Social media has become a powerful tool and its widespread use makes it almost second nature to those of the Internet generation. It's no surprise that many are turning to social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and discussion forums to get an edge on personal finance and investment advice.

While important personal finance strategies are best left with professional managers, it certainly makes sense to conduct research by taking advantage of convenient and free online resources. In fact many financial advisors, through the content they provide on social media or other websites, gain both clients and followers seeking out information on investments, products and companies.

With almost 1.2 billion monthly active users, Facebook maintains its lead as the biggest social network. There are thousands of blogs dedicated to personal finance and investing, which have set up Facebook pages to reach a wider audience. One such site is MoneyNing.com, which doles out sensible strategies and pointers on saving money, investing, early retirement, mortgages, and stocks.

Twitter is also home to some of the household names many have come to associate with personal finance. If you are eager to start a conversation about financial matters you can certainly reach out to advisors or even check in to see what the likes of author Suze Orman has to say about getting yourself out of debt and using credit cards more efficiently. Mad Money's Jim Cramer, as you know, has plenty of advice about stocks and how the leading international companies are performing. Canadian financial expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade provides excellent advice and is quite active on Twitter and Facebook.

If you belong to LinkedIn you should definitely research and connect to people in the financial services domain and even follow some of the banks or other firms you deal with. It's a good idea to join groups that deal specifically with budgeting and finance topics you're interested in to get a wider view of what others are saying or thinking about.

There are plenty of discussion forums where you can ask questions, share your thoughts and exchange ideas on subjects of particular interest. Whether you want to chat about mortgages, insurance, credit cards or how to improve you overall 'fiscal fitness', the Get Rich Slowly forum is one place to gather good information.

Of course one can't overlook a short, informative and hopefully entertaining video or tutorial presentation. Since millions of people search You Tube for special videos on a vast array of topics and specific personalities, it's evolved into the world's second-biggest search engine. By simply keying in 'personal finance' you can gain access to a myriad of video presentations that provide good fundamental knowledge, useful tips and additional resources for further research. Among others, you'll get Warren Buffet's best tip for personal finance and many other ideas on saving your money.

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