Do-It-Yourself Investing: Exploring the Ethos of Online Trading

Michael S. Mulvey, Rutgers University
Carl Stech, Rutgers University
ABSTRACT - The exploding phenomenon of online trading has given rise to a new model of investing. Rather than paying for the financial advice of professional stockbrokers, many investors are opting for do-it-yourself, point-and-click trading. In this paper, we examine the ethos of do-it-yourself (D-I-Y) investing through the lens of advertising. Our concern is with how advertising, through repetition of common themes, functions as a form of meta-communication that structures reality within a culture. We analyze a sample of 118 magazine ads to develop a better understanding of the appeal and popularity of D-I-Y investing. Finally, we discuss the broader implications of consumers’ propensity to Ado-it-themselves rather than hiring a professional, and we detail directions for future research.
[ to cite ]:
Michael S. Mulvey and Carl Stech (2001) ,"Do-It-Yourself Investing: Exploring the Ethos of Online Trading", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 87.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 87

DO-IT-YOURSELF INVESTING: EXPLORING THE ETHOS OF ONLINE TRADING

Michael S. Mulvey, Rutgers University

Carl Stech, Rutgers University

ABSTRACT -

The exploding phenomenon of online trading has given rise to a new model of investing. Rather than paying for the financial advice of professional stockbrokers, many investors are opting for do-it-yourself, point-and-click trading. In this paper, we examine the ethos of do-it-yourself (D-I-Y) investing through the lens of advertising. Our concern is with how advertising, through repetition of common themes, functions as a form of meta-communication that structures reality within a culture. We analyze a sample of 118 magazine ads to develop a better understanding of the appeal and popularity of D-I-Y investing. Finally, we discuss the broader implications of consumers’ propensity to "do-it-themselves rather than hiring a professional, and we detail directions for future research.

----------------------------------------