- Gen Z can often find great basic financial advice on TikTok, but they should also proceed with caution (watch the interview to see why).
- TikTok offers Gen Z relatability, a feeling of being at the same level with those sharing the information, and not feeling embarrassed for not knowing more about their finances.
- Personal finance is often not taught in today’s school system, so Gen Z is going where they naturally hang out and look for the information they need: TikTok.
CGK President was back on FOX Business for the fourth time! In the interview, he shared our latest thinking on Gen Z and the influence TikTok is having on their financial literacy.
Did you know: A recent study found that 41% of Gen Zers have turned to TikTok for financial advice and investment tips. But is this a good idea? And what does it mean for the future of finance and financial education?
Gen Z Needs to Proceed With Caution
There is often great basic financial information and investing content being shared on TikTok, but it is important for Gen Z not to take everything they hear about money and investing on TikTok as complete truth.
The problem we are seeing is that some in Gen Z are taking what they learn on TikTok and believing that because they heard it from an influencer it’s correct. We advise Gen Z to see TikTok as one source of financial information and encourage them to do follow-up research with other sources before making any investments. One important insight for Gen Z to know is that while there are people on TikTok sharing great financial advice purely as a way to help others, some of the people on the platform dishing financial advice are being paid to share specific opinions or they themselves are earning money by pushing a certain investment —and that is where TikTok can quickly become a slippery slope.
The bottom line on financial advice and TikToK: it can be a great place for Gen Z to start learning about personal finance and investing, but it is important not to stop there. Gen Z needs to be diligent in continuing their personal financial education and doing their research before following every piece of advice given by someone on their favorite platform set to catchy music and visuals.
TikTok Offers Relatability
From Gen Z’s perspective, we are hearing they like and view many TikTok(ers) as everyday people. This makes them feel like they can relate to them because they are from the same point of view, background, and priorities. They, too, are learning their way through building their financial literacy. Getting advice from people on the same level often helps alleviate the risk of feeling embarrassed for not knowing more.
We know from our research that Gen Z is extremely interested in learning more about personal finance and that TikTok is often their preferred platform for engagement, entertainment, and increasingly learning.. The biggest risk here is that teenagers who are interested in investing end up listening to someone on TikTok and take actions, such as investing, not fully realizing the risk involved and that the influencer may be trying to profit off their advice without disclosing it.
As big believers in financial education and literacy for teens and young adults, we don’t want to see them buying into, or investing in, scams and then losing their money and becoming discouraged from personal finance. If this happens, it will hurt the generation. This is why it is important that more personal finance media, experts, researchers, educators, and even traditional financial firms find their way onto TikTok and start sharing insights. Going even further, more parents should talk with their kids about money, saving, investing, and financial education—including building credit.
Personal Finance is Often Not Taught in Today’s School System
One of the challenges when it comes to Gen Z and financial education is that personal finance is often not taught in secondary schools or even some colleges. You can end up with young adults graduating with business degrees who have never taken a course to teach them about saving and investing, managing their debt—or even how to determine whether it is best to rent vs. buy.
This is where parents—as well as grandparents and mentors—can step in and have these conversations with teens and early twentysomethings. Unfortunately, though, many parents don’t feel comfortable having these conversations as they may not feel confident in their own knowledge or they don’t believe families should talk about money. The net result: many Gen Zers are turning to TikTok, where they feel comfortable and can look for answers as well as new questions and conversations.
Yes, as Jason shared in the interview, we believe TikTok can be a great place for Gen Z to start their financial education, but please don’t make it the beginning and ending resource! There are a ton of free financial education resources that Gen Z should explore. We always encourage Gen Z and their families to find the financial education resources that work for them and have that conversation. As our State of Gen Z research showed, Gen Z is very interested in managing their money, building emergency savings accounts, and investing. Now is the perfect time to have these conversations with Gen Z because they have the most time ahead of them to benefit from the advice—and compound interest!
And now to the second part of the TV interview…
The Second Part of the TV Interview Was About Millennials Moving Back Home and Not Leaving
The trend of Millennials moving back home or returning to live close to their parents is one we’ve been watching closely for years, but it has accelerated dramatically during the pandemic. In fact, more than half of 18- to 29-year-olds in the United States are living with their parents—that is a huge number! It is even more than lived with their parents during the Great Depression!
What our research has revealed is that younger millennials—who are slightly older than Gen Z—are increasingly risk-averse. They’ve seen so many challenges from skyrocketing student loan debt to rapidly rising costs of living, and then they crashed into COVID-19 at a key period in their career journey… so they returned home or to their hometown. And what did they find? In many cases, they found a feeling of safety, security, parents who can cook, and much of what they thought they wanted when they left home actually available to them at home or nearby.
The bottom line: we are finding that many young adults are deciding that coming back home or to where they grew up is a good decision. And while they may not plan to live with their parents forever, they are looking to at least stay close to them. This is a big shift in mobility, and we think it is going to help a lot of smaller cities and suburban communities. The storyline that you have to move to a big city to start your adult life or career is no longer necessarily true, especially with remote and hybrid work becoming the norm. This new reality will create a lot of opportunities for Millennials to build their life and future closer to home while not putting their career on hold.
Please check out the full interview to see the great back-and-forth between Jason and Maria about both Gen Z and Millennials!
We look forward to sharing more findings with you on what the future holds for emerging generations.
If you’d like to learn more about Gen Z and what we’re discovering about this exciting generation in our research, check out CGK’s annual State of Gen Z® study series. The detailed findings reports are free and available for download directly from CGK’s website.
And if you really want to dig deeper into the mindset of this influential generation of trendsetters, employees, and customers, check out Jason’s new book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business. The book was a Top 10 Business Book on Forbes! You can read more about it at Zconomy.com.
Stay tuned for more!