some 20% also cited the thrill of investing as one of their motivations.

The top investment objective cited by young investors aged under 30 was to make quick profits from short-term trading (55%).

“Technology advancement, constant and 24/7 real-time access to information and the proliferation of low-cost trading platforms are fuelling the online investing community,” said IFEC Chairman Mr Lester Huang. “In a digitalised trading environment, it becomes even more crucial for investors to take a measured approach, exercise good investment discipline and not be caught up by any news hype.”

Social media influencing investment decisions

The influence of online information and social media on investment decisions is on the rise. Half of the stock investors surveyed (49%) said they access investment information on social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, online forums and chat groups on instant messaging apps, and a third (33%) said they had relied on such information and tips to invest over the past 12 months.

As investors are turning to online channels for investment information, online investment scams such as ramp and dump scams are becoming pressing issues, causing victims to suffer substantial losses. Two-thirds of the respondents (65%) claimed that they were aware of the ramp and dump scams. Awareness level was lower among women (58%) and young investors under 30 (48%).

“Though people may have heard of ramp and dump or other investment scams, they may have limited understanding of the scams’ operations and warning signs,” said General Manager Ms Dora Li. “Investors should stay vigilant, carefully consider and validate the information sources to avoid being tricked by the evolving tactics of scammers. It is important to conduct thorough research to ensure understanding of the investment and assess one’s risk appetite before making investment decisions.”

World Investor Week 2021

Today marks the first day of World Investor Week, an annual global campaign led by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). From 4 to 10 October, the IFEC and its stakeholders will offer a range of resources and initiatives aimed at supporting Hong Kong retail investors on investment knowledge while learning about frauds and scams prevention and sustainable finance.

Highlights of key IFEC initiatives

  • Regional webcast hosted by the IOSCO Committee 8 representatives from Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore will be aired on 5 October, sharing insights on the latest scams and frauds development in the Asia Pacific region, as well as financial education initiatives taken to address the situation.
  • Facebook live talk on hot money topics among young people will be held on 6 October.
  • Webinar co-hosted with CFA Institute and CFA Society Hong Kong on 7 October to discuss different attitude and behaviour impacting investment decisions.
  • Dedicated World Investor Week 2021 portal with a series of investor and financial education initiatives and resources covering ESG investing, cryptocurrencies and anti-scam alerts. The portal also provides details on activities organised by the IFEC and various stakeholders, including Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong. Click here to view the portal.

What You Need to Know About Investing mass media educational campaign

The IFEC has launched a new educational campaign, What You Need to Know about Investing, to reinforce the importance of proper investment principles and prudent investment attitude. The campaign comprises a series of videos broadcasting on television and social media platforms to help retail investors develop good investment habits, while building financial resilience with long-term investment goals. Click here to watch the videos.


1. Highlights of the Retail Investor Study 2021

2. World Investor Week 2021 activities in Hong Kong

3. IOSCO World Investor Week 2021 press release

4. IOSCO World Investor Week 2021 event page