Most people have wild dreams of how rich they want to become and that is a worthy goal for obvious reasons. But the truth is that more than a healthy percentage of people won’t become rich, at least like in their wildest dreams. Enter the world of YouTube Personal finance gurus and influencers. In sum, most of the so-called Finance Gurus feed their audience junk, and I don’t mean this in any other way than how it is already presented as; “Junk”. Now allow me to tell you why.
Earnest.com, a popular finance company in a blog post recommended among others My Fab Finance, Anthony O’Neal, Mr. Money Mustache, and Miss Wise as some of the YouTube finance influencers you should follow. We do know that this is in good faith and commend them for taking the time to find the best channels for you. However, we believe most youtube finance channels are not worth their salt and are more or less SIMPLY SELLING HOPE.
Let’s get started…
2022 was bad for the world. The devastating covid along with its implications and effects drove many households and countries into hardship. This created an economy that is full of tension which is beginning to lessen. However, in the wake of the new normal, many have lost their jobs, can’t make enough income to live on, and have many difficulties. One of the things that many people saw hope for was the democratization of finance in investing like crypto, stocks, and other quick ways of making money. With little investment, they too could reap some benefits without having to incur broker fees. In some cases, meager broker fees to the platforms. The problem? These people lacked the financial education to make good bets, so they took to youtube to learn from the gurus. But without realizing it, Youtubers are called creators for a reason. They create content, and for most of them, that is their primary source of income. It means work for them. But if they are supposed to be creating content for their audience, why are finance YouTubers a problem?
Those who ask for money in the form of courses, training programs get more scrutiny than those who simply make content on it. As content creators, let’s say it’s difficult to make a boring subject like finance and money interesting without adding a few gimmicks to it. Money and finance are basically boring fields and it takes only a few fundamentals to become financially wise. That’s not to say you can immediately start picking stocks that go 300% in 4 days. But these are the kind of predictions some of these finance influencers make. They try to sound all certain that with their tricks and tips, you can become an instant millionaire like them. But of course, they would always have a disclaimer. These Guys Make Tons of Money from YouTube. And that is motivation enough for them to keep producing content that brings in the views and revenue.
Selling Hope: Hence More Content Preaching
The base of most finance content you watch on youtube falls into the fear or hope categories. It is either the content is feeding on your fear or your desire for more, a hope that you too would become rich. They do this through reaction videos, giving out advice, making wild predictions, and using catchy storytelling techniques. These are not necessarily bad for teaching real skills but most of these channels are by far only for entertainment purposes and will either leave the viewer wanting for more or cause them to get into trouble after following their advice. It’s true that most experienced stock pickers do not give “stocks and tips” for various reasons. Yet these YouTubers are the experts to the masses. It’s safe to say most finance YouTubers actually base their content on opinions and advice from the experts in the field, but of course with their own interpretations in some cases.
Simply Entertainment. Easy Going Stories
Isn’t it interesting that every YouTuber has “made it in life” but that hasn’t always been the case? As they previously struggled, dropped out of school, failed numerous businesses before finally striking a pot of gold and they can now share their findings and knowledge with you so you too can get there? Sounds more than familiar right? YouTubers are good at storytelling and they know what the audience wants. It may not be that they are lying, but they carefully leave out the stressful days, the times they went hungry, the times they struggled, and how they truly made it (if they ever did). Some YouTubers are full-time video creators hence how then did they make it?
Skills are Holy Grail and These Influencers Are Not Preaching it
To become successful and make a ton of money, you need to be valuable to lots of people. That often translates to having skills in demand or skills that can help you create something which is in demand. But finance gurus on youtube hardly preach skills. All they talk about are the basics, and some top stock or crypto projects they believe will “go to the moon”. We may have oversimplified the activity of these channels but a vast majority do this kind of thing and it’s not certainly the best. We believe the best way to feed someone is to teach them how to fish instead of donating them a few stocks they should pick. How about teaching them the mindset of a trader, or how to make their own investment choices?
Market Analysis and predictions are Mostly Bullshit
One crypto coin has been making waves right from the beginning of the year. It has even created a whole category of crypto projects called meme coins. Dogecoin has been experiencing some huge returns as well as steep falls and this is attributed to influencer activity and in this particular case, Elon Musk. Now, this coin is still struggling as it has no foundation and is no more stable than the speculations provide. Such a coin can only be traded on what others think. But unlike this coin, stocks for instance are based on real businesses which are based on demand and supply factors. To be able to predict well, you need to have a strong understanding of the markets and the valuations of the businesses. The best youtube finance influencers often do is to simply share stocks which after listening to other opinions think will do well. And oh, there is a carefully used disclaimer concerning their entertainment content which also happens to be on a finance channel.
Simplifying and Recycling Age-Old Finance Advice
As we said, some channels are good and they teach fundamentals. But a boring field like finance has only a few fundamentals. We advise you read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and the Richest Man in Babylon for basics. Most of the content actually comes from these books. But once such content has been covered, the YouTuber still needs content to move the channel. Then you may see reaction videos, “hot stock picks” and whatnots. These are probably for entertainment purposes and most of the advice may not work due to the audience and different needs each person requires.
“Not Advise”: The Danger
Since finance content creators can leave a gentle disclaimer, they can basically say anything which may or may not work. And face no liability because hey, they warned you. They are not financial advisors and you use the information at your own responsibility. This provision means they aren’t responsible for predictions they make when they know that in fact, people will use such information. Often, the information is used without further research to ascertain the validity of the claims. If such channels taught actual financial skills, most audiences would not return since they would be able to make enough soon enough.
And it even isn’t just YouTube anymore, TikTokers are joining and as some YouTube finance gurus are joining TikTok
We all want to live “the good life” and having money is a part of it. YouTube is a great place to learn but without a careful selection of where you take your advice, you may end up in debt, make poor decisions and miss out on your dream life.
Hey there, It’s Enoch here. I write about YouTube here on Medium, and I help people like you who are curious about making income from your YouTube business. Let’s chat on Fiverr, where I offer my services as a video creator and YouTube growth engineer.