RBC Direct Investing's Community connecting "people like me"TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - About a year into its life, RBC Direct Investing's Community - an online discussion portal and a Canadian online "first" - is proving popular with everyone from Millennials to retirees who want to manage their own investments, while also drawing upon the experiences of other self-directed investors at the same time. Community was created in early 2013 to meet the needs of investors who are increasingly looking to social channels to connect with "people like me." Millennials (ages 18 to 34) and Gen Xers (35 to 48) now make up the largest group of members (51 per cent) in Community, with boomers and retirees forming the rest of the membership. "We know do-it-yourself investors of all ages are increasingly engaging in social interactions online and are comfortable asking questions and sharing opinions on social media sites," said Michael MacDonald, vice-president, Strategy for RBC Direct Investing. "We're now seeing this comfort level play out in our online Community - members are exchanging advice, tips and encouragement and learning from each other as they invest." What particularly sets Community apart in the online investment space is the section called "Universe" - a first when it was introduced and still unmatched in Canada. "Universe" allows members to anonymously compare their investment holdings and returns against those of other members, on an interactive chart where members and their holdings are represented by dots and clusters. Clicking on a specific dot reveals that member's holdings (as percentages only; dollar figures are not disclosed to other members). In the "Forums" section, members communicate directly with each other, asking questions and sharing their experiences. While RBC Direct Investing monitors the site to ensure members' privacy is protected, the online brokerage does not participate in the conversations.