Motley Fool Australia has deleted a tweet and article calling on investors to “turn your $550 JobSeeker payment into thousands with ASX shares”, after receiving negative feedback online. The tweet and article were up for approximately 4 hours.
The article said, “if you are in a position to invest your extra money, that $550 cheque could turn into a lot more…” but it does not explicitly point out that the $550 cheque could turn out to be a lot less, (though it did say later that every investment comes with risks.)
However, the JobSeeker payment is intended for people currently seeking work, so some might question how wise it is to be targeting stock market tips at people who will be receiving the government benefit for those in need of income.
The author finishes by prudently reminding readers that “I would only look at investing a $550 JobSeeker payment if I were in a financially secure enough position to do so.”
I’m not sure if that makes the tweet itself or the headline of the article acceptable, and clearly Motley Fool Australia has thought better of it.
I’m also disgusted with the headline of the article. However the writer does point out that the additional $550 payment should only be used to buy shares if it is truly surplus & not needed for food etc. Not that I would of approved it to be published. @TheMotleyFoolAu— 🙏 Joshua Stewart (@zkstew) April 11, 2020
I wonder if today’s article was inspired by a US article from 3 days ago suggesting that “these 3 stocks could turn your $1,200 stimulus check into much more.”
The reason I am bothering to hold Motley Fool to account is because I think that they crossed a line when Motley Fool Australia Chief Investment Officer Scott Phillips promoted the view that “countless more die from flu et al every year” than coronavirus.
It is one thing to be wrong about a stock (happens to all of us), but providing incorrect information about the deadliness of a disease, and using twitter to encourage people to spend their JobSeeker payments on shares should not be so easily forgotten.