Financial advisors and influencers have proliferated the internet selling everything from premium courses to get-rich-quick schemes and investments. Personal finance influencers share money insights and tips across social media channels, blogs, and podcasts. Some of the most common platforms they use are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Unproportioned number of followers and engagement
Buying followers is common on different platforms such as Instagram. One major red flag is if a financial influencer has millions of followers, but their engagement is less than 1,000 likes per post. The engagement should match the overall number of followers.
They promise they will beat the market
Any financial advisor who promises that they can beat the market is suspect. If they can achieve this feat, why are they still working? Why are they still chasing small fish clients like you on some social networking site? It sounds too good to be true, it is. There is no investment without a measure of risk and if they make grand promises about sure returns, you should be concerned.
“Secret” ways to make wealth
Any financial advisor who claims to have a secret way to make wealth should have you running in the opposite direction. Especially the ones who have this secret documented in an ebook or other course they are selling. Anyone who truly has a secret way of making money will use it to make money and keep their mouth shut except when they’re laughing all the way to the bank. The financial influencer may also be suspect if they constantly bombard you with sales pitches, merch, and too many paid promotions in lieu of actual actionable advice. If they ask for upfront fees before anything else, you should be concerned.
They are not certified
Certification differs depending on the financial advisor’s speciality. But they should have some financial training if you’re going to take advice from them about what to do with your money. Check their website to see if they have any certification and if it’s from a trusted source. May online financial advisors and influencers draw on their own experiences instead of any formal training and this comes with its own risks.
No referrals or social proof
If you can’t find social proof and organic referrals about the efficacy of their advice as a financial influencer, you should be concerned. Online reviews will come in handy. If their advice works, there will be people out there singing their praises. If it doesn’t work, there will be no reviews or there will be people saying so. Don’t rely on the referrals the financial advisor shares. Always do your own research.
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