December 9, 2023

Aadi Gujral first realized TikTok is ruining his finances After being lured by a 30-second video telling him to buy something he didn’t need. After impulsively making in-app purchases during the pandemic, Gujar admits his generation’s approach to money needs to change.

“I never really thought TikTok 24/7 was a big deal,” Gujral said. “I used to be that kid with AirPods in my ears all the time, just walking around in my own world. We’re a digital generation, but we’re so disconnected from the world, it got me really thinking about what types of things this might create long-term impact.”

Guljar is not alone Turn to “FinTok” to Learn Finance 101. More than half of TikTok users, most of whom are 18 to 34 years old, turn to the platform for financial advice, according to a study by Personal Capital, an online financial advisor and personal wealth management firm. However, only 41% of FinTok users fact-check advice received through the app.

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“Not all advice comes from certified professionals, and a one-size-fits-all approach often ignores an individual’s financial situation,” said Chad Willardson, president and founder of California-based wealth management firm Pacific Capital. Willardson said. “Sensational success stories can also encourage risk taking. I’ve seen videos with millions of views, thousands of likes and comments, but the investment advice is completely wrong.”

Gujral, 17, is looking beyond TikTok Age-appropriate financial literacy resources Online, when he doesn’t find something he likes, he starts creating it.Today, he’s not only a rising high school student, he’s the CEO and co-founder of FinLitFun, an app and platform designed to teach Gen Z financial knowledge.

“Kids these days don’t know what a budget is,” Gujral said. “Some people don’t even know how credit cards work. It has implications for our future, but financial education isn’t being taught in schools. It really made me aware of this topic and want to start an initiative around it.”

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Gurjal’s platform is still under development, but aims to provide a gamified learning experience covering basic topics such as budgeting, saving, investing and credit, offering innovative and fun A way for users to gain valuable money management skills. The app will feature a “perks system” where points earned in the game can be redeemed for real-life rewards to help children understand the value of electronics.earn and saveand a community forum where users can ask questions, share advice and connect with others who are also learning about finance.

Making financial education smaller can make financial literacy concepts more accessible, especially for young people. TikTok-style short, funny videos On-demand content often makes complex concepts seem more accessible and engaging.

“Without social media, they might avoid learning about money and investing, and it keeps people interested,” Willardson said. His 16-year-old son, much like Gujral, has learned how to start a business through different social platforms. E-commerce business. “It fosters this sense of community where users can interact with content creators and like-minded peers, whereas traditional financial advisors might be considered formal, expensive and less relevant to young people.”

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Olivia Stover, a 25-year-old account coordinator at Next PR and an avid user of TikTok and FinTok, said she used FinTok wins confidence Around her own financial wisdom, many of her generation feel more comfortable doing it from the comfort of their couch.

“People my age are going through a world that’s going through a lot of changes, and it’s in a very unique position in terms of the post-pandemic economy,” Stover said. “A lot of people don’t know what to do to help Our financial situation and don’t know how to ask where to find a 401(k). When I think about meeting with a financial planner, or going to a bank to apply for a loan, it scares me because I don’t know what I’m talking about, And don’t know what I’m supposed to know in these conversations.”

However Stover said she did her homework and advised users to use the platform with insight, cross-validate the information shared, and Consider consulting a professional before making major financial decisions.

“The next best thing is to Google it,” she says. “I know it’s probably another level of information overload, but I think if you can verify this, even if it’s just going into your banking app or website, it’s a great way to cut through some of the noise from people who don’t actually have information .into the game or not knowing what they’re talking about.”

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This kind of guidance and access is why Stover believes platforms like TikTok will continue to be popular, even if it means having to be more careful and add more verification steps to the daily roll.

“I know there are two ways to social media, one is good and one is bad,” Stover said. “But it does provide that information and help people find it in a very accessible and simple way. It’s addressing the needs of our generation.”

Although Guljar has not yet Ditch TikTok and FinTok completely, he is more cautious about how he interacts with the platform. For his own app, he consulted experts like university professors and entrepreneurs to join his executive committee to keep his platform on the right track. As Guljar himself approaches working age, he wants both him and his colleagues to be financially successful.

“It’s better to learn something so fundamental that you’re going to use it for the rest of your life,” he said. “If you learn these fun and simple concepts when you’re young, you’ll really benefit in the future.”