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Financial Behemoths Slowly Tread Into TikTok

Financial Behemoths Slowly Tread Into TikTok
As money-focused TikTok accounts amass massive followings, staid banking institutions seek a piece of the action on youth-oriented social media sites.
Mark Tilbury (@marktilbury, 7 million followers), Humphrey Yang (@humphreytalks, 3.3 million), Tori Dunlap (@herfirst100k, 2.1 million), and Erika Kullberg (@erikakullberg, 8.4 million) have audiences that billion-dollar fund managers can only dream of.
For traditional financial institutions, this means starting from scratch and speaking in bite-sized pieces with a high-quality visual style to deliver lessons in a vibrant and engaging manner.
That's definitely a struggle when it comes to investment ideas like retirement, diversification, and compound interest, which aren't exactly 'fun.'
Fidelity, situated in Boston, is one of the first financial behemoths to dabble in TikTok. Since launching its account @fidelity in June 2021, it has gathered over 14,000 followers and nearly 500,000 likes.
"You have a very short period of time to engage people on complex topics, and that is a challenge," said Kelly Lannan, Fidelity's senior vice president for emerging customers.
"But TikTok has been great, because we know that's where the next generation of customers is. So many individuals, especially younger audiences, go there for information – even before they go to their own family members."
 Indeed, when Wells Fargo & Co asked children where they learned how to manage money, 35 percent responded social media. That could be beneficial or bad: it can pique their attention and pique their curiosity, but the teachings may be incorrect.
When investment managers T. Rowe Price asked children what assets they would invest in, 57 per cent said bitcoin, 38 peer cent said traditional stocks, 22% said meme stocks, and 21 per cent said non-traditional assets.
That is most likely a reflection of the headlines people are seeing, which may depict a distorted reality.
Money managers may teach young investors how to make sound financial decisions and construct long-term portfolios.
BlackRock, the first public money manager to reach $10 trillion in assets, is working to earn their trust, and @blackrock has attracted approximately 2,300 followers thus far.
"TikTok is the opposite end of spectrum from the 20-page whitepapers that we are very good at producing," laughed Rich Latour, BlackRock's global head of content.
"But we need to target that next generation of investors, with the production values they are used to seeing, and help them wade through all the financial misinformation out there."
Because FinTok is like its own language, BlackRock and Fidelity have proposed a few people who already speak the language — younger personnel, some of whom have personal TikTok profiles and are familiar with what content resonates with users.
Popular topics covered by BlackRock include "3 Tips For Retirement," "High Inflation," "Why Pay Taxes?" and "ETFs Explained."
Fidelity employs numerous food metaphors, as everyone appears to have a hunger for them. With over 12.6 million views, one of its most popular posts: a discussion of how fractional investment works using the image of a pie.
Because Fidelity and BlackRock are new to TikTok, both are aiming to create connections with FinTok influencers who have large built-in following. Many other financial organisations appear to be less confident.
However, the eyes are convincing: According to a TikTok spokesman, posts using the hashtag #investment have already received 6.5 billion views.
Even the platform's youngest users will grow into working adults with investment accounts, and the country's top money managers may have little choice but to embrace the FinTok universe.
"Not only do I think that more companies will start to get on board, I think we all have a responsibility to be there," Fidelity's Lannan said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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