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Vivian Tu: Can the TikTok Star Make Us All Rich?

If your New Year’s Resolution is to save some cash, here’s an account you need to follow.

Vivian Tu TikTok Clips
Credit: TikTok/ @yourrichbff

Vivian Tu, aged 29, has not only figured out how to build wealth for herself but has also mastered the art of passing down her wisdom in an entertaining way. Her TikTok account @yourrichbff could not be any more different from the boring and poorly explained budgeting classes at school or the half-baked advice given by your relatives after family dinners.

Vivian Tu, self-proclaimed rich bff and favorite Wall Street girlie, is changing the gloomy financial prospects of Gen Z, one TikTok at a time. Having worked on Wall Street and then in tech sales at Buzzfeed, Tu pivoted to a social media role a few years ago. After becoming a millionaire at 27 and making Forbes 30 under 30 in 2023, she has now gone on to write a book explaining how she did it all called “Rich AF.” It’s available in stores now.

But as she branches out from finance into legal advice and even beauty product reviews, can we trust her to always give the best advice? And should we even be taking financial advice from unaccredited online sources in the first place?

Can @yourrichbff make you Rich?

Vivian Tu’s financial advice mainly condenses into two categories: investing, financial relationships with relatives and finance in the workplace.

In the former, she discusses various types of investing, demystifying it for those of us who haven’t been able to profit from a solid financial education. Vivian Tu covers it all on her TikTok, from 401ks to videos on how the rich set their kids up for life to even disclosing her own investments in her book. There’s a lot to learn from her.

These videos also highlight an element of hope for a generation that has experienced two major recessions before the youngest of them has even turned twenty.

When it all seems hopeless and frustrating that you weren’t born in the 1990s, where a home costs a fraction of the price it does now, the investment provides reassurance that not all is lost. The best thing to grow money is time; we young people, expected to live longer than our predecessors, certainly have that!

On @yourrichbff, Vivian Tu also covers financial relationships with relatives. Videos range from how to endow your children with money in the case of tragedy (in a trust rather than through a guardian) to how to avoid putting your parents in an expensive retirement home.

This TikTok channel is a Bible of advice, full of videos to look back on later. However, her advice on working seems to resonate with her audience particularly. Gen Zers love her advice on recommending a salary range, such as in the instance below.

Vivia Tu’s TikTok has been branching out of financial advice

However, recently Vivian has been branching into other areas. With videos reviewing Erewhon, the infamously expensive LA grocery store, Vivian Tu seems to be branching into the saturated market of lifestyle vloggers.

This is coupled with hauls about which beauty products are with it and which aren’t, which seems to dilute her Unique Selling Point of finance a little. Sometimes, her advice is simply like the life hacks given out by TikTok creators with half her followers, such as @ndainternet.

@ndainternet

If your Flight is Cancelled, Get Paid Compensation by doing THIS… ✈️💸🤫 #travel #flight #airline #compensation #savemoney #finance

♬ Paris – Else

On the surface, Vivian Tu’s TikTok advice seems far more researched and accurate than the other one. However, it’s ultimately the same subject matter that many others in her arena. What made her different was her focus on financial advice, and by diluting that she’s risking losing her audience.

Can you trust Vivian Tu?

While Vivian Tu has evidently not built the success of her @yourrichbff TikTok account off false financial information, there are elements of her advice, particularly in her quest to diversify her account, which has garnered criticism.

Her advice on divorce procedures resulted in Toronto-based TikTok user and divorce lawyer @jleejd stitching her video. She explained how her advice could harm a client’s case rather than help and admonished her for giving out false information online.

This has cast a shadow on some of her other financial advice. Especially as a wave of celebrities over the past few years have been shown to be deliberately spreading incorrect financial information to their followers, such as Kim Kardashian.

In addition, the wave of hacking scams promoting dodgy financial advice has made people more cautious about believing what they see online.

Ultimately, Vivian Tu has used the internet to release information from the gatekeepers of financial literacy and spread it in a digestible way to a new audience. While her advice might not always be right, it’s a good stepping stone to encouraging young people to do their own financial research. Who knows, you could become a millionaire!

Written By

Hi, I'm Georgie and I'm currently studying at St Andrews University, Scotland. I love writing about social media trends and unpicking the ways which platforms like Instagram and TikTok give rise to certain cultural phenomena. I'm writing for the Life section of Trill at the moment, so look out for my articles!

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