While TikTok is certainly full of entertaining, albeit sometimes weird, videos, there are also a number of content creators using the platform to provide some very helpful advice.
A financial adviser has taken center stage in this turbulent economy after revealing the top 10 things he never does when it comes to wealth.
Russell Maltes has been a Certified Financial Planner and Investment Advisor for 19 years. He also provides advice on financial literacy through his TikTok videos, including this two-part series listing the ten things he would never do.
- Use debit cards for online purchases.
- Buy a car for the next 6-12 months.
- Pay interest on your credit card — don’t live beyond your means.
- Don’t miss your employer’s 401K match (it’s free money!).
- Borrow money to buy depreciating assets (like cars and vacations).
Also do not:
6. Buy more life insurance than you need.
7. Celebrate big tax returns (better plan instead).
8. Take out undergraduate student loans or get out of state (it’s hard to start life with debt).
9. Wait to buy a house until you have a 20% down payment (don’t be afraid of PMI).
10. Go another day without a financial plan, retirement plan, and estate plan.
His advice received mixed reactions
It stands to reason that financial advisors, by definition, are pretty good at managing money. Still, TikTokers are nothing if not opinionated, and its followers had a range of different responses.
Many items on the list have received positive feedback. Although it may seem that young people have no choice but to take out loans for university, Maltes received resounding support for his recommendation to take on as little debt as possible or consider going into business. in a trade instead.
One user noted, “At #8, I think vocation, trade and blue collar jobs are seriously undervalued and too ignored these days.” The financial adviser confirmed the sentiment: “I know several types of ‘blue collar workers’ who earn over $100,000. You’re absolutely right.”
Regarding the payment of interest on credit cards, commentators were less in agreement. “You don’t use credit cards?” What if your roof needs to be replaced or your air conditioning breaks down? Or do you have big medical bills that you need to pay? said one user. To which he replied, “Part of having a good financial plan is having an emergency fund for the unexpected. When something bad happens like what you’re talking about, I don’t want to make the problem worse by paying interest on those unexpected expenses.
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An update on PMI (private mortgage insurance) was also well received and seemed insightful to many buyers and owners. “Wait wait. Can I just call my lender and ask for the PMI to be removed if I have enough equity?? Tell me more!” one user commented in disbelief. Maltes was delighted to oblige, saying: “In some cases yes on the basis of fairness. It can’t hurt to ask.
Other commentators pointed to weak points regarding having enough money to buy a car. One user even said that Maltes could operate by his own rules because he was rich. He then quickly clarified, “Trust me, I’m not rich. Please watch my video paying cash is a worthy goal. I pay cash because I don’t buy fancy things.
One comment was so tough and spicy it got a video response. “Really dumb advice. Since most people can buy vehicles [with] cash. You only talk to people who have hundreds of thousands of dollars in their checking account.
Maltes deplores our consumer society. People showing off their fancy purchases on social media aren’t real life, he says, but a reel of highlights. This “following the Joneses” mindset will keep you in debt when you could be building wealth.
It’s hard to digest these tips when you feel like you can’t make ends meet, especially if you’re already breaking some of these 10 tips. But it’s important to assess your budget, see where you can reduce debt or other financial burdens, and start paying cash more often, even if it seems impossible now.