FinTok: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

TikTok is a never-ending scroll of viral dance videos, cooking lessons, home decor tips, in addition to financial and investing advice. Financial Tok, also known as FinTok, is where individuals share their advice on topics from saving money to investing to retirement planning to cryptocurrency.

These efforts are only growing: TikTok videos tagged #PersonalFinance have garnered 5.1 billion views from the more than 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok. By comparison, two other popular hashtags, #cookingtips or #healthtips, have 3.1 billion and 3.2 billion views, respectively.

Yet, just like other social media platforms, there are lots of FinToks containing misinformation. Since anyone can post on TikTok about any topic imaginable, there’s no guarantee that you’re being provided with sound financial advice or that the person is qualified to talk about personal finance. And while some of the financial advice found on TikTok may be accurate, it’s not one-size-fits-all information that’s specific to an individual’s financial needs.

The Good
One of the remarkable things to come out of FinTok is the conversation about money and financial growth. Young people who might have otherwise been uninterested in personal finance are now engaging with it. People are becoming more aware of their money and how to make it work for them. Some are even taking their first steps into investing, all due to these short 30-to-60 second videos they have seen on social media. For many Gen Z and millennial users, TikTok is their first and only source of financial education.

The Bad
As stated earlier, there is no one-size-fits-all advice that is specific to an individual’s financial needs - every individual is different, has a different lifestyle, and has different goals. While these short videos may have good advice, it is important to do extensive research before making any decisions.

The Ugly
As more people have gotten wind of the FinTok trend, there has been an increase in scam content. This usually comes in the form of people showing off their money, cars, and houses with promises of helping users become more ‘financially free.’ Sadly, many of these accounts are fake – as are the lifestyles they promote. The creators use their content to gain trust and leverage an audience and then package up their ‘advice’ into expensive courses and products.

While social media has made financial advice more accessible for young people and opens up the conversation around money, it’s still essential to do your research and seek out additional resources on finance topics that interest you.

As always, financial advice on TikTok can be a hit or a miss when it comes to accuracy. Some may provide factual advice in less than 30 seconds while others essentially make get-rich-quick suggestions without diving into any details. It is important to consult a financial advisor that can assist in helping you plan for your future.

Pioneer and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
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