In a TikTok video with 14.5 million views, Humphrey Yang depicts a father giving a son an iPhone 13 under the condition that it’s returned in one year.
The son (also played by Yang in the skit) reasons he could sell the phone for $1,000 and wait for Apple to release a new model within the year, which would likely knock the iPhone 13’s price down to $600. Buying it back then would reap him a $400 profit. A year passes, and the father asks for the phone back. The son returns it, and admits to his plan.
“So you made a profit on me!” the father responds. “I just showed you what shorting a stock is. You borrow a share of a stock, and when it comes to returning it, if you can buy it back for less, you make a profit. If not, you’ll take a loss.”
Yang knows shorting a stock can be a hard concept to grasp, he tells Fortune in an interview. “So I used a simple analogy most people can relate to.”
His simple-analogy approach to financial education has resonated with 3.3 million TikTok followers. While the app doesn’t provide clear demographics of this fanbase, nearly half of TikTok’s users are younger than 30. And a screenshot of YouTube analytics Yang provided to Fortune shows that over 75% of viewers of Yang’s short-form YouTube videos are younger than 34.
His social media popularity partly explains why he’s the most trusted source of financial advice among Gen Z, as a recent Consumer Affairs survey found. Boomers and Gen X, by a wide margin, trust Warren Buffett the most. But the Berkshire Hathaway CEO fell to fourth place for Gen Z.
Considering Gen Z’s affinity for TikTok, the finding makes sense, but is still a little surprising. Buffett, 91, is one of the world’s most seasoned investors, known for his frugal ways and $103 billion net worth. Yang, on the other hand, is a 34-year-old with a finance degree who spent a year as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch and five months interning at a Palo Alto investment bank. Then he pivoted to running operations for a mobile app and co-founded a custom art company before finally landing on YouTube in 2019.
Where Buffett trades in keynotes, Yang trades in skits filmed and edited in his Bay Area apartment. Fortune spoke with Yang about how he’s managed to snag Gen Z’s attention, which he attributes to his ability of breaking down and demystifying dense financial topics.
Yang first began posting videos on YouTube after realizing he’d become his friends’ go-to guy for financial advice, figuring his persona could translate, but never predicting just how much it would resonate.
He soon downloaded the up-and-coming TikTok, searched the personal finance hashtags, and found almost no videos. “I took that as a sign,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘maybe I can be the first person to do this.’”
Between September 2019 and September 2020, Yang made a video every single day. While he maintains a presence on YouTube and Instagram, his TikTok account has had his full-time attention for nearly two years.
Yang has remained consistent in his approach, simplifying complex financial topics without an iota of superiority in quick, simple videos.
He says he tries not to waste the viewer’s time since attention spans are so short, adding that he wants everyone to be able to understand the often befuddling basics of finance and economics.
“The whole industry seems like a black box for many people,” he says. “They don’t even want to get into it because it can feel so confusing. There’s so much jargon, and the things on TV aren’t necessarily explanatory or easy to watch. People don’t want to look at charts and graphs.”
What’s missing, he says, is accessibility and an on-ramp to the subject matter that doesn’t scare people away. “The more that a creator can kind of disarm the viewer—help them realize finance isn’t really that hard once they get the key concepts down—the more power they can give.”
Yang’s “north star goal” is impacting people and encouraging them to take control of their own finances. He understands people’s hesitation towards investing; Yang himself didn’t make his first investment until he was 25.
“I was scared!” he recalls. “I didn’t even trust myself yet. I have very smart friends in their 30s, working in tech, and even they’re hesitant to invest because they worry they don’t know enough. That’s a knowledge gap that needs to be bridged.”
But Yang, by his own admission, has a long way to go in accomplishing that mission. He says it’s largely complicated by the lack of trust people have in financial advisors and personal finance gurus, and how predatory credit companies and interest rates can be.
In Yang’s eyes, not all personal finance influencers have the viewer’s best interest at heart. Skeptical of those who try to sell trading courses, Yang says he’s more interested in educating on personal finance to the point where viewers feel comfortable investing for themselves.
“If I wanted fast cash, I’d sell a course promising a certain amount of money in 30 days—but I just don’t believe in that stuff,” he says, adding that he’d be open to explaining “all kinds of things” if he wanted to expand his audience.
He recalls a time he was having lunch at a restaurant when two 20-somethings approached him and told him his videos had encouraged them to start contributing to a Roth IRA and make investments.
“The fact that they watched something of mine, then were inspired to do something for themselves—that’s the ultimate goal,” he says. “I’m a millennial; I never had access to this kind of thing. I didn’t know what a mortgage was until I was 23. But Gen Z has all of this.”
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
Tough times ahead. But you don't need to sell it all.
The news is good for some — but not for others.
For older Americans, living off the interest and returns of your retirement account is how retirement is structured. The goal is that by the time you hit your late 60s you will ideally have enough saved up to coast indefinitely. … Continue reading → The post How Much Interest Does $2 Million Pay Monthly? appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
Get in now before the train takes off?
Though signs point to prices moderating, Powell said on Friday that the bank will continue to hike interest rates this year
The chip maker has lost a third of its value in 2022. Its CEO just made his biggest buy of shares since becoming CEO early last year.
The old stock market axiom to buy when others are fearful could readily apply right now, according to Ashish Shah, chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs. Amid concerns markets will be volatile following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole policy speech on Friday, Shah thinks that doesn’t mean investors should stay on the sidelines at present. It's preferable to buy "when there's fear in the market," say Shah. "Don't fall into the trap of buying when there's FOMO," he added. Ag
“Don’t Fight the Fed” was chapter 4 in investing legend Martin Zweig’s landmark book Winning on Wall Street. Zweig dedicated 40 pages to explain readers why they should “go with the flow” with respect to the Fed’s trend. As we heard from Fed Chair Jay Powell himself today, the Fed is committed to bring down inflation even if it causes some economic pain. Powell had signaled the Fed is likely to keep raising interest rates in the months ahead, and that could spell recession down the road. It’s a
Most news coverage of stocks is like reporting on the score four minutes into an NBA game. It's just noise because there's space to fill.
Here’s a good bit of news for retirees in 2022: you can keep more money in your tax-deferred retirement accounts.
NIO Inc. (NIO) closed the most recent trading day at $19.92, moving -0.8% from the previous trading session.
Dividends are the bread and butter of income investors. You don't need to sell your assets or spend hours every day managing your accounts. Instead, dividend stocks simply generate income on their own. Putting together a portfolio that generates at least … Continue reading → The post How to Make $1,000 a Month in Dividends appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
High-yielding dividend stocks are great for income investors and are crucial to building a strong retirement portfolio.
As these catalysts are not likely to subside any time soon, natural gas prices could remain elevated at levels not seen since 2008. Here are three stocks related to natural gas exploration, production and distribution, and also pay high dividends to shareholders. ONE Gas Inc. is one of the largest publicly traded natural gas utilities in the United States.
(Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve won’t be able to curb inflationary pressures because they are rooted in expansionary fiscal policy, according to a paper presented at the central bank’s annual Jackson Hole conference on Saturday.Most Read from BloombergPowell’s 8-Minute Speech Erases $78 Billion From Richest AmericansTrump’s Stash at Mar-a-Lago Included Highly Classified DocumentsNearly 60,000 Sneakers in $85 Million Ponzi Scheme to Go on SaleBiden Mocks Trump’s Claim He Declassified Mar-a-Lag
In this article, we discuss 10 best blue chip dividend stocks to invest in. You can skip our detailed analysis of dividend stocks and their performance, and go directly to read 5 Best Blue Chip Dividend Stocks to Invest In. Investors around the world are worried that rising inflation could trigger a recession in the […]
(Bloomberg) — Something strange happened to the stock bull’s best arguments as the market slumped to its worst week since June: They turned out to be right.Most Read from BloombergPowell’s 8-Minute Speech Erases $78 Billion From Richest AmericansTrump’s Stash at Mar-a-Lago Included Highly Classified DocumentsNearly 60,000 Sneakers in $85 Million Ponzi Scheme to Go on SaleBiden Mocks Trump’s Claim He Declassified Mar-a-Lago DocumentsMukesh Ambani Is Mystery Buyer of Dubai’s Costliest Home EverCo
Many of the researchers and engineers working for Dell Technologies Inc. in Russia have already been offered new jobs, the industry ministry said, after media reports that the company was making a full exit from the Russian market. Tech-focused publication CNews this week reported, citing unnamed sources from the company and the wider market, that Dell was due to fully exit the country and would be laying off all its local staff. Dell, a vital supplier of servers in Russia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fintech stocks have been squashed so far in 2022, leaving behind several promising buying opportunities for long-term investors.
2020 will probably go down in history as the year of COVID-19. 2021 could be known as the year of the reopening. How will 2022 be remembered? Perhaps as the year of sky-high inflation. Prices of goods and services are at levels not seen in four decades.