Influencer creating TikTok video
Think you can make a lot of money as a TikTok “finfluencer” (financial influencer)?
A study conducted by derivative trading provider CMC Markets analyzed TikTok profiles to determine how influential—and profitable—financial content creators are on the social media platform.
The results will make you want to sit home in your pajamas and spew pithy financial advice in short videos for financially-challenged Gen Zers.
Potential Earnings of the Top Ten TikTok Financial Influencers
It’s often hard to tell on TikTok whether or not some investment and personal finance videos are serious or just spoofs. The top ‘finfluencers’ on TikTok aren’t exactly amateurs, however. The list includes:
With just two sponsored posts per week, the top five influencers could earn between $275,000 and $750,000 per year.
If the typical #fintok video is one minute long, that works out to $158,684 to $432,775 per hour.
Not bad for 104 minutes of work.
There’s no question that younger consumers are turning to TikTok for financial information and advice.
A survey from LendingTree found that about four in 10 Gen Zers—who range in age from about 18 to 26—go to TikTok for investment information versus just 15% of Millennials (27 to 41 year olds). In addition, Greenlight, a personal finance app for kids, reported that 35% of 13- to 20-year-olds have turned to TikTok for personal finance and investing advice.
The big question, of course, is the advice they’re getting any good?
CNBC evaluated the financial advice provided some of the financial influencers on the platform and concluded:
“Financial advice on TikTok can be a hit or a miss when it comes to accuracy. Some of the TikToks we examined provided factual advice in less than 30 seconds while others essentially made get-rich-quick suggestions without delving into any details. While social media has made financial advice more accessible for young people, it’s still essential to do your research and seek out more resources on the personal finance topics that interest you.”
“At its worst, however, Finance TikTok perpetuates financial myths, scams, and dangerously misleading information. What users end up seeing often isn’t good advice from trusted sources, it’s just one random person’s experience making thousands of dollars off buying and selling Tesla calls.”
Critics—in particular, bankers and registered financial advisors—can bash TikTok-provided financial advice all they want, pointing out the examples of bad advice that abound on the social media platform.
Their critiques miss the bigger point.
What bankers and financial advisors fail to understand is what motivates TikTok users to view financial-related content on the social media challenge.
Banks and investment advisors typically focus on providing educational content—content designed to improve consumers’ financial “literacy.”
This isn’t what Gen Z (and probably other generations) is looking for.
As a TikTok spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal:
“TikTok aims to promote a welcoming atmosphere for people to learn and find entertainment. We’ve seen our community embrace a range of enriching ideas and content, and we’re focused on supporting that with both creative tools and safety features to help that authenticity thrive.”
Entertainment, not education.
If you think about the classes you had in school that were the most engaging, you probably realize there was at least some element of entertainment—in addition to the educational content—in those classes.
This is why millions of people follow the leading finfluencers on TikTok—they get entertainment as well as education. The advice alone—regardless of good it is—wouldn’t earn them the number of followers they have.
Or the amount of money they can charge for sponsored posts, for that matter.