In the age of social media, financial advice is just a click away. With the rise of ‘Finfluencers’ in India, people have access to a plethora of financial knowledge at their fingertips. The term ‘Finfluencer’ is used to describe someone who provides financial advice and guidance on stocks, market trading, mutual funds, and other financial instruments through social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, Telegram, YouTube and more.
Typically, these influencers enjoy a large following on social media platforms. They produce engaging and often quirky videos, infographics, reels etc., that cover a wide range of topics, from credit cards and home loans to budgeting tips and investment strategies.
Now what needs to be noted is that while some of these influencers may be qualified and registered financial advisors, many are just self-proclaimed experts with very limited understanding of financial markets and instruments. Such influencers may offer advice that is not only misleading but also downright dangerous, and the consequences of following such advice can be dire. All said Finfluencers may offer helpful tips and insights, but their advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
Recently, an increasing concern observed with major Finfluencers is that they sometimes blur the lines between fact and fiction. Some may exaggerate their earnings or investment returns to gain more followers, and others may promote products or services that are not necessarily in their followers’ best interests. As with any influencer, it’s crucial to do your research before taking any financial advice. Here are some tips to help you separate fact from fiction in the world of financial advice.
Things to keep in mind when engaging with Finfluencers
- Check their qualifications
Before following or implementing any advice from finance influencers, take the time to research their qualifications. A doctor-turned-financial influencer may not necessarily have the expertise to provide sound advice compared to a registered financial advisor or a Chartered Accountant. Ideally, your influencer should have advanced degrees in finance, economics, or related fields.
- Pay attention to disclaimers
Many Finfluencers place a disclaimer at the start of their video, indicating that the content is based on their personal experiences and is not professional advice. Make sure to read the disclaimer carefully before taking any action based on the influencer’s recommendations.
- Consider their experience
While some Finfluencers may be young and not necessarily professionals or registered advisors, others may have years of experience in the financial world. Take note of an influencer’s experience level before following their advice.
- Listen carefully to what they say
Expert finance influencers don’t beat around the bush. Be wary of influencers that talk more about their personal experiences without providing much financial advice. An influencer may urge you to do something that worked for them in the past, but it may not necessarily work for you.
Tip: If a finance influencer’s advice seems risky or lacks conviction and cannot provide concrete facts to back their recommendations, do not pay heed to them and seek out a trained professional.
In conclusion, when it comes to financial advice, it’s essential to take the time to research and vet the influencers you follow. By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re getting sound financial advice from reliable sources.