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From Pivot Magazine

Deconstructing the wild world of online financial advice

Doretta Thompson, CPA Canada’s financial literacy leader, on how CPAs have the discipline and rigour needed to make sense of all the disparate information out there

A person looks at a tablet while sitting on a couchViral “finfluencers” on social media may not have sound financial advice for Millennials and Gen Z users (Getty Images/Richard Drury)

Not so long ago, financial advice was the almost-exclusive purview of professionals who served the wealthy few. Times have changed. Now the internet is bursting at the seams with financial coaches, gurus, influencers and bloggers.

Online money advice has in some ways become a free-for-all with individuals and institutions promoting tips, tricks and strategies to guarantee financial freedom. While much advice is good, and many writers qualified, some have a vested interest in providing and promoting specific advice and promoting specific services, and others keen to score followers, and fatten their own wallets.

Millennials and Gen Zs are especially vulnerable to bad online financial advice, with platforms like TikTok exploding with viral “finfluencers” proffering advice on everything from budgeting for Starbucks, to investing in cryptocurrency, to riding the latest meme stock waves. The aura of fun and humour that so often surrounds these creators can create a feeling of missing out…and lead those with stars in their eyes to throw money at questionable “investments” without proper consideration.

CPAs are doing plenty to combat financial misinformation and provide clear, objective advice to those who need it most. Volunteering with CPA Canada’s Financial Literacy Program, providing unbiased and objective financial education to local communities, and sharing our financial literacy resources within their networks are some of the ways CPAs are accomplishing this.

The question is: what more can be done to create safe and accessible financial education? Send us your thoughts at [email protected].


Meet the CPAs bringing their knowledge to social media, read about the ways that CPAs can be data stewards in an era of fake news and how CPAs exemplify the Canadian Ideal of Good Business.