Bob Rall, president of Rall Capital Management Inc., took to Twitter this week to share a blog post about the effect of the government shutdown on the everyday American. He also shared reports on the stock market's reaction to the stalemate in Washington and posted a quip to one of his followers: “Unfortunately, just because they shut it down, it doesn't mean we can stop paying our taxes!”
Although many financial advisers are optimistic that this week's government shutdown won't move the needle on their investment strategies, some are taking to social media to discuss the news with clients and ease any worries that might crop up.
“I try to be proactive about it, like I do on most things that might have some effect or at least be newsworthy,” Mr. Rall said of his posts this week on Twitter. “I want to let [clients] know that I'm keeping an eye on things … and not to worry about it, because that's what they pay me to do.”
Mr. Rall also logged on to Twitter recently to post updates about other newsworthy events, including the Affordable Care Act rollout and the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis.
Major news events, such as the shutdown, often cause short-term fluctuations in the market, but they typically don't require advisers to change their long-term strategies on client investments, said Sophia Bera, founder of Gen Y Planning. Regardless, it's a good idea to keep clients in the loop on news events that have the potential to move markets — and social media can be a good place to do that, she said.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Ms. Bera posted on Twitter links to a story on the historical impact of government shutdowns on market returns and an InvestmentNews feature about financial advisers' recommendations to furloughed workers.
“Up-to-date news stories are the things that I think are really helpful,” Ms. Bera said. “I feel like knowledge is power, and if people have more knowledge of what the situation is, it becomes less scary.”
Charles Rotblut, the vice president of the American Association of Individual Investors, also has been proactive on social media to keep his followers up-to-date on the lull in Washington. On Twitter this week, he posted this message: “The impact of a shutdown is unknown because its duration is uncertain. If investing were certain, returns would be much, much lower.”
Mr. Rotblut said he often takes to social media during newsworthy events that have the potential to move markets. He tries to share information that gives some insight into the investment impact of the day's headlines. His association focuses on investor education.
“Whenever I see the markets getting volatile, I always try to have communication to try to get people to think long-term,” Mr. Rotblut said. “I think social media allows for that mass communication to let people know to take a deep breath.”