TDCI’s Securities Division Reminds Consumers to Use Caution when Taking Advice from “Finfluencers”

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (“TDCI”) Division of Securities is joining the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) to recommend that investors use caution when considering advice from social media financial influencers, or “finfluencers.”

A finfluencer is a person who, by virtue of their popular or cultural status, has the capability to influence the financial decision-making process of others through promotions or recommendations on social media, according to a recent NASAA Informed Investor Advisory. These finfluencers may seek to influence potential investors by publishing posts or videos to their social media accounts, often stylized to be entertaining so that the post or video will be shared with other potential investors.

“While some popular online financial advisors may be offering sound investment advice via social media or other means, Tennessee investors would be wise to consider the source of any unsolicited financial advice and treat any decision with careful consideration before making an investment,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence.

The advisory includes information to help investors better understand how influencers operate, what to consider when coming across financial advice on social media, and where to go for help with concerns about a possible finfluencer. The advisory also points out red flags to consider including dubious advice, unverifiable or outdated financial credentials, or investment recommendations not backed up by accurate data.

“The main thing to remember is that before making any financial decisions about your money, ask questions and make sure you understand the risks. Before you invest check the registration status of the person at BrokerCheck and the investment with us,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Bowling.

Contact TDCI’s Securities Team by phone at (615) 741-2947 or visit us online for more details. To check the status of an investment adviser or broker dealer, visit Brokercheck.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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