Personal Finance

How TikTok did the impossible in personal finance

The spectacle of young people excited about personal finance is playing 24 hours a day on the social media platform TikTok.

The TikTok format is short videos in which young people sing, dance and talk to each other about pretty much anything, money and investing included. The money-themed videos mirror the broader world of personal finance and investing content in that they’re all over the map. There’s some miraculously direct, clear and helpful advice, some outright nonsense and some salesy stuff that can veer into scamming at times.

Globe personal finance editor Roma Luciw and I take a look at TikTok’s personal finance content in the latest episode our the Stress Test personal finance podcast. For me, the impressive thing about TikTok is how it engages young people on the topic of money. Topics covered in TikTok videos include budgeting, saving, home buying, investing and using tax-free-savings accounts. There’s an energy and sense of fun on TikTok that is noticeably absent in other ways financial literacy is taught.

TikTok’s popularity on money-related topics may to some extent reflect the personal finance hothouse we’ve lived in since the pandemic began. People of all ages have been drawn into their finances by a mix of job losses, stock market and cryptocurrency drama and a housing market boom. But TikTok has a more lasting benefit in that it offers a way for young people to discuss money matters among themselves, without the judgments and pronouncements of older generations.

Experience does count for something in personal finance and investing, though. So if you’re getting your financial information from TikTok, consult other sources of information as well. Let TikTok introduce you to a topic, and then fill in the details elsewhere.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

Scammers vs. personal finance influencers

A long list of tips for distinguishing between worthwhile personal finance voices on TikTok and Instagram from scammers trying to separate you from your money.

Selling your home: Try the 3D rule

The housing market is cooling down, which means sellers may have to work harder to land a buyer. Details here on three ideas for making a house look great – declutter, depersonalize and design.

Buy Canada

Want to support businesses that produce goods in Canada? Here’s a list of companies in categories ranging from cars to pet supplies, and an explanation of the difference between ‘made in Canada’ and ‘product of Canada.”

The money mistakes of athletes and entertainers

How could the money mistakes of people in the professional sports and entertainment worlds be relevant to the rest of us? You’d be surprised.


Q&A

Q: I have a 10-year-old who wants to start investing his allowance in mutual funds and/or ETFs. Among Canadian digital brokers, which ones are best suited (or ill-suited) to child accounts?

A: Unfortunately, you must be at the age of majority to open an investment account in Canada, which is 18 or 19, depending on the province. Parents of younger children can find a broker or investment company that offers in-trust-for accounts, which can hold stocks and funds on a child’s behalf. Here’s a briefing on in-trust-for accounts from the Globe’s tax expert, Tim Cestnick.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.


Today’s financial tool

With interest rates rising, more people are looking at guaranteed investment certificates and savings accounts. Here’s a calculator to help you get the most out of the coverage offered by Canada Deposit Insurance Corp.


The Money-Free Zone

In this review of fried chicken sandwiches available in Ottawa is a thumbs up for the version from Popeye’s. I’m glad to see that because a Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich has become our go-to lunch on driving trips between Ottawa and Toronto. To the people running the rest stops along Highway 401: Good work, adding Popeye’s to your restaurant mix. Now, about those top-of-the-market gas prices…


In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

More Rob Carrick and money coverage

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

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