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Navigating social media as a financial adviser

Most people spend hours on social media each week. While that’s largely for entertainment, many people turn to social media as a vessel for knowledge and advice.

We know that more people are turning to social media for financial advice, with Reddit forums dedicated to finance and share market trading, and TikTok accounts dedicated to #moneytok. This is no different in New Zealand. In fact, a quarter of young Kiwis listed social media as where they go to for information on money, compared to a fifth who listed their school.

It can be a great marketing tool to reach target customers, but that doesn’t mean you can go and just start promoting your financial advice prowess on social media. The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) Act in New Zealand governs how people give financial advice, whether that is having a formal conversation with a client or posting about finance on social media.

You cannot provide personalised financial advice through your marketing channels. The trickiest part is that the line between general financial knowledge and financial advice is blurry. So, with that in mind here are a few things to remember when talking about finance on social media:

  • General information is best. There’s no issue talking about concepts and ideas. However, discussing specific products and whether or not people should use them could be interpreted as financial advice.
  • Facts are a go, opinions are a no. When you do need to talk about specific products you must only state factual information and not your opinion. For example, you can state the marketing material around a certain credit card such as any rewards schemes and the interest rate, but you cannot recommend someone get that product.
  • Brush up on social media best practice. You’re not responsible for what other people say regarding your content, but if people post comments which could be financial advice, it’s best to delete them.
  • Remind your followers to seek financial advice. Anything you say online must be broad and factual. Always point your followers in the right direction to see a financial adviser before making financial decisions, and that your content isn’t financial advice.

For more information on this topic visit the FMA website.