Seeking online financial advice? Identifying trustworthy Finfluencers – Financial Influencers – is your first step. Here are some tips

Smiling businesswoman standing next to flip board in office

I’m Endrit Cela, an experienced professional with over a decade’s immersion in Asset Management. On my daily journey, I collaborate with a multitude of financial experts – certified planners, qualified advisors, and several well-informed professionals. However, my impact extends beyond these professional circles. Many recognize me as a ‘finfluencer’, a status I’ve earned through my influential online presence. However, I’d do not see myself as such, but that’s not the topic of discussion in this article.

Through my podcast, @investmentbabo, I’ve cultivated a vast online community that consistently engages with the financial insights Michael Duarte (Investmentbabo Sr.) and I (Investmentbabo Jr.) share. These interactions have not only enriched my understanding of financial trends but also helped me broaden my perspective.

In addition to my online endeavors, I also work alongside Frank Fischer at Shareholder Value Management, one of Germany’s most successful fund managers. This experience has provided me with an enriching and eye-opening experience about the financial world.

What expectations do people who come to me for advice have?

Most of my clients come prepared for professionalism and integrity, which they know is a cornerstone of my advice. Their expectations are rarely unrealistic, primarily because they already bring some understanding and knowledge of the matter to the table. Consequently, the quick and easy money peddled by fake financial gurus seldom plays a significant role in our consultations. Instead, clients are often pleasantly surprised by what good, long-term planning can achieve. Patience, time, a clear strategy, and frugality are the critical components that help build something substantial in the financial realm.

Why do young people fall for financial gurus?

I believe this tendency has several reasons. One significant influence is the seemingly perfect and materialistic social media world, which holds considerable sway over the younger generation. Success is often equated with luxury, wealth, and freedom. Financial gurus promise these goals can be reached more quickly with “shortcuts,” which unfortunately entices many.

Current crises bring a plethora of worries, especially for young people. We’re witnessing drastic paradigm shifts, particularly in the world of work. The fear of not finding a secure job, being replaced by AI, or not being able to maintain their living standard makes the promises of these fake financial gurus all the more appealing.

So, how do you recognize these “Fakefluencers”?

There are a few tell-tale signs:

Lack of Transparency: You’re left confused about what it’s all about. There’s no specific information about how to make money or about the influencer’s background or the company they represent. Instead, they focus on evoking emotions, often resorting to empty words devoid of substance.

Unrealistic Promises: If an influencer promises quick wealth without any investment, risk, or work, you should be skeptical. As always, high returns come with high risks, something these gurus often omit to mention.

Unprofessional Appearance: Both companies and individuals who polarize and resort to cult-like values should raise red flags. They often emotionally manipulate their followers, discrediting anyone who criticizes them. Fake Finfluencers often exploit their followers’ fears.

So, how can you identify professional accounts?

Reputable financial influencers operate transparently, objectively, and factually. They focus on providing information, education, and added value, refraining from making empty promises. Moreover, their company data can be checked, just like mine at Shareholder Value Management. 

So people, take your time and don’t be hasty when it comes to making financial decisions. 

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