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TikTok warning as nearly 90% of financial advice on app could be 'misleading'

Nearly 90 percent of financial advice on TikTok could be ‘potentially misleading’, new research has found.

Content creators producing advice-led content on TikTok rarely encourage viewers to do their own financial research, according to research from pension advisors Almond Financial.

The research also found that some creators give advice under the guise of selling online courses, e-books, or memberships to ‘exclusive’ investment advice.

According to Almond “Some of the advice given by creators can even lead to long-lasting financial damage, especially when it comes to people opting out of a workplace pension scheme, or adhering to tax advice that isn’t fit for their individual circumstances.”

The research involved studying more than 150 TikTok videos with a combined view total of some 78,587,134. The videos came from creators with a combined over 28 million followers across a range of topic areas such as tax advice, pension tips and retirement planning

The study found that the majority of financial advice videos on the platform are given by unaccredited content creators, with 85.5 percent of videos not containing any of the usual risk warnings that have become a standard safeguard for the financial industry.

Worse still, 12.5 percent of content creators are giving advice with the sole aim of selling an online course or e-book – which has become a growing revenue driver for many creators on social media.

Doing your own research into financial products is really important, but 91.45 percent of creators don’t encourage viewers to do their own due diligence before making important financial decisions.

Commenting on the research, Principal Financial Adviser at Almond Financial, Sam Robinson, said: “The findings in this research are alarming and really showcase the need to be vigilant about where you get your information from when making important financial decisions.

“One shocking finding in the research was the number of creators spreading bad advice about opting out of your workplace pension at a young age.

“It should be noted that any contributions missed now would likely need to be made back at some point in the future to bring your pension pot back up to where it should be, and you’ll have been missing out on employer contributions and investment growth and being less tax efficient too.

“TikTok is also home to lots of creators who make a living off of selling online courses, e-books and more. We found that a lot of these accounts give especially poor financial advice, as their primary motivation for creating content isn’t to give sound advice to viewers, but to sell a product that personally enriches them.

“There is a lot of complexity and nuance that comes with sensible financial planning, and life-changing decisions shouldn’t be made off the back of a TikTok video, especially without further research.

“For anyone unsure of their financial future or want to have an effective plan for their retirement, it’s worth speaking to a qualified financial advisor – not someone they came across on TikTok.”


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