Here’s the top place Americans get financial advice – even young Americans


More than half of Americans (57 percent) sought out financial advice in 2023, and their top resource may surprise you, according to a new Bankrate survey. Friends and family topped the “go-to” list, with 47 percent of those seeking advice saying they tapped these sources for information.

Popular sources of information differed strongly by age group. Younger generations were among the most likely to hit up friends and family for advice and were also the most likely to use social media for their financial questions, too. In contrast, older generations were least likely to use social media for advice and were the most likely to use financial advisors.

Despite these numbers, 43 percent of Americans said they did not seek financial advice in 2023. Older Americans were more likely to not seek out advice than younger generations.

Here’s the full rundown of where Americans get their financial advice from, by age and income. Given the wide variety of sources of financial information and the ability of almost anyone to offer advice, Americans need to carefully vet financial guidance before taking action.

Here’s where Americans get their financial advice

The Bankrate survey revealed the wide array of sources that Americans use for financial advice and allowed respondents to provide multiple answers for any source they used in 2023.

  • Friends and family: 47 percent

  • Financial advisors or other professionals: 35 percent

  • Social media: 30 percent

  • Financial websites: 28 percent

  • Banks or other financial institutions: 22 percent

  • Radio, TV or podcasts: 18 percent

  • Books: 16 percent

  • Newspapers/magazines: 14 percent

  • Somewhere else: 3 percent

The survey also broke down social media by the most popular platforms for financial advice, according to the percentage of respondents who named them.

  • Influencers on Facebook: 14 percent

  • Influencers on Instagram: 12 percent

  • Influencers on TikTok: 9 percent

  • Influencers on X/Twitter: 8 percent

  • Influencers on some other platform: 8 percent

Sources of financial information differ highly by age, income

While the top source of financial advice across all Americans was friends and family, the numbers differ significantly when looking at specific generations or income brackets.

Percentage of Americans seeking financial advice

The number of Americans who sought financial advice in 2023 decreased with age, with Gen Z reporting the largest percentage looking for guidance.

  • Gen Z (age 18-26): 76 percent

  • Millennials (age 27-42): 65 percent

  • Gen X (age 43-58): 51 percent

  • Baby boomers (age 59-77): 46 percent

Percentage of Americans seeking advice by income

The percentage of Americans looking for advice increased with annual household income, led by those households earning more than $100,000.

  • $100,000 or more: 75 percent

  • $80,000 – $99,999: 60 percent

  • $50,000 – $79,999: 56 percent

  • Less than $50,000: 51 percent

Here’s how other key sources of advice broke down by age for Americans who did seek out financial advice.

Friends and family

Younger Americans seeking advice were the most likely to ask friends and family, with Gen Z leading the list, and the percentage declining by age:

  • Gen Z: 58 percent

  • Millennials: 55 percent

  • Gen X: 45 percent

  • Baby boomers: 33 percent

Friends and family were the most common sources of advice for Gen Z, millennials and Gen X.

Financial advisors

When it comes to financial advisors or other professionals, baby boomers seeking advice were the most likely to have used this source in 2023, with the percentage declining by age.

  • Baby boomers: 52 percent

  • Gen X: 32 percent

  • Millennials: 28 percent

  • Gen Z: 27 percent

Financial advisors and other professionals were the most popular sources for baby boomers.

Social media

Social media was most popular among younger Americans looking for advice, with it being named most often by Gen Z as a source. The percentage naming social media declined by age.

  • Gen Z: 49 percent

  • Millennials: 43 percent

  • Gen X: 21 percent

  • Baby boomers: 6 percent

For Gen Z and millennials, social media was a more popular source (49 percent, 43 percent) than financial sites (27 percent, 34 percent) or advisors (27 percent, 28 percent), respectively.

In contrast, Gen X was more inclined to use a financial advisor (32 percent) or financial site (29 percent) than social media (21 percent).

How to get quality financial advice

Financial advice is a valuable commodity. The right advice can drastically improve your financial future, especially when you’re young and small decisions can have an outsized impact through the power of compounding. That’s why it may be distressing to see so many young Americans turn to social media as a source of financial advice, given its high level of untrustworthiness.

In fact, Americans realize social media is not a good source of information, with 65 percent saying it was untrustworthy for financial advice in a 2021 survey.

So how can Americans ensure they’re getting accurate advice?

1. Question ‘salesy’ financial advice

Financial advice can many times be a sales pitch in disguise, whether that’s a pitch to “invest with me” or “buy my product.” If you’re looking for guidance and you hear a sales pitch, try to understand what’s in it for the salesperson first, whether it’s social media influencers or even traditional financial advisors. They may get a commission for getting you to buy or invest.

You can’t just accept a salesperson’s advice without first understanding how their product or approach works. If their incentive is to make a sale, there’s a good chance it may not be in your best interest. So it’s vital to question any sales pitch you receive, even if – or especially if – it comes from a legitimate source.

2. Turn to objective sources

When it comes to using free media – radio, TV, financial websites and more – it’s vital to turn to objective information sources, particularly ones that have an ethos as investor- or consumer-friendly. Avoid sources that push only a partisan agenda or ideology.

Consulting a wide variety of objective sources can also help you develop a well-rounded picture of the financial landscape and gain confidence in your understanding. Another strategy: see what one expert says about another’s advice, and see how they might offer a better solution.

High-quality information sources are available for free, meaning even cash-strapped younger Americans can access them – if they’re willing to do the work of sorting out the good ones.

3. Work with aligned financial advisors

If you’re turning to financial advisors, it’s important that you find an advisor who’s aligned with your needs. You’re most likely to get the best advice from a fiduciary advisor who accepts only fee-paying clients. While this setup means you’ll have to pay for the advice out of your own pocket, this compensation structure helps align the advisor with your needs.

In contrast, many so-called advisors are simply salespeople in disguise, and if they’re paid for what they sell, their highest-priority interest is selling you something. That’s why it’s crucial that you treat finding a financial advisor like a job interview – searching for the person who will do right by you. Here are six of the most important tips to find a financial advisor who is aligned with you.

  • Methodology

    All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,391 adults, of whom 1,375 received financial advice in 2023. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 15th November 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).


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