Your Financial News Roundup
November 8, 2023
1. Economy: The U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and the Bank of England have all paused rate hikes; while demand for electric vehicles is slowing down.
2. Tech: OpenAI plans on launching its own app store; meanwhile, startups are trying to fill the shoes of Trust & Safety (TS) teams at big tech companies.
3. World: Nikki Haley is becoming a strong contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination; while Hong Kong co-hosts the first Gay Games in Asia.
Personal Finance Concept [Part 5/12]: Profitable Side Hustles – Tutoring
🛫 Almost In The Clear: In the last 18 months, the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (ECB), and the Bank of England significantly increased interest rates to lower inflation. While Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has yet to rule out further rate hikes, markets anticipate that the central bank may ease its stance soon. The consumer price index fell from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.7% in September, signaling a softening economy. The ECB and Bank of England both halted rate hikes last month, though they reiterated that they are not considering cuts yet. (CBNC)
Our Take: With the 2024 election looming and inflation mostly under control, the Fed may soon face political pressure from Democrats to lower interest rates. Waiting too long can lead to a recession, as there has been some weak economic data recently.
EV Demand Slows: As growth for electric vehicles dampens, automakers are reconsidering their multi-billion investments in retooling existing factories and building new ones. In recent weeks, General Motors, Ford Motor, and Tesla all announced plans to delay spending on EVs due to slower sales than expected and declining consumer interest. Despite the uneven growth, many buyers remain interested in electric vehicles. However, they cite the high prices and a lack of accessible fast chargers as barriers to owning electric vehicles. (The New York Times)
Our Take: This move may negatively impact the Biden administration’s aggressive push for zero-emission vehicles. But this is great news for buyers looking to purchase EVs at affordable prices.
🏢 GPT Store Incoming: OpenAI is launching GPT Store, an app store that allows anyone to create and release their own GPT without prior programming knowledge. Taking a page from Apple’s playbook, GPT Store is positioning itself as a standalone ecosystem separate from existing app stores, such as Apple’s “walled garden.” The exact monetization model remains unclear. However, companies like Code.com, TripAdvisor, and Canva have already opted in, suggesting that the initial apps will primarily consist of official offerings rather than experimental projects by individual creators. (TechCrunch)
Our Take: Although Microsoft and OpenAI have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship so far, it’s unclear how long they can maintain their partnership. Microsoft is introducing its own Copilot models tailored for its enterprise suite, potentially competing directly with GPTs.
TaaS (Trust-as-a-Service): Layoffs in the past year shrank the Trust & Safety (T&S) teams at major tech companies, creating gaps in platform moderation, especially during elections and conflicts. Following the sale of Twitter, the company’s T&S personnel were fired, with other firms following suit shortly after. Now, these same companies are struggling to moderate content amid the explosive use of generative AI. In response, startups are offering trust and safety as a service to fill the void. Experts argue that outsourcing these crucial responsibilities may lead companies to relinquish control to those with limited ability to enact meaningful change. (WIRED)
Our Take: Twitter’s moderation system has dramatically deteriorated over the past year. As companies continue implementing cost-cutting measures, they must address the challenge of creating a safe online environment while meeting regulatory compliance.
🏇🏼 Competing For 2nd: Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s odds of securing the 2024 GOP nomination grew to 9-11%, surpassing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who now stands at 8-9%. Nevertheless, she still trails behind the frontrunner — Donald Trump. Haley’s impressive debate performances helped her gain visibility and support from viewers. She stands apart from other candidates with her sensible platform focused on fiscal conservatism, including proposals to reform Social Security by raising the retirement age for younger people, ending the federal gas tax, and increasing oil and gas drilling to lower energy inflation. (MarketWatch)
Our Take: Though Donald Trump maintains a consistent lead ahead of his rivals, Haley appears to be the best Republican positioned to surpass him due to her pragmatic, yet conservative positions. Still, it’s unclear if there are enough non-Trump voters or if Trump’s latest trials will propel her to the top.
🏳️🌈 First Gay Games In Asia: Together with Guadalajara, Hong Kong is co-hosting the first Gay Games in Asia. Started in San Francisco in 1982, the Gay Games brings together thousands of athletes globally to celebrate LGBTQ inclusion. But, conservative lawmakers in Hong Kong strongly oppose the event, going so far as to raise national security concerns. The city currently does not legally recognize same-sex marriage, and Beijing has been clamping down on its own LGBTQ community lately. (CNN)
Our Take: As Beijing exerts growing influence over Hong Kong’s political landscape, and given the safety concerns in Guadalajara (where drug cartel violence is rampant), many athletes have opted out of this year’s Gay Games. Asia as a whole tends to lean anti-LGBTQ, with this damaging legacy of discrimination rooted in British colonial law.
Finance Concept of the Week
Lucrative Size Hustles [Part 5/12]: Tutoring
Earn extra income on the side and live on your own terms
If you have a strong grasp of a particular subject or skill, consider tutoring on the side. According to the Department of Education, kids’ education has worsened over the past decade, leading many students to fall behind. Tutoring fills this gap by providing a personalized learning experience for students.
How to Get Started
Do your research to find your niche. You want to focus on subjects you can teach well, such as SAT or ACT prep, GMAT prep, math, English, music, sports, Spanish, etc. But, ensure your niche is in demand since you want to have a large pool of potential candidates to tutor while still being able to stand out.
Once you find your niche, decide your business structure. If you want to appear more credible, for example, setting up an LLC may signal to your clients that you are a legitimate service. Consider how many students you want to take on, cancellation policies, how people should contact you, the structure of your lessons, etc.
Before recruiting clients, polish your resume and LinkedIn. Include qualifications related to your niche and come up with a unique selling point for your services. Next, build an online presence, such as setting up a website or advertising your services on sites like Craigslist, Facebook, Udemy, etc.
As you start running your business, track your hours, student progress, earnings, and expenses. Familiarize yourself with your clients’ needs, so you can better tailor your lesson plans and materials to them. Additionally, regularly provide feedback to your clients on their learning process while maintaining professionalism and empathy.
Top Platforms to Use
- Outschool: Outschool is an online education platform that specializes in providing a wide range of interactive and engaging classes to students of all ages. Teachers can choose how long their classes are, their preferred class size, and subjects, including English, music, math, languages, life skills, and more. Most teachers can make $50 to $100 an hour.
- Wyzant: Wyzant facilitates one-on-one, personalized learning experiences through a vast network of educators. The company offers both in-person and online tutoring options, with 65,000 tutors in 300+ subjects. Tutors set their own availability and rates, with those teaching more advanced subjects making upwards of $180 or more per hour.
- Lessonface: Lessonface is a tutoring website focused on music, though they have acting, arts, and language classes as well. The company takes 15% of the lesson tuition on private lessons booked by students that find you on Lessonface and 5% for students you recruit. Depending on the subject, tutors can charge anywhere from $20 to $40 per 30 minutes.
- Udemy: Udemy is one of the most well-known and popular online learning platforms, providing a wide array of courses on different subjects. You create and sell pre-recorded courses for anywhere from $15 to over $100.
- Personal Fulfillment: Sharing your expertise and helping your students can be rewarding, offering you a strong sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
- Specialization: Tutoring allows you to focus on specific niche subjects or skills you are particularly passionate about or uniquely qualified in.
- Building a Reputation: Successful tutoring can lead to a strong reputation as an expert in your field, potentially opening doors to other opportunities, such as speaking engagements or consulting work.
- Creativity: You have the creative freedom to design customized teaching methods and materials catering to your students’ needs and interests.
- Lifelong Learning: Engaging with students can introduce you to new perspectives and challenges, fostering your own continuous learning and growth.
- Low Start-Up Costs: You can often start tutoring with minimal initial investment, especially if you offer online sessions.
- Emotional Investment: Tutoring can be emotionally taxing, especially when students struggle or face setbacks. Dealing with student frustrations and disappointment can be challenging.
- Varied Student Abilities: Working with students of different skill levels can be complex. It may require additional effort to adapt your teaching style to accommodate these differences effectively.
- Administrative Tasks: The administrative side of tutoring, including scheduling, lesson planning, and record-keeping, can be time-consuming and may take away from the joy of teaching.
- Canceled Sessions: Students may cancel or reschedule sessions at the last minute, causing income fluctuations and scheduling disruptions.
- Competitive Market: Depending on your location and subject, you might face fierce competition, making it challenging to attract and retain students.
- Strain on Personal Life: Balancing tutoring with your primary job and personal life can be demanding, leading to potential burnout if not managed carefully.
- Legal and Tax Complexities: The legal and tax implications of running a side hustle can be complex. You may need to navigate self-employment taxes, local regulations, and contracts.
What Else Is New?
- TikTok is shutting down its $2B Creator Fund on December 16th, following harsh criticism from creators who claim the fund is outdated.
- Starbucks plans to raise pay for U.S. retail workers by 3% in 2024, paying employees $15 to $24 per hour and a full benefits package.
- Sam Bankman Fried, the former CEO of FTX, was found guilty on all 7 counts in the FTX fraud trial, potentially facing up to 115 years in jail.
- China’s President Xi Jinping is meeting business leaders in San Francisco.
- Once valued at $47B, the formerly hot coworking startup, WeWork, has officially declared bankruptcy.
Personal Finance Resources
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