Under-25s turn to social media for financial advice over professional advisers

Under-25s are more likely to turn to social media for financial advice than pay a professional adviser, according to new research published by OpenMoney.

Research by the online financial advice service found that 9% of respondents aged 18 to 24 said they would use social media – including TikTok, Twitter and Instagram – for financial advice.

This compares to just 3% of people in this age group who have received paid for financial advice in the last two years. Across all age groups, the study found that just 4% would use social media for financial advice, while 7% would use paid for professional advice.

OpenMoney’s research, conducted among over 2,000 UK adults in conjunction with YouGov, found that the most popular source of financial advice across all ages was personal research on product provider websites. This was followed by friends and family, while the personal finance sections of newspapers came third.

In the 18 to 24 age group, seeking advice from friends and family topped the list, while product provider websites were second, and social media third.

OpenMoney co-founder, Anthony Morrow, said that turning to social media might seem like a “natural option” for those without access to other forms of financial advice, but described social media as the “Wild West of investments”.

“There’s little or no regulation and an explosion of misleading and inappropriate investment information that puts followers in real danger of losing their money,” Morrow said.

“Because many influences don’t follow the same rules as regulated firms around including risk warnings in all their investment information, some followers might think that not having warnings means it’s less risky, when usually the opposite is true.

“It’s incredibly easy to be influenced – often without even realising – by self-proclaimed experts who have no experience or qualifications to offer investment advice. If you are interested in investing, you need to make sure you are getting information from someone who’s properly qualified to talk about the options and that you understand, and are comfortable, with the level of risk you are taking.”

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