Illustration: Sabelskaya (Shutterstock)
Rich people have financial advisors who profit only if their clients make money, but if you don’t have a portfolio worth $50,000 or more, you probably turn to the internet for advice. More than a third of Americans do just that, and 60% of them actually act on what they see online. But, man, it’s a jungle out there.
For every TikTok or Instagram influencer offering prudent financial advice, it seems there is a scammer or know-nothing (or five) whose “wisdom” could drive you into bankruptcy. The problem is, it can be hard to tell thetwo apart, especially if you’re new at this whole “thinking about money” thing.
So how to spot a shady influencer? Here are some of the biggest tells of bad, incompetent, and predatory “finfluencers” to look out for. You’ll still need to pay careful attention to weed out all bad actors—some of these jamokes are clever—but it’s a place to start.