Self-Taught Crypto Gurus Cash in on TikTok – Can You Trust Them?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (11876645al)In this photo illustration a TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages in the background.
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/Shutterstock / Omar Marques/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

“FinTok,” or the segment of Chinese social media app TikTok that focuses on personal finance, has been on the rise since before the pandemic. Filled with self-proclaimed finance experts – with varying degrees of knowledge and credentials – TikTok has emerged as a place for younger generations to learn about investing, particularly in crypto and meme stocks. But can you trust the advice?

See: The Worst Personal Finance Advice on TikTok (and Why It’s Wrong)
Find: Should You Trust Money Advice on TikTok?

The social media platform is warning people against following the investment advice of self-taught content creators on FinTok. Financial Times reported today that TikTok has even gone so far as to ban the promotion of cryptocurrency and other investments.

According to the app’s branded content policy, the “promotion of all financial services and products is now globally prohibited,” FT reported.

The policy includes, but is not limited to:

Building Wealth
  • Financial management
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Foreign exchanges
  • Pyramid schemes
  • Investment services

The policy seems to primarily cover branded content, which would include creators who share affiliate links to get followers to sign up for a trading platform and get free stocks or crypto as a signing bonus. Many of these so-called experts are making more money from affiliate links than from their investments, and their advice might be questionable, at best.

See: The 10 Best Money Experts To Watch on TikTok
Find: How Much Do TikTokers Make? Here are 5 of the Highest-Earning TikTokers

Legitimate financial service companies, however, may also get swept up in the policy, according to FT. It’s a double-edged sword as TikTok provides an accessible way for younger generations and new investors to learn about stocks and crypto. But many users get finagled into high-risk investments with little chance of rewards when they take advice from creators with no professional investment experience or credentials.

Bottom line: If you’re seeking to invest, or even choose an investment platform, speak to a financial advisor who can help you put together a diversified portfolio that matches your risk tolerance.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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