Financial influencers, some licensed financial advisers and some not, have increasingly leveraged social media platforms (e.g., TikTok, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit) to provide finance-focused content. The recent rise of “finfluencers” has incited the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to caution retail investors against relying on financial information and commentary given on social media. The Australian government has yet to regulate this activity, but advise the audience to exercise their personal judgment and bear responsibility for investment decisions made relying upon information and commentary provided by finfluencers.
You are to assume that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services is conducting an enquiry into the regulation of financial content on social media provided by finfluencers and is inviting interested parties to make a submission based on a review of the relevant literature. The Committee has also made a call for proposals on new research into financial content on social media. Research funding opportunities are available and will be awarded to research proposals that are well developed and likely to provide useful insights into unresolved issues identified in the literature
You are to assume that your team consists of a mix of business/financial/economic consultants. Prepare a research report and a research design proposal addressed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.
Address the following two parts:
Part 1: Research Report
In your research report you must critically evaluate/discuss the following:
- whether financial content provided by finfluencers on social media shall be regulated. Your team should evaluate the implications (economic benefits, risks or costs) of regulating or not regulating this activity for retail investors and the broader community (e.g., financial industry and society); AND
- If your team concludes such activity to be regulated, propose how it should be regulated. OR If your team concludes such activity not to be regulated, propose how the government can further support this activity to optimise its intended benefits? To assist in the preparation of your research report, your team must first conduct a literature review, drawing on high-quality research-based evidence from academic and professional sources.
Part 2: Research design proposal
In this proposal you are to:
- Identify the specific research question you wish to address in order to generate new insights and inform future policy relating to the issues identified in Part 1
- Identify and justify one scientific research method (i.e., chival/field/experiment/survey/interview) which would be appropriate to examine your stated research question
- Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, relevant assumptions and ethical considerations of the selected method in examining your stated research question
- Propose a plan for the implementation of the selected method to maximize research quality and alleviate relevant ethical concerns
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