Your Financial News Roundup
May 31, 2023
1. Economy: An agreement to suspend the debt ceiling has been reached; meanwhile, Target’s Pride month product line incites both sides of the culture war.
2. Tech: AI models perpetuate human biases due to their source data; and chip maker, Nvidia’s stock price surged due to rising demand for AI chips.
3. World: Turkish President Erdogan secured a 3rd 5-year term; while Brazil’s President Lula forms an alliance with Venezuela’s President Maduro.
Personal Finance Concept [Part 5/8]: Growth Investing
🏆 Debt Deal Reached: On Sunday, the outline for a debt ceiling deal was reached after each side made concessions. The bill is expected to be voted on as early as today, but members of both parties in the Senate and House have complaints. The deal includes:
- The debt ceiling will be paused until 2025 to ensure there is no conflict over the 2024 election
- No new taxes or tax increases
- Non-defense spending will be kept flat for a year with 1% cap increases up to 2025, but the caps expire in 2025
- Defense spending would rise to $886B, 3% more than 2023 spending
- The states will return $30B in unspent federal COVID funds to the federal government
- The process of environmental reviews will be simplified to make it easier for energy projects to get permits
- The age of work requirements for the SNAP food benefits program increases from 50 to 54 (CNN)
Our Take: This compromise deal will likely make extreme partisans squabble, but the deal should pass. Markets are expected to go up on the news and possible de-dollarization efforts should slow down abroad as well.
🥊 Culture War 2.0: Last week, leading retailer, Target, fell in the crosshairs of conservative and progressive activists. First, it was criticized for its LGBTQ Pride month clothing line. Then it removed the merchandise to the back of its stores to “maintain employee safety and well-being.” This move drew ire from progressive activists on TikTok, who felt Target had offended them and the LGBTQ community and was catering to bigoted people. TikTokers also noted that some stores in the South moved Pride displays to less noticeable areas.
Our Take: The Bud Light and Target backlashes call into question the value of corporate activism as it seems there is no winning these days. As the culture war continues, brands will need to either walk back their activism or dig deeper into one side of the divide.
👥 Why Diversity in AI Matters: During Dr. Abeda Birhane’s Ph.D. studies, she observed that engineers and data scientists were more focused on model building rather than examining their datasets. This can lead to biases slipping into AI models, creating inequality through their results. Birhane’s work has exposed negative biases, such as the racist and explicit labels in the 80 Million Tiny Images dataset — leading to calls for more diverse perspectives in AI training. One major concern is that AI with Western biases could potentially harm developing nations. (WIRED)
Our Take: Biases in AI models stem from the fact that most AI developers are white men and training data scraped from the Web is not reviewed and varies in quality. Possible solutions include transparency standards around AI products, data set reviews, consent to allow AI use, and more thorough reviews in product development processes, along with DEI programs for engineers.
😲 A Chipmaker’s Humble Success: Chip maker Nvidia’s stock has been on a tear, rising 40% this month alone — putting it in the $1T club as of yesterday. CEO Jensen Huang is making a huge bet on AI chips. Nvidia produces 80% of the graphics processing units or GPUs used to power generative AI tech. Last week’s “cosmological” revenue forecast caused a stock surge, as Nvidia’s forecast beat analysts’ predictions by over 50%. (Reuters)
Our Take: Nvidia’s strong sales forecast is based on surging demand for AI chips as firms scramble to release their own AI products, ushering in the next phase of the tech boom. An investor in a chip maker like Nvidia takes a “picks and shovels” approach by investing in the person that makes the tools, rather than the one who builds with them.
🇹🇷 Another Victory for Erdogan: Long-time Turkish leader Tayyip Ergodan won a 3rd presidential term, securing 5 more years in power. While Ergodan cemented his power, nearly half the country voted for his democratic opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu, indicating they want change. In an increasingly polarized nation, Erdogan’s strong, autocratic leadership and loyal following of religious conservatives dating back 20+ years paved the way for his victory by mere points. (BBC)
Our Take: President Ergodan controls 90% of the nation’s media and has gradually eroded human rights and free speech in Turkey, which likely played a factor in his victory. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the 1st to congratulate his Turkish counterpart, followed by U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron. While Russia is particularly fond of Turkey, Turkey is also a key member of NATO, making the country an important strategic ally.
🤝 Lula and Maduro: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva welcomes Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro back into Brazil for the 1st time since he was banned in 2019 by former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula and Maduro used the opportunity to emphasize their united front, with Lula calling for an end to U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Maduro expressing his country’s openness to Brazilian investors. However, other countries questioned Maduro’s legitimacy, citing concerns over his human rights violations and dictatorship. (Yahoo! News)
Our Take: During President Maduro’s time in office, he consolidated his power while the country fell into a deep recession. In 2019, following his re-election, Juan Guaidó took control as “interim president” with the backing of the National Assembly, citing an unfair election. However, Guaidó’s government failed to solidify its leadership and bring the country out of poverty. Negotiations between the opposition and the government’s reps resumed in November 2022.
Finance Concept of the Week
The Investor’s Playbook [Part 5/8]: Growth Investing
Investment Strategies for Financial Success
Growth investing has been gaining popularity among investors looking for substantial returns and a bit of excitement in their investment strategy. This approach focuses on identifying companies with strong growth potential and capitalizing on their future expansion. Think the next Apple or Tesla.
- High Return Potential: Growth investing has the potential to generate significant returns. Companies that fall into this category are expected to outperform their industry peers or the broader market in the long run.
- Future-Oriented Approach: Because these companies are rapidly expanding and driving disruptive change, you have an opportunity to invest in companies that are expected to generate sustained, rapid returns.
- Discover Hidden Gems: Growth companies could be small, early-stage startups with strong potential. They can also be companies that recently went public. Investors may uncover hidden gems in their search and identify profitable companies before they attract mainstream attention.
- Long-Term Wealth Creation: Growth investing is well-suited for long-term investors willing to hold their investments in anticipation of accumulating wealth.
- Higher Risk: Growth investing is not without risks. When you invest in growth companies, you take on higher levels of volatility and uncertainty.
- Limited Dividends: Because growth companies reinvest their earnings into research and development, expansion, or acquisitions, to fuel their growth, they typically do not pay dividends to shareholders. If you rely on dividends as an income source, growth stocks may not be the right investment.
- Uncertain Future Outlook: As a growth investor, you are making predictions about a company’s future prospects. This involves a degree of uncertainty and the possibility that you inaccurately value a company’s growth potential. Unforeseen challenges, competitive pressures, or changes in market dynamics can lead to disappointing returns.
- Valuation Concerns: Growth stocks are often priced at a premium due to high investor demand and expectations. This can make it challenging to find undervalued opportunities. If market sentiment shifts or growth expectations are not met, there is a risk of overpaying.
Tips and Tricks
- Key Characteristics: Growth investors typically look for certain characteristics when identifying growth companies. They include a strong and visionary leadership team, differentiated product or service offerings, a large total addressable market, scalable business models, and a strong competitive moat against competitors.
- Do Your Homework: It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and analysis to validate your investment decisions. Factors to consider include the company’s record of historical earnings, forward earnings growth, profit margins, return on equity (ROE), and stock performance.
- Stay Informed and Adapt: Stay up-to-date about the companies you invest in and the broader market trends. Monitor quarterly earnings reports, industry news, and regulatory changes. Be ready to adapt your investment strategy if new information or market conditions warrant adjustments.
- Risk Management: Set clear stop-loss limits to manage potential losses and protect your capital. Consider using trailing stops to lock in profits as the stock price rises. Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio to ensure it aligns with your risk tolerance and investment goals.
Growth investing is best suited for investors who believe in the power of innovation, tech, and disruptive markets. Many growth investors seek out industries that favor emerging sectors, such as biotech, renewable energy, and tech, that have the potential for exponential growth.
Tip of the Week
💸 Familiarize yourself with the benefits offered by your employer, such as healthcare plans, retirement contributions, or tuition reimbursement. These can add up and allow you to better optimize your financial well-being.
Personal Finance Resources
🚀 Check out our collection of personal finance resources on Gumroad, featuring both free and paid options:
Stay tuned for updates! In the meantime, if there’s any other product you’d like to see, feel free to suggest it here.
If you liked what you read, subscribe to our weekly newsletter here!