How to Vet Financial Advice From TikTok

People check their social media accounts on their phones in this illustration.
Getty Images

TikTok is known for entertainment but it also contains educational content. You can even find a myriad of financial advice on the social media platform.

However, finding reliable financial advice among all the videos on TikTok may prove challenging. There are some key components for evaluating financial advice found on TikTok that you’ll want to consider before you take an influencer’s word for fact. Or worse, accept the advice as valid without thinking twice and then make a financial decision that you later regret.

Why Should You Question Financial Advice From TikTok Creators?

In an era of fake news, the advice you get from influencers on social media platforms should always be questioned and vetted. This certainly includes advice sourced from TikTok.

Why? Because you’ll want to be sure that the advice you get is not only good advice but advice that won’t cause you financial harm. Blindly accepting TikTok advice as fact at first glance could spell financial trouble for you.

How To Tell If A TikTok Creator Is Credible

Here are a number of tips to ensure that the financial advice you’re getting from your favorite TikTok influencer is legit:

Review Their Credentials and Qualifications

Solid financial advice starts with proper credentials. Look for TikTok creators with relevant qualifications, certifications or experience to advise about personal finance and all the complexities that go along with it. You can consult their professional profile on LinkedIn and look for degrees they may have, financial publications that they may be featured in, etc.

Are you questioning the legitimacy of that TikToker who just told you to open a new bank account? If so, think twice and do your research before coming to any conclusions for yourself.

Are They Being Transparent? 

Transparency is critical when assessing whether a TikTok influencer’s financial advice is legit. Reliable TikTok creators disclose information about themselves such as background and experience as well as any conflicts of interest or advertiser partnerships. Creators who emphasize personalized professional advice tend to prioritize giving valuable advice over misleading their followers.

Are They Promoting Too Many Products?

Many TikTok influencers frequently promote products or services related to finance. That’s true of some financial TikTokers, too. While earning through sponsorship is permissible, it’s ultimately up to you to recognize when financial advice appears driven by such affiliations. A TikTok influencer who is tied to excessive product promotion may indicate their real pursuit of profit and their personal financial gain rather than sharing valuable knowledge with their followers.

Check The Comments 

TikTok’s community-centric nature facilitates engagement through comments, likes and shares. When you watch reels from a financial creator, be sure to read all of the comments to see what other users have to say about their advice. Are people making positive comments? Is the advice proving helpful to most? Taking a closer look at the creator’s engagement with others can help determine their legitimacy on the whole.

Is Their Financial Advice Current and Relevant?

A trustworthy TikTok finance creator must remain up-to-date and adjust recommendations as financial and economic conditions change. If you’re questioning whether the advice you just heard actually makes sense, it might not. It’s best to do some financial research to corroborate their claims against news or updates from official financial institutions or the government before taking what they say as fact. High-quality creators are more likely to provide relevant, trustworthy guidance than ones who seem to be pushing an agenda.

Weed Out Phony TikTok Creators 

It’s important to actively differentiate between creators who seek to educate and those who are simply preaching financial dogma. A credible TikTok creator should seek to empower viewers with informed choices while breaking down complex financial concepts into understandable, actionable insights from official sources to foster learning.

Is The TikTok Creator Providing Disclaimers and Caution Statements?

Financial advice often involves inherent risks that should be discussed openly by TikTok creators who provide such guidance. Whether it’s about investment strategy or stock picks, the creator should always advise about the inherent risk involved when giving this type of advice. Reliable creators provide balanced perspectives while simultaneously preparing audiences for both success and challenges ahead. This includes disclaimers about risk and advising caution when making investment decisions.

Is the TikTok Creator Providing Data-Driven Insights?

Understanding how TikTok creators utilize data-driven insights can aid your ability to vet financial advice more easily. Look out for those who explain their methodology and responsibly utilize factual data sources like statistical trends or historical figures from current, trusted financial institutions. Creators who display careful consideration when using financial data are more likely to offer insightful advice with substance rather than superficial recommendations.

The Bottom Line: Be Prudent When Taking Advice from TikTok Creators

Successful TikTok financial advice involves striking an even balance between informative and factual. You’ll need to keep this in mind when seeking financial advice online and looking out for a creator’s qualifications, transparency and how other users both engage and perceive them.

Overall, be wary of influencers with possible profit motives while engaging with the community for different perspectives. Be sure to proactively seek creators who educate by breaking down concepts easily while mitigating financial decision risks that are backed with data. By heeding the tips above and taking this kind of approach and mindset, you’ll be able to confidently navigate the digital finance space with truly legit advice (and hopefully great success!)

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to create content on all things saving and making money. His work also appears on The Smart Wallet, FinanceBuzz, Yahoo! Finance, JoyWallet, and The Money Manual.