Your Financial News Roundup
November 30, 2022
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- World: Protests erupt in China over its extreme “Covid Zero” policies; mangrove forests see a sharp fall in deforestation rates.
- Tech: Amazon pulls back its Indian wholesale distribution service while expanding its e-commerce arm; Meta faces a ~$275M fine for a breach affecting 530M+ users.
- Economy: Fed rate hikes have cooled the housing market but heightened recession risks; shoppers turned out in force spending $28B+ this Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday.
🇨🇳 Protests Over COVID-19 Controls: Thousands of protestors across China are taking to the streets to express their pent-up frustration with the nation’s Covid Zero policies that have been ongoing since the pandemic’s start. Covid Zero refers to China’s strict regimen of testing, lockdowns, and rules to curb the spread of Covid wherever it appears. After 10 people in Xinjiang were killed in a high-rise fire, many speculate that Covid rules prevented the victims from getting help. Though the government has issued more lax Covid guidance in recent days, it’s uncertain how officials will respond to the recent protests. (Source)
🌳 Saving Carbon-Storing Forests: Recent reports show that the rate of mangrove forest destruction fell by 600% from 2010 to 2022 to only 25 sq-miles per year. Previously at risk of fatal loss, today 42% of all mangrove forests are protected. Mangroves have a host of benefits like tsunami protection and nurseries for animals, but the most important may be their ability to store up to 4x the amount of carbon compared to other forest types – making them a huge asset in the fight against climate change. Currently, mangroves store about half of humanity’s yearly carbon emissions, so protecting the other 58% would store another 1.27 gigatons of carbon. (Source)
🇮🇳 Amazon Leaves India: The e-commerce giant is winding down its wholesale distribution service and other business lines, including its food delivery service and online learning platform, in India as part of its global pullback. Its wholesale distribution service helped small stores called kiranas in the major cities of Bengaluru, Hubli, and Mysore stay stocked up on Amazon’s products, ranging from clothes to pharmaceuticals. At the same time, Amazon has committed to growing e-commerce offerings in India by expanding its AWS footprint through investing $4.4B in cloud services. Currently, Amazon faces steep competition from domestic players and international giants like Walmart. (Source)
🤭 Meta Faces $$$ Penalty: Meta has been fined ~$275M by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for breaching European data privacy law. According to the DPC, an inquiry dated back in April 2021 found that the personal data of 530M+ Facebook users were exposed, including phone numbers and email addresses. Findings revealed a contact importer tool was used to upload a large set of phone numbers, which scraped data from profiles with matching numbers. Meta claimed it was part of an old breach in 2018-2019 and had already secured the affected systems. This latest penalty follows several high-profile breaches and violations in the past year, and European data regulators have ongoing inquiries with Meta. (Source)
🏡The Trap of Falling Home Prices: Home prices fell by 28% from October 2021 and economists warn they could fall even more next year. The Fed’s rate hikes lifted the 30-year mortgage rate from 5% to 6.84% over the last 3 months, deterring many potential home buyers. The Fed is in a precarious situation as they try to combat inflation without triggering a housing selloff that could grow into a recession. A housing market slowdown leads to declines in business for related niches such as real estate agents and home furnishers, eventually hurting the overall labor market. As most Americans have their wealth tied up in their homes, a decline in property values would cause a significant dent in household net worth and lead to lower spending—piling onto existing recession risks. (Source)
🛒 Retail Spending Can’t Be Stopped: Despite rising inflation and recession concerns, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals lured tens of millions of consumers in, leading to a record $17.2B spent over the Black Friday weekend and an estimated $11.6B in sales on Cyber Monday. Electronics, activewear, toys, and health and beauty products were among the top spending categories, though major retailers like Target, Macy’s, and Kohl’s reported that they’ve been feeling a slowdown over the last few weeks. Despite the resilience in consumer spending, many people are choosing to be more intentional with their purchases and are waiting for the deep discounts before buying . (Source)
- Europe Fears its Industries Will Jet to the U.S. (NPR)
- How Much of Your Portfolio Should Be in Crypto (Finance Futurists)
- Historic Italian Town Will Pay You $30,000 to Move There (Good News Network)
- The Credit Inquiry Removal Process Explained in 4 Steps (Finance Futurists)
- Words Engraved on a Bronze Hand May Rewrite History (Good News Network)
- U.S. October New Home Sales Jump Despite Higher Mortgage Rates (Realtor.com)
Finance Concept of the Week
A Sustainable Approach to Budgeting
When most people think of budgeting, the first feelings that come to mind may be guilt and scarcity. In a consumer-driven society, we are conditioned to focus on acquiring things and spending money rather than creating a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
With a bit of discipline, we can flip this notion on its head. Budgeting is the foundation of our personal finances and when done methodically, it can empower us to create our futures while helping us enjoy our present moment.
Choosing the right budgeting strategy for you depends on several factors, including your:
- personal and financial goals
- desired level of control over your money
- the amount of effort and time you want to commit
The first step is to understand your priorities and motivations. When you can clearly outline what you want, that can guides your decisions and enable you to create a realistic action plan for yourself.
Once you know your goals, you can incorporate the budgeting method you want into your system. Popular starter methods include the:
- 50/30/20 budget: With this method, you would allocate 50% of your money to needs like food and rent, 30% to wants like movie nights and travel, and 20% to savings and investments.
- 80/20 rule: Similarly, with the 80/20, you would pay yourself first by allocating 20% to investments and the rest, 80%, to your needs and wants.
If you want to take things up a notch, other common methods include:
- Zero-based budget: Here, you would allocate a dollar value to each expense you have every month until you have $0 left to spend.
- Values-based rule: The goal is to align your expenses with your personal values and spend accordingly. For example, our team values experiences, fitness, charity, and building generational wealth so we center our time and capital on these core areas.
Remember, budgeting is all about being intentional and putting your dollars towards what is meaningful to you. If you’d like to learn more budgeting methods, here are additional budgeting resources.
Tip of the Day
💵 Making extra money is easier than you think — flip items from the local garage sale or sign-up for odd jobs on Reddit or Fiverr.
Personal Finance Resources
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