Your Weekly Financial Roundup Issue No. 11

Here’s the latest news on the world, tech, and the economy, including slowing inflation, SpaceX’s new funding round, the release of former President Trump’s taxes, and more.

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Your Financial News Roundup

January 4, 2022


1. Economy: The IMF predicts that inflation will fall and economic growth will slow in 2023, and 1/3rd of the world economy will go into recession.

2. Tech: Poly, an image-maker startup, brings generative AI to 3D design; rocket maker, SpaceX, holds a $750M funding round.

3. World/US: Trump’s tax returns were released to the public; an Afghani girl protested to protect women’s access to education.

Weekly Finance Concept [Part 3/6]: Building Strong Credit

Our Take

…on how the news impacts you and your wallet

1. Economy: In 2023, the U.S. economy will likely see a short and mild recession and a rise in unemployment. Companies, markets, and central banks have been anticipating a recession since early 2022 in response to the sharp growth of 2020-21. As a leading indicator, the stock market has already shifted to a bearish risk-off mentality where investors are favoring safer stocks and assets (e.g., bonds) instead of riskier assets like tech stocks. The stock market may move sideways in 2023.

2. Tech: The adoption of generative AI makes creative output more convenient and accessible than ever. AI tech stands to disrupt writers, artists, and content creators — and they know it. Creatives are already calling for anti-AI protections to safeguard their careers and the value of human-made art.


📉 Low-Growth Forecast: Various shocks including inflation, war, and COVID-controls have slowed global economic growth as real economic activity is still recovering from the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that global GDP will grow slower at 2.7% in 2023, compared to 3.2% in 2022 — making it the lowest growth year since 2001. In good news, global inflation is expected to decrease from 8.8% to 6.5% in 2023 and 4.1% in 2024. CNBC calls the reopening of China’s economy the biggest positive in 2023 as it will benefit both exporters and importers, providing stability to global supply chains. Financial markets may price in a low-growth environment as investors set their expectations over the next decade. (Source)

⏰ Difficult Year Ahead: With the economies of the U.S., Europe, and China all weakening, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva warns that 1/3 of the world economy may enter a recession in 2023. Due to COVID cases surging following the end of the country’s strict zero-COVID policy, China’s economy will likely grow at or below global growth for the first time in 40 years. Meanwhile, the ongoing war in Ukraine has hit Europe hard, with more than half of the European Union expected to enter a recession. A strong U.S. labor market might help the world through the tough year ahead but may lead the Fed to continue its rate-hiking program to counteract inflation. (Source)


🤖 AI Taking Center Stage: In 2022, generative AI made its explosive debut through image maker DALLE-2 and text-based chatbot ChatGPT. With both tools, users make a query, much like a Google search, to create written and artistic visual content. Now, you can do the same for 3D design using tools from 3D design firm, Poly. CEO Abhay Agarwal seeks to improve the world’s creative capacity by giving creators a suite of generative tools to eliminate their efforts spent on finding the perfect asset (i.e. sound effects, font, visual, etc.). The company’s first product will create 3D map textures to reflect how light moves in the real world, a needed input for video game design that adds detail to the surfaces of 3D objects. In the future, Poly will expand its product suite to different asset types and monetize via integrations, subscriptions, and partnerships. (Source)

🚀 SpaceX’s $750M Funding Round: Elon Musk’s reusable spacecraft maker and satellite communications company, SpaceX, is raising $750M in a new funding round. This injection of additional capital is led by venture firm Andreesen Horowitz (a16z), among others, that would value SpaceX at $137B. In 2022, the company raised $2B+ to obtain a $127B valuation. The company has achieved many milestones in the past year, including the launch of Starlink, its satellite internet service, providing Internet access to conflict zones, and surpassing 60 launches with reusable rocket parts. Currently, NASA is evaluating if SpaceX could perform an emergency rescue of the International Space Station’s crew. (Source)

going to space


🇺🇸 Trump Tax Returns Released: After inquiries by the U.S. House and a court battle, former president Donald Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020 have been released. Trump paid no federal taxes in 2020 and only $750 in 2016 and 2017, though he paid ~$1M in 2018. Trump claims his returns highlight his successes as he uses depreciation and deductions to lower his taxes while creating thousands of jobs. The records also reveal he had overseas accounts in China, the U.K., and Ireland, but only retained the U.K. account from 2018 onward, meaning his dealings coincided with part of his presidency term. His tax returns reflect a complex business organization with an emphasis on real estate, making his returns difficult for even seasoned professionals to work through. Experts believe the release of Trump’s tax returns will not significantly influence his base of passionate, core supporters, but may sway undecided voters. (Source)

chart of what presidents earned in the office

🇦🇫 Protesting for Female Education: An 18-year-old Afghani girl, reported as Adela (to maintain her safety), held a solo protest in front of Kabul University on Christmas Day. Motivated by her anger against the Taliban’s recent ban on women’s ability to attend university, Adela held a sign with the Arabic word for ‘read’ and rejected Taliban requests to put her sign away. Within 15 minutes, the Taliban retaliated against a boy who supported Adela and then removed her sign — ending her protest. The Taliban has been curtailing women’s rights, including education access, drawing protests and international condemnation. Afghani protestors are adopting the Iranian protest phrase of “women, life, freedom” as their slogan. Adela believes Afghani women are in a better position than ever before as she states “We are braver than the women of that time [20 years ago], because we are more educated and know our rights.”

Afghani girl protesting with sign up

Finance Concept of the Week

Setting Yourself Up For Financial Success — Part 3/6

Building Strong Credit

What Good Credit Does For You

Your credit score is like your grade for being a financially responsible adult. Having a strong credit score (≥720) and credit history opens up better financial opportunities for you — mainly favorable terms and conditions and better product offerings. Some of the benefits we’ve had in the past that you can cash-in on include:

  • automatic increases in credit card limits
  • sign-up offers for select rewards credit cards
  • low-interest rate on personal loans
  • lower auto insurance fees and rates
  • credit check approval for rental applications

What Goes Into a Credit Score

credit score factors

A credit score is calculated across multiple factors, but here are the most important ones:

  • Payment History (aka Credit History) — 35%: Your record of when and how often you pay your bills on time. Each bill payment stays on your credit history for 7 years. Make on-time payments in full each month to build your credit. Missing a single payment or making a late payment, especially early on in your credit journey, can significantly hurt your credit.
  • Balance Owed — 30%: This is made up of how much of your available credit you use, or your credit utilization ratio:
    amount of credit used / total credit limit
    The general advice is to keep your credit utilization below 30% to show you are a responsible borrower. For example, if your total credit limit is $20,000, then you should not be using more than ~$6,000 at a time. We like to keep our credit utilization below 10-15% to be safe.
  • Length of Credit History — 15%: This is made up of the average age of all of your open credit lines, whether it’s a loan or a credit card. If we compare your credit history to applying for a job, you want to impress lenders like you would a potential employer by showing you can manage credit responsibly. As an indicator of your creditworthiness, the longer your credit history is, the better.

Measuring Credit Scores

Credit scores range from 300-850 points, though specific scores, such as for auto loans have different ranges. FICO credit scores fall within 1 of 5 ranges:

chart of credit scores and what they mean

FICO reports that the average U.S. credit score is 716, falling under the “Good” credit range. Even moving from the “Fair” to “Good” credit range by earning a score of 670 will lead to much more favorable financial offerings for various types of loans and rewards credit cards.

How to Build Good Credit

Our tips for building good credit and unlocking better financial opportunities include:

  • Avoid closing old accounts or applying for too many new loans at once to keep the average age of your credit accounts high.
  • Limit the number of hard inquiries on your credit report, as each one can lower your score up to 5 points. Use a soft inquiry wherever possible.
  • Use old credit cards once every few months to keep them active.
  • Keep your credit usage to ≤ 30% of your total credit limit across all accounts.
  • Automate credit card bill payments to ensure you always pay on time and meet the minimum amount (at least).
  • Check your credit score and history at least once a year with a free service like Credit Karma or to ensure your reports are accurate.
  • Make larger repayments on high-interest loans, such as credit card debt.
  • Increase your credit limit on individual accounts by using them responsibly, increasing your income, or requesting a credit limit increase (via a soft inquiry).
  • Use an online tool like Mint or Personal Capital to track your spending.

Tip of the Day

💵 If you have high-interest debt, consider applying for a credit card that offers a 0% rate on balance transfers. A balance transfer is when you move debt from one credit account (credit card, loan, etc.) to another. Before initiating a balance transfer, calculate the balance transfer fee to ensure that it is lower than your interest costs and check the credit limit you are expected to get.


meme of girl looking over her shoulder to guy

Recommended Resources

Personal Finance Resources

🚀 We recently launched a curated collection of personal finance resources on Gumroad, featuring both free and paid options! Visit us for all your personal finance tracking needs, including:

Stay tuned for updates! In the meantime, if there’s any other product you’d like to see, feel free to suggest it here.


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We are not financial advisors. The content on this website and our YouTube videos are for educational purposes only and merely cite our own personal opinions. In order to make the best financial decision that suits your own needs, you must conduct your own research and seek the advice of a licensed financial advisor if necessary. Know that all investments involve some form of risk and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in making, saving, or investing money; nor is there any guarantee that you won't experience any loss when investing. Always remember to make smart decisions and do your own research!

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