I can't imagine what it would be like to have everything washed away. I don't know how I would react to that. I hope I would be like Money Matters’ team in Houston.
Our business is set up in the cloud so it’s not subject to the local situation in case of natural disaster, but of course our Houston client service associates are affected, and I am so proud of them. I haven’t heard one of them say, "Oh my gosh, look what I've lost." Instead they’re asking, "How can we help?” They’ve been volunteering, and working. They've left their homes and are staying with family and friends. All the Houston office phones have been rerouted to individual phones, and our team is reaching out to make sure our clients know that everything is fine regarding their accounts, and to see if they need any assistance. One of our advisors told me he felt that one of the things that most helped those affected by tragedy was a sense of normalcy, a sense that people were getting back to work.
The market hasn’t stopped working, that’s for sure. But why on earth is it up when Harvey has wreaked such destruction on one of the most important ports in the country? There are estimates that the damage will be in the tens of billions, maybe even in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And yet the U.S. stock market has been generally trending upwards. How can that be? The stock market reflects investor sentiment about economic activity that creates profit. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, the federal government and insurance companies pump billions of dollars into the affected areas. That money creates many, many jobs for the reconstruction project that needs to take place—and that is profitable, which can help cause the market go up.
The market doesn’t “care” about the people affected by Hurricane Harvey, but we do. When I offered our Dallas office to our Houston team, not one person took me up on it. They all said they had to stay, to help out their community. And those of us not affected by the disaster created a fund to help them. In just 30 hours, we raised
$23,000. Money Matters has also promised to match any donations our employees give to the Red Cross, and we have a link on the homepage of our website that makes it easy for anyone to donate*. I want everyone affected by the storm to know that you are in our prayers. We hope you are safe, and that you are taking care of yourself, your family, and your communities.
* Money Matters is matching employees’ donations to the Red Cross only.