“We had an insane day in the stock market and lives were changed” runs the title of a video posted to social media platforms TikTok and Instagram, followed by a rocket ship emoji and an eye-popping profit: +$97,000.
The viral popularity of investing during the pandemic has focused a spotlight on the social media influencers who broadcast videos like these to vast online followings on platforms including TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. They have become a key source of information for the legions of young people investing during Covid-19 lockdowns.
But cautionary tales about the perils of social media-fuelled trading are easy to find. Followers of the TikTok hashtag #investing, which has racked up 3.3bn views, recently saw one anonymous creator sobbing while filming their plunging investments on a trading screen, under the caption: “I lost all my college savings.”
Around one in six British 18-23 year olds invested for the first time in the 12…