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Friday, November 21, 2014

Fundsters Tackle YouTube, Though Not Its Social Aspects

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Many fundsters are diving into YouTube territory, though they're steering clear of the social aspects for now.

The folks at Corporate Insight just published "Fund Films Go Viral," a look at what they call "the diverse strategies of fund firms on YouTube." 15 of the 17 mutual fund shops included in Corporate Insight's mutual fund monitor were included in the 19-page report.

This is Corporate Insight first stab at the mutual fund industry's use of YouTube, senior research associate Nick Foster confirms, so the report serves to give a kind of lay of the land. Foster notes that the most common video type on the fund firms' YouTube channels is market commentary, though nearly half of the 15 firms offer some kind of investor education, too. And many content specifically geared towards advisors (though, since it's YouTube, even content labeled "For Advisors Only" or "For Financial Professionals Only" can be access by anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

Foster praised Fidelity [profile] and other fund firms that take the time to make videos that are "funny and relatable and weird", meant to be shared.

"It's fun to see that level of effort put into YouTube," Foster tells MFWire.

Yet Foster said that he's "surprised at how little these firms are making use of YouTube's social capabilities." Many fund firms actually disabled comments on their videos, and others just had no comment activity whatsoever. Only low-cost mutual fund titan Vanguard [profile], Foster said, has an active discussion section on its YouTube channel. 

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