Fidelity Investments has been quicker than other firms in the industry to tap TikTok to widen its reach among younger investors.

The platform already has an abundance of financial advice content — including from amateurs — and a captive audience.

“We know it’s important to meet our customers where they are, and we know many of them are on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and other social platforms. This is a generation seeking out financial content and there are more than 23 billion views on TikTok videos with the #money hashtag,” a Fidelity spokesperson said.

“We are joining the money conversations where they are happening, and we want to make learning about money and investing relevant and fun,” she added.

The spokesperson notes that a survey commissioned by Fidelity shows the power of social media influencers. Around 41% of Generation Z individuals surveyed in April by survey firm Caravan for Fidelity turn to social media influencers to educate themselves on investing, even more so than millennials and Generation Xers. The survey had 2,004 respondents aged 18 to 56.

The firm started posting food-related but investment-themed TikTok videos in June and has been working with influencers to explain financial fundamentals to younger investors and attract them as clients. The firm’s TikTok account had 893 followers as of Tuesday morning.

That strategy is consistent with Fidelity’s efforts to attract next-generation clients. In May, the firm started pursuing new brokerage clients before they turn 18 through a Fidelity Youth Account. Last year, the firm rolled out Fidelity Spire, a free mobile app aimed at helping young adults make financial decisions.

Younger customers helped drive Fidelity’s assets under administration to $11.1 trillion at the end of June. Of the 4.1 million new accounts the firm had in the first quarter of this year, 1.6 million were retail accounts opened by customers 35 years old or younger. Those numbers tapered to 1.7 million new accounts, with 697,000 coming from younger investors in the second quarter.

Fidelity essentially wants to build a “lifetime customer relationship” with younger investors, according to the spokesperson.

TikTok, Instagram, Reddit strategies

Fidelity’s Money Kitchen series is the first TikTok content of many that Fidelity plans to roll out, according to the spokesperson. Among those it has already posted, one video uses a burrito to explain diversification via mutual funds, while another video uses pizza slices to explain how to build a budget.

“Food metaphors are a fun and engaging way to make complex investing topics simple and relatable and may catch viewers’ attention while scrolling through their FYP (For You Page) — the default feed a user lands on when they go to TikTok,” the spokesperson said.

When thinking of content for TikTok or Instagram — which the firm also uses as a financial education outlet — the firm’s aim is to make saving and investing topics easy to understand, the spokesperson says.

“We see our TikTok channel as an educational resource that can be visited and re-visited as young investors get their feet wet with financial terms and concepts,” she said.

Fidelity plans to create a wide variety of TikTok content including app demos, and an educational series with people and features endemic to the platform, according to the spokesperson. For example, the firm is getting ready to premiere “So You Think You Can Finance” — a new series focused on providing education in a humorous yet actionable way. The series taps TikTok tools, such as the green screen effect to transport the hosts into the woods in one of the episodes, and the topics covered will range from non-fungible tokens to environmental, social and governance investment strategies, the spokesperson says.

On Instagram, Fidelity is experimenting with cards that give quick definitions to explain basic financial concepts — how to start trading, what is a stock split or whether to rent vs. buy a home — and hot topics in the news such as non-fungible tokens and special purpose acquisition companies, according to a spokesperson.

Fidelity is also active on Reddit. In February 2021, the firm hosted its first Reddit Ask Me Anything page. The spokesperson says that was an opportunity to connect with clients and it received “great engagement,” without elaborating on engagement numbers. Since then, Fidelity has launched a subreddit at r/fidelityinvestments where the firm directly answers questions and posts content, which had 23,100 members as of Friday last week.

“We are also taking advantage of the feedback we get on Reddit and have been transparent with this community that we are taking their suggestions into account as we make changes to our products and services,” the spokesperson said.

Do you have a news tip you’d like to share with FA-IQ? Email us at editorial@financialadvisoriq.com.