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Facebook Finance: How Social Interaction Propagates Active Investing

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  • Rawley Heimer
  • David Simon

Abstract

This paper shows how active investing strategies propagate through social connections in a network of retail traders, using a new database of social activity linked to individual-level trading records. A trader?s good short-term performance causes them to contact others. A trader?s activity increases when peers perform well and increase communication. We use the staggered entry of brokerages into partnerships with the social networking platform, which is a necessary precursor for traders to access the network, to argue these effects are causal. This pattern of communication supports active trading, even though the network reveals the low success rate of retail traders.

Suggested Citation

  • Rawley Heimer & David Simon, 2015. "Facebook Finance: How Social Interaction Propagates Active Investing," Working Papers (Old Series) 1522, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1522
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Michael Bailey & Ruiqing Cao & Theresa Kuchler & Johannes Stroebel, 2016. "Social Networks and Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 22258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jascha-Alexander Koch & Michael Siering, 2019. "The recipe of successful crowdfunding campaigns," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 29(4), pages 661-679, December.
    4. Yang Liu & Liyan Han & Libo Yin, 2018. "Does news uncertainty matter for commodity futures markets? Heterogeneity in energy and non‐energy sectors," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(10), pages 1246-1261, October.
    5. Steven L. Heston & Nitish R. Sinha, 2016. "News versus Sentiment : Predicting Stock Returns from News Stories," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-048, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Rawley Heimer, 2013. "Friends do let friends buy stocks actively," Working Papers (Old Series) 1314, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    7. Carol Osler & Geir Bjonnes & Neophytos Kathitziotis, 2016. "Bid-Ask Spreads in OTC Markets," Working Papers 102, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    8. Erol Akcay & David Hirshleifer, 2020. "Social Finance: Cultural Evolution, Transmission Bias and Market Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 27745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Ledenyov, Dimitri O. & Ledenyov, Viktor O., 2015. "Wave function method to forecast foreign currencies exchange rates at ultra high frequency electronic trading in foreign currencies exchange markets," MPRA Paper 67470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. King, Michael R. & Osler, Carol L. & Rime, Dagfinn, 2013. "The market microstructure approach to foreign exchange: Looking back and looking forward," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 95-119.
    11. Carol Osler & Xuhang Wang, 2012. "The Microstructure of Currency Markets," Working Papers 49, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    12. Paul Gortner & Joël van der Weele, "undated". "Peer Effects and Risk Sharing in Experimental Asset Markets," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-027/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. David Hirshleifer, 2020. "Presidential Address: Social Transmission Bias in Economics and Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1779-1831, August.
    14. Rawley Heimer, 2014. "Can Leverage Constraints Help Investors?," Working Papers (Old Series) 1433, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    15. David Hirshleife, 2015. "Behavioral Finance," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 133-159, December.
    16. Baghestanian, Sascha & Gortner, Paul J. & van der Weele, Joël J., 2015. "Peer effects and risk sharing in experimental asset markets," SAFE Working Paper Series 67, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    17. Glode, Vincent & Opp, Christian C. & Zhang, Xingtan, 2018. "Voluntary disclosure in bilateral transactions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 652-688.

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