Is it immoral to worry about your finances while a war rages on?
Is it inhumane to discuss market trends in relation to an active military conflict?
The past week has been difficult, to say the least.
Unless you’ve been living in a hermetically sealed safe-room for the past 7 days, you’re probably aware that there is an active and violent war currently underway in Eastern Europe. For several consecutive days news reports and footage from private citizens have surfaced showing the devastation in Ukraine, and it has been truly disturbing.
Before I move forward, I want to extend my heartfelt compassion, concern, and sympathy to all those impacted by the violence. I am fortunate enough to have never had to live in fear of an enemy invasion and I can only imagine the type of monumental struggle that comes along with that.
That being said, the invasion of Ukraine has sent a ripple effect throughout the rest of the world. For many Americans, the news of the conflict caused concern regarding what role the United States will play in the days to come. Will the U.S. attempt to intervene by sending troops? Could this be the linchpin that begins another world war?
Beyond those concerns, it’s also possible that a major global event of this magnitude could potentially have economic repercussions. How might this impact the stock market and U.S. economy? Within hours of the invasion, there were dozens of influencers within the personal finance community doling out advice via Twitter, Instagram, and blogs. Big names in the personal finance community began to post stats regarding how the stock market has reacted to war in the past. Some influencers began advising followers not to panic-sell their stocks, and to stay the course with their original plans.
As quickly as the economic commentary from finfluencers started to appear—the backlash appeared just as quickly. Comments began to pour in questioning the humanity of certain influencers, and shaming them for posting about money while people are literally fighting for their lives. I won’t name any names here—but if you’re reading this blog I’m going to assume you’re apart of the personal finance community, and if that’s the case, I’m sure you saw some of the tense exchanges on social media.
So this all begs the question; is it immoral for people to be concerned about their finances while people are suffering in a war-torn country? I ask this question without irony or snark. I’m sincerely interested in having an open dialogue to reach a mutual understanding.
I would be lying to you if I said that when the news broke that an invasion was imminent, that I didn’t get a pit in my stomach thinking about how that could potentially impact my investment portfolio. Is that instinctual moment of self preservation something that I should be ashamed of? In this scenario, when is it appropriate to assess a situation and move toward minimizing losses? Additionally, how can finfluencers educate their following in a time of crisis without seeming exploitative?
I don’t think I’m qualified to answer these questions, but I do hope that this can serve as an opportunity to discuss what is appropriate moving forward. I hope you’ll weigh in by leaving a comment or reaching out via social media.