Social Media Finfluencers: Should You Trust Them?

Image of Perla Khattar
Perla Khattar
Published: Feb 1, 2023
Last Updated: Feb 6, 2023

It’s been a tough year for Kim Kardashian. She has been in the headlines more than ever – and a lot of it not being good news. Recently, Kim agreed to pay a $1.26 million settlement to the SEC for unlawfully touting crypto security. While many are focusing on what this could mean for the Kardashians’ image, there are also some serious implications for influencer trust going forward.

When it comes to our finances, we should be careful about who we take advice from. With the rise of social media, anyone can give their opinion on financial matters - whether they are qualified or not. And with the power of influencers, these unqualified opinions can seem like gospel truth. At a time when more Americans say they are experiencing financial stress, they can be more vulnerable than ever to quackery.

So, should we trust financial influencers?

To get to the bottom of this question, we will discuss in this article what happened with Kim Kardashian, why we should be wary of influencers, trust signals to look for in finance influencers and red flags. We will also be giving a list of people that deserve your attention for being trustworthy finance influencers. 

What Happened with Kim Kardashian and the SEC?

When it comes to social media influencers, it can be hard to know who to trust. After all, anyone can put up a pretty profile and call themselves an expert. However, when it comes to financial tips, you should be especially careful who you listen to.

Social media influencers have a lot of power when it comes to promoting products and services - but that doesn't mean you should always trust them. Case in point: Kim Kardashian was fined on October 3, 2022 by the SEC for promoting a cryptocurrency called EthereumMax without disclosing that she was being paid to do so. While Kardashian isn't technically a financial advisor, she has a huge following on social media, and her endorsement of EthereumMax led many people to invest in the coin. 

Specifically, Kardashian failed to disclose that she was paid $250,000 to publish a post to her Instagram account about EthereumMax, containing a link to the coin’s website and indirectly providing instructions to potential investors wishing to purchase the tokens. 

However, it turned out to be a fraud - and now, those who lost money are suing Kardashian. 

On the topic, SEC Chair Gray Gensler commented that "Ms. Kardashian’s case also serves as a reminder to celebrities and others that the law requires them to disclose to the public when and how much they are paid to promote investing in securities."

This just goes to show that even big names can't always be trusted when it comes to financial advice. So, while an influencer's endorsement may make a product or service look more trustworthy, it's always important to do your own research before investing. So, if you're looking for someone to give you financial tips, make sure you do your research first and only take advice from reliable sources. And if you want to start investing or trading, always consult an accredited financial advisor first before you start yourself.

What is a Finfluencer and Why Should I Be Wary of Them?

A financial influencer (finfluencer) is somebody who has a large following on social media and who offers advice on financial topics, such as investing, saving money, and debt management. 

Many finfluencers are bloggers or YouTubers who share their own experiences and offer tips to their followers. Some financial influencers are certified financial planners (CFPs), which means they have the training and experience to help people make sound financial decisions. But not all financial influencers are CFPs. In fact, many of them don't have any formal training in personal finance at all.

Many people follow finance influencers because they believe that they can trust them to give accurate and unbiased information. However, there are some risks associated with trusting a financial influencer. 

First of all, it's important to remember that just because someone has a large following, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're an expert on the subject. It's also worth bearing in mind that many financial influencers are sponsored by companies, which means that they may not be giving impartial advice. 

If you're thinking about following a financial influencer, it's important to do your research first. Make sure that you understand their qualifications and experience, and take a close look at any sponsored content to see if it's biased. If they're a CFP, then they probably know what they're talking about. But if they're not, then it's up to you to decide whether or not you think they can provide helpful and accurate advice.

Once you've done your homework, you can then decide whether or not you think you can trust the person. 

8 Trust Signals to Look for in Finfluencers


Image Credits: Department of Financial Protection & Innovation, California

There's no doubt that social media has changed the way we consume information. In particular, platforms like Instagram and YouTube have given rise to a new breed of information influencers. And while there are many benefits to this trend, it also means that we're more likely to encounter false or misleading information. 

So, how can you tell if an influencer is trustworthy? If you're looking for someone to help you make sense of the world of finance, following influencers who exhibit these eight characteristics is a good place to start.

Here are eight signs to look for: 

  1. They have a strong personal brand – Look for an influencer who has taken the time to develop a strong personal brand. This usually includes having a professional website and consistent social media presence. These days, anyone can start a blog or YouTube channel, but it takes time and effort to build up a following of engaged fans. So, if an influencer has taken the time to cultivate a personal brand, they're more likely to be trustworthy. 
  2. They're an expert in their field – When evaluating an influencer, it's important to consider their expertise. What are their qualifications? Are they an accredited financial counselor or advisor? Do they have first-hand experience with the topic they're discussing? If an influencer is truly an expert in their field, they'll be able to back up their claims with evidence.
  3. They have a good track record – A good way to gauge an influencer's trustworthiness is to look at their track record. What kind of content have they put out in the past? Have they made any bold claims that turned out to be false? If an influencer has a history of publishing quality content, they're more likely to be trustworthy. This is especially true with finance influencers that tend to give predictions on the stock market (they’re either bluffing or they truly know what they are doing).
  4. They're transparent about their relationships – Another sign of a trustworthy influencer is transparency about their relationships. If an influencer is working with a brand or company, they should disclose that relationship. Otherwise, it could appear that they're endorsing a product without letting their audience know that they're being compensated for it. Kim Kardashian endorsing a cryptocurrency without disclosing the brand partnership is extremely concerning as it pushes consumers to question every endorsement this influencer has ever done.
  5. They're open to feedback – A trustworthy influencer is open to feedback from their audience. If you see an influencer responding to comments and engaging in dialogue with their fans, that's a good sign. It shows that they care about what their audience thinks and are willing to listen to constructive criticism.
  6. They correct their mistakes – Everyone makes mistakes, but a trustworthy influencer is willing to admit when they're wrong and take steps to correct the situation. This shows that they're accountable for their actions and are committed to accuracy and integrity.
  7. They have a thick skin – Being an influencer can be tough, and not everyone is cut out for it. But the truly trustworthy ones have thick skin and can take the heat when things go wrong. This shows that they're resilient and committed to their audience, even when times are tough.
  8. They're always learning – The world is constantly changing, and influencers need to change with it. A trustworthy influencer is always learning, whether it's through formal education or simply keeping up with the latest trends. This shows that they're adaptable and committed to staying relevant for their audience. 

Financial Influencers: Signs of Trustworthiness

Be Aware of These Red Flags Concerning Finfluencers

When it comes to financial influencers, it's important to be careful. There are a lot of people out there giving advice, but not all of them have your best interests in mind. Watch out for the red flags below – if you see any of them, proceed with caution. The last thing you want is to end up in a financial hole because you trusted someone who wasn't looking out for your best interests.

  1. They make outlandish promises –  If an influencer is promising you overnight riches or unrealistic returns, be wary. There's no such thing as easy money, and if someone is trying to tell you otherwise, they're probably not being truthful.
  2. They have a shady track record – Check out an influencer's history before trusting them with your hard-earned money. If they've been involved in any scandals or have a history of bad investing decisions, it's best to steer clear.
  3. They're constantly pushing products or promoting something– A good investment strategy doesn't require constant urging from an influencer. If all they ever talk about are the latest deals, promotions or which product you should buy next, be suspicious. A reputable financial advisor will give unbiased advice and won't try to sell you anything. A red flag that we find particularly interesting is if the influencer is trying to sell you their own personal course – these people are usually in it for the gains and do not have your best interest in mind. You would probably be better off buying a finance book from your favorite store, rather than investing in these pump-and-dump schemes.
  4. They make grandiose promises about easy money and get-rich-quick schemes – We all want to achieve our financial goals, but beware of anyone who seems too good to be true. If an influencer is promising guaranteed returns or claiming they can help you get rich overnight, chances are the advice is bad. Do your own research and consult with a professional before making any decisions.
  5. They're not transparent about their own finances – A good finance influencer will be open and honest about their own financial journey. If they're not transparent about their own finances, it's likely they're not someone you should be trusting with your own money.

4 Famous Finfluencers To Follow

When it comes to finance, it can be tough to know who to trust. With so many conflicting voices out there, it's hard to know who has your best interests at heart. But don't worry - we've compiled a list of the top 5 financial influencers that have proven trustworthy so far. From money-saving tips to investment advice, these experts will help you get your finances in order. So check out our list and start following financial peace of mind today!

Note: although you can follow these finfluencers to get financial tips and tricks, you should consult a financial advisor if you're in financial trouble or want to start investing or trading yourself.

The budget mom1. @thebudgetmom – For anyone on a budget (and let's be honest, who isn't these days), The Budget Mom is a must-follow. With tips and tricks on everything from couponing to cutting back on expenses, she's helped her followers save millions of dollars collectively. And she doesn't just preach the gospel of frugality - she walks the walk, too. In fact, she managed to pay off $38,000 of debt in just 18 months! She's been featured in major publications like Forbes and The Huffington Post, and her advice is solid.



2. @thebudgetnista - Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche is an award-winning teacher of financial education. She is the author of Get Good with Money (a New York Times Bestseller), The One Week Budget, and the Live Richer Challenge series.




3. Dave Ramsey – He is a well-known personal finance expert, and his advice has helped millions of people get out of debt and build wealth. Ramsey is the author of the famous “7 baby steps” that allows people to take control of their money; he is all about effective wealth management. 



suze orman


4. Suze Orman – Orman is another well-known financial expert, and she has a lot of experience helping people make smart decisions with their money. Suze Orman is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author on Personal Finance, with over 25 million books in circulation, available in 12 languages worldwide.


Final Thoughts – Finfluencers Can Be Trusted, But Do Your Research

If you're wondering whether or not you can trust finance influencers on social media, the answer is yes - but only if you do your research. There are a lot of fake influencers out there who are only in it for the money, so it's important to be careful who you listen to.

Do some digging and make sure that the person you're following is legitimate before taking any advice. With a little bit of effort, you can find someone who can help you make sound financial decisions.

When it comes to finding a good financial influencer, there are a few things you should look out for. Avoid anyone who is not transparent about their finances, constantly pushes products, only posts advertised content or has fake reviews

There are plenty of other finance influencers out there who can provide valuable information without trying to scam you. Follow someone who is honest and helpful, and who you can trust to give advice that will help you reach your financial goals.

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