Your Financial News Roundup
May 3, 2023
1. Economy: JPMorgan Chase bought up First Republic’s assets in the 2nd largest bank collapse in the U.S.; while the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 0.25%.
2. Tech: A judge approved a federal antitrust suit against Google’s ad tech monopoly; meanwhile, Blossom Finance offers Islamic-compliant financing to Southeast Asia’s budding Muslim startup scene.
3. World: Sudan’s warring factions broke a truce as civilians fled from Khartoum; and Pope Francis works on setting up peace talks with Ukraine and Russia.
Personal Finance Concept [Part 1/8]: The Buy and Hold Strategy
🛑 Another Bank Tumbles: Contagion effects from the banking crisis continued as depositors withdrew $100B from First Republic Bank last week. The bank run caused its stock to plummet by 97% and led to its collapse and seizure by the FDIC. On Monday, regulators accepted a bid from JP Morgan Chase for virtually all of the bank’s assets and deposits, bringing an end to the bank’s troubles. (CBS News)
Our Take: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon believes the buyout will pause additional fallout. Similar to Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic failed because it held bonds that declined in value as the Fed raised interest rates, leading to unrealized losses. However, the turmoil may continue to impact regional and smaller banks.
💰 Last Rate Hike: The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates by 0.25% today, bringing rates to a range of 5-5.25%. Prior rate hikes have helped slow inflation, but high prices are still hurting real wages and causing more borrowing. Credit card rates have risen to an average of 20%, while 30-year mortgages and auto loans are at 6.5%. On the bright side, savings accounts are offering ~4.5%+ APY on your deposits. (CNBC)
Our Take: The Fed has gotten a lot of what it wanted from rate increases, such as a slowing real estate market, job market, and inflation. With the recent banking crisis, they may want to focus on stability through one last smaller rate increase and letting the markets continue to cool.
🧑🏽⚖️ U.S. v. Google: A judge denied Google’s request to dismiss a federal antitrust case over its monopoly in the ad tech space. The government claims that the tech giant “corrupted legitimate competition” in the industry. Meanwhile, Google argues that the suit will hurt innovation and plenty of other firms have their own ad platforms, including Amazon, TikTok, and Facebook. With several states joining in, the case has gained momentum as one of the first major antitrust cases against Big Tech. (AP)
Our Take: Both Trump and Biden have talked about breaking up Big Tech as part of their political agendas. If successful, the breakup of tech giants like Google and Meta will create more competition and safer options for customers.
🕌 Islamic Tech Boom: Created in 2014, Blossom Finance is a microfinancing platform initially founded to connect U.S.-based Muslim startups to investors in mudarabah, a shariah-compliant profit-sharing plan. Transactions cannot involve alcohol, tobacco, or non-halal goods, or charge interest. After realizing that the U.S. market was too niche, Blossom’s founder Matthew Martin pivoted to Indonesia, which boasts the world’s largest Muslim population (231M) and Islamic fintech scene. Today, the platform facilitates microloans between U.S. and European investors and Islamic startups in Indonesia, with plans to expand in Southeast Asia’s vibrant and fast-paced Islamic fintech landscape. (TechCrunch)
Our Take: Tech companies from the U.S. and China often hog the limelight, but other regions have their own thriving ecosystems. The rise of Islamic fintech will create more financial access and inclusion for Muslims, and account for a larger share of financial services in Southeast Asia.
🇸🇩 Broken Truce: Despite a temporary truce to evacuate civilians, the Sudanese army bombed Khartoum to push out their opponents, the Rapid Response Forces (RSF). Army and RSF leaders agreed to a ceasefire brokered by the international community, but it did not hold. Both forces continued skirmishes within the city as millions of people remain trapped in the capital. Although the rival military factions have agreed to a ceasefire between May 4-11, it’s unclear if it will hold. (BBC)
Our Take: The Sudan conflict worries neighboring countries like Egypt because of their shared access to the Nile River and oil pipelines that cross through its territory. If the fighting continues, it could impact the entire region and cause a humanitarian crisis.
🕊 Behind the Scenes Heroes: Despite his recent health issues, Pope Francis shared that the Vatican has been working with Ukraine and Russia to create a peace deal. He also wants to help return the estimated 19,500 Ukrainian children taken by Russia. The Pope has met with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, Ukraine’s government, and other leaders, but hopes to travel to Moscow to speak directly with Russian leaders. The talks will be done in secret until there is more progress. (USNews)
Our Take: The Catholic Church has had a historic role in diplomacy and the hope is that the Pope can be a neutral arbiter between Russia and Ukraine.
Finance Concept of the Week
The Investor’s Playbook [Part 1/8]: The Buy and Hold Strategy
Investment Strategies for Financial Success
If you’re new to investing, you may have heard the phrase “time in the market beats timing the market.” This is the widely adopted buy and hold strategy.
Buying and holding involves holding positions in different assets, such as stocks and bonds, for an extended period of time while ignoring short-term market volatility. This approach allows you to focus on the long-term potential of your investments and consistently invest regardless of what’s happening in the market.
- Tax Advantages: When you sell assets, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate, you’ll need to pay Uncle Sam taxes on your profits (aka capital gains). Long-term capital gains, which apply to assets held for at least one year, get taxed at a lower rate than short-term gains.
- Save Time and Effort: Once you’ve done your research and picked out which companies or funds you want to invest in, that’s it! You can set up auto-invest and automatically invest a percentage of your take-home income into your chosen assets. But, make sure to check your investments every once in a while (ideally every quarter or year) to make adjustments as needed.
- Match the Market: A whopping 90-95% of day traders will fail. Most people who actively day trade lose money while 79% of fund managers underperformed the S&P500 last year. If you buy and hold a fund like VOO or SPY, you’ll at least match the returns of the S&P500.
- Reduce Risk: By investing passively, you’ll reduce your chances of losing money. The more you trade, the more decisions you’ll have to make, and the more opportunities you’ll have to make mistakes.
- Missing Out on Potential Gains: If you don’t take advantage of market volatility, you may miss out on profitable opportunities. Buy and hold investors generally ignore short-term fluctuations, which means sitting on unrealized gains.
- Requires Discipline: When you see news of Dogecoin millionaires and GameStop Winner Roaring Kitty’s massive wins, it’s tempting to jump in and join the fun in an attempt to make life-changing money. Taking the emotions out of investing and building discipline takes work.
- Principal Risk: With any investment, there’s a certain level of risk and no guarantee that you will profit. You could invest in a stock and watch it plummet to near-zero in a matter of minutes or days. No matter how you invest, always consider the risks before you make the jump.
Tips and Tricks
- Use Fundamental Analysis: A popular research method among investors is fundamental analysis, which looks at a company’s intrinsic value. For companies you are interested in, evaluate their product and service offerings, competitors, historical performance, leadership team, etc., to understand what you are getting yourself into.
- Consider Your Financial Goals: Your assets will likely sit in the market for a while with this strategy, so consider what your financial goals are before buying and holding. It works well if you are saving for long-term goals, such as a home down payment or retirement.
- Diversify Your Assets: Buying and holding works for all types of assets. You can buy and hold stocks, crypto, bonds, real estate, and more.
The buy and hold strategy is best for passive investors with a long time horizon. It’s not very sexy compared to day trading or buying meme stocks, so it works best for people who have a lower risk tolerance and want to be more hands-off.
Tip of the Week
💵 Investing in real estate is easier than you may think. You can buy shares of a REIT (real estate investment trust) through your brokerage, similar to buying stocks and funds.
Personal Finance Resources
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