Personal finances

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Trusting a Financial ‘Influencer’ – Business Insider

Summary

I made my name in the personal finance space by sharing the story of my financial mess with others. My hope was to at least help one other person who was dealing with a similar situation to mine who could relate to my story. I love the conversations I’ve had about personal finance — talking money with other money nerds and being of service in my own small way to someone else. 

What I didn’t realize, until much later, was that by putting my story front…….

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I made my name in the personal finance space by sharing the story of my financial mess with others. My hope was to at least help one other person who was dealing with a similar situation to mine who could relate to my story. I love the conversations I’ve had about personal finance — talking money with other money nerds and being of service in my own small way to someone else. 

What I didn’t realize, until much later, was that by putting my story front and center, my readers and listeners were putting another accidental label on me that I didn’t feel I deserved: financial expert. 

Given that I found myself in the personal finance space because of all of the mistakes I’ve made, compounded by factors outside of my control, I thought it was time to bring up some important things to consider when consuming personal finance content online. 

Use your common sense and always do your own research

I want to encourage people to share their financial stories. That said, I also want to provide a word of caution about how easy it is to get sucked into the hype. In a world of sexy financial stories, my story isn’t sexy. I didn’t pay off six figures of debt in four months and I’m not earning six figures now — but my finances are so much better than when I first started my money journey, and maybe that’s the most important thing to focus on. 

I have my own favorite personal finance influencers I love to follow who I find motivating and inspirational. In fact, when I first started my debt-freedom journey, I loved a certain well-known financial guru who used tough talk and shared wins with their audience. 

I consumed that content for several years until I outgrew the guru and started questioning their methods. In fact, I wasn’t the only one wondering why that person was giving the advice they were giving. I was right to question this person and their methods. 

I feel comfortable inspiring someone else to make change, but I’m not comfortable having someone ask me for advice about money that’s beyond the scope of my existing financial knowledge. I often wonder how many people in the personal finance space online are just winging it because they can.

I provide a certain service to my community, but I don’t give specific advice

Each financial situation is nuanced and specific to the individual’s personal situation. I’m not a financial expert, but I’m an expert at having financial conversations, and I think this is a very important distinction to make. I wish I could say that I no longer make financial mistakes, but that would be disingenuous. The truth is I still make mistakes with my money. I just make fewer mistakes than before and it’s my hope that one day I won’t make …….

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/questions-ask-yourself-before-trusting-financial-influencer-2021-11