How to Debate Finance Without Being a Jerk
A few rules can help prevent financial discussions from becoming as overheated and useless as our political exchanges.
Bloomberg, October 29, 2018.
The arrest of a partisan extremist who mailed 14 explosive devices to political and media opponents of Donald Trump was a reminder of what happens when rhetoric runs rampant. As situations become emotionally charged, people tend to make irrational decisions. It is as true with money and religion, as it is with politics.
It is not much better when it comes to discussing investing, minus the mail bombs. With real capital on the line, the internet affords all of us an opportunity to engage in financial discussions with all manner of people that can run amok. It was unimaginable just a decade ago anyone could have a 2-way debate about markets and economic issues with the likes of Cliff Asness and Ray Dalio and Richard Thaler and Nassim Taleb (okay, maybe not Taleb), but that is the state of FinTwit today, as financial social media is called.
The debate among bulls and bears does not typically lead to violence, but it can get quite heated. It is incumbent upon anyone who engages to learn the basic rules of rhetoric and debate. For their trouble, those that do will find a richer online experience. Consider the following a modest guideline for keeping your debates both civil and useful.