I love TikTok. I know. It is embarrassing. I am 26 years old, and I know I should be reading the Wall Street Journal or watering my plants instead of spending time on the controversial app, but I can’t help it. I love it.
Each time I log in, I find something hilarious or helpful. Unfortunately for my husband, I also find things I want to buy. Tik Tok has become a reference point for me. If I want to know the best way to make chicken in my Ninja Foodi Grill, Tik Tok. Need help decorating a living space? Tik Tok. Easiest way to install new sink hardware? Tik Tok.
One of my favorite uses for the app is style inspiration. Recently I found myself prepping for vacation by planning out what outfits I was to wear. I could not decide between two styles of tops with a new pair of shorts I purchased, so I turned to Tik Tok. “Trending summer outfits” was my search inquiry. As I looked through the endless videos of influencers telling me about their entirely “unbiased” opinions of expensive blouses they had been graciously gifted by *insert luxury brand here,* I realized something. I did not like any of the outfits I was seeing. Despite this, I started ordering more options left and right.
As my cart began to fill up, my increasing credit card balance was not what I was concerned about (although I definitely should have been). The most troubling part was I honestly did not know what I wanted to wear. I never used to struggle just choosing something without reading 100 reviews before deciding I would purchase the item, but it is something I had become scarily accustomed to doing to ensure everyone else (whoever that was) would be satisfied with my outfit choice. I would do this before ever asking myself what I thought.
In my opinion, the most beautiful aspect of fashion is the endless opportunity for self-expression. I love that clothes can represent a portion of who we are, and how we choose to present ourselves to the world.
Financial planning is a lot like that too. Some people may want to give away all their money during their lifetime, while others would rather leave a large legacy. Neither option is right or wrong. It is simply a matter of personal preference. Your goals are specific to what works best for you. You cannot follow every piece of financial advice you ever receive because the giver may not value your goal as highly as you do. Some financial goals are general enough that everyone should heed in some way - such as saving for unexpected circumstances (although the amount can differ based on risk tolerance). But other goals, like purchasing a vacation home, are not general.
Finding unbiased, tailored financial advice can be difficult. But it is a worthy and valuable endeavor. The success of a financial plan is based solely on the accuracy of the assumptions made - which can only be done if your goals are at the forefront. If your wants and needs aren’t factored in, you could find yourself looking like someone else.
PYA Waltman Capital, LLC (“PYAW”) is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about PYAW’s investment advisory services can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. PYA-23-31.