Haley Sacks’s Instagram feed is heavy on celebrity gossip and fashion memes. But the influencer, who goes by MrsDowJones, wants her followers to eventually afford that lifestyle, not just aspire to it.
Scroll through her social media accounts, and you’ll come across posts on what investing has in common with Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s relationship, or why a Roth IRA is more dependable than a boyfriend.
Sacks, 30, is part of a new crop of financial influencers catering to a growing class of retail investors. Unlike their more traditional counterparts, these “finfluencers” give their advice for free and don’t usually boast three-letter certifications before their names. But at a time when young people are flocking to commission-free trading apps, they have found ways to make money by translating financial jargon into engaging posts via social media.
It’s the kind of resources Sacks wished had been available to her in 2017, when she found herself jobless and financially illiterate. That inspired her to start the Instagram account @MrsDowJones, which now has 225,000 followers. Since then, she’s evolved her business from financial memes to videos, live events, and partnerships with big financial firms like Wealthfront, a robo-investing company she promotes in her posts. (Sacks did not disclose how much she makes from these partnerships.)
Sacks, who majored in film at Wesleyan University, calls the licenses the financial industry banks on “gatekeepers to making money management simple for all.” (She is, however, studying to be a certified financial planner.)
Quartz talked to her about being a financial advice influencer, what she can offer that a traditional advisor won’t, and why finance isn’t hard to learn. The conversation was edited and condensed for clarity.
Quartz: What got you interested in finance? Have you always had an interest?
Sacks: I’m the primary example of a woman who felt confused about money, but intrigued by living a nice lifestyle. But I did not have the tools to bridge that gap and felt really othered and uninspired by what was available to me to learn. I’ve always grown up loving pop culture and admiring celebrities and loving to read celebrity gossip and I ate that up.
But then when I would try to learn about finance, no one was making it salacious and fun like that. So it was hard to be motivated. Like, of course, I wanted to get a Brazilian butt lift because Kim Kardashian has one. But if Kim Kardashian had a high-yield savings account, I’d probably want one too. So I thought, OK, that doesn’…….