Finfluencers (finance influencers) might have made some bad press lately for the risk they represent of providing unlicensed advice because there is no doubt that the younger generation has sat up and paid attention to them!
An ASIC study from 2021 stated that 33% of 18 – 21 year olds use social media sites to glean information from Finfluencers, with around 64% having acted on the ‘tips’ of such celebrities. To make that worse, only around 3% of the same cohort have paid for qualified financial advice.
Isn’t this astounding, as parents we bat our heads against the wall to get them to listen to us, but a quirky social media post can be all it takes to get them to listen to the opinions of a self-proclaimed guru.
Here’s the positive – ASIC has introduced changes meaning that these influencers can face serious consequences (we’re talking jail time) if they are seen as giving unlicensed advice. But this leaves the question – if this is a proven way of getting much-needed financial education to Gen Z, how can we make sure that they can still access this information, but from a reputable source?
1. Do some digging on your content creator
First of all, in line with ASIC’s outline above, if your kids or grandkids are following a finfluencer on social media, do some sleuthing! MoneySmart has an easy-to-use tool called the ‘Financial Adviser Register’, all you need is the name of the person you want to look up. Then you can see if they are licensed to provide advice, and what advice they are licensed to advise on.
2. Lean on other mediums
Whilst Gen Z might find other mediums less appealing than the flashy lives portrayed on Instagram, it may reinforce the messaging for them to hear stories from others in the know, and to read content from experts.
- Listen to a TEDx talk – start with Nelson Soh on Financial Literacy & The Social Media Generation, just put it on in the background in the house when they are there, or in the car if you are driving them about.
- Direct them to resources they can use – MoneySmart has a host of online tools.
- Share Alman Partners’ Facebook and Instagram pages, and our YouTube channel – now they will get content just like this article regularly.
Teneale Laister (CFP® Professional, AFP®, BCom[Fin,FP,Mgt](Hons), ADFS[FP]) is a representative of Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107.
Note: This material is provided for information only. No account has been taken of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person or entity. Accordingly, to the extent that this material may constitute general financial product advice, investors should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This is not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial products, nor a solicitation for deposits or other business, whether directly or indirectly.