Your Financial News Roundup
December 7, 2022
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- World: China relaxes its COVID-19 controls after the country’s largest protests since Tiananmen Square; the U.S. persuaded the Netherlands to block exports of key semiconductor technology to China over concerns that the tech could be used for military or AI applications.
- Tech: ChatGPT, a talking A.I., earned 1M+ users in its debut; 144K+ workers were affected by tech industry layoffs in 2022.
- Economy: A healthy November job report will likely mean more Fed rate hikes; President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is heading to the Supreme Court for deliberation.
🇨🇳 China Relaxes COVID-19 Rules: Rocked by the most widespread protests since Tiananmen Square, China’s government is rolling back its stringent Covid controls. While some restrictions remain intact, examples of the rollback include no longer needing test results to take public transit, enter a grocery store in Beijing, or drive on a highway in Shandong province. Still, the government reaffirms its goal of achieving zero Covid infections, stating that they must give the healthcare system time to build up additional capacity to fight it. The government’s change in action but not tone) has led many Chinese to joke that their protests have actual impact. (Source)
⚙️ Tensions Over the Global Semiconductor Supply: The U.S. has temporarily persuaded the Netherlands to prevent shipments of its $200M extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines to China via Dutch export restrictions. The Netherlands is home to ASML, the only company in the world that makes these machines, which are used to manufacture advanced semiconductors with potential extensive military and AI real-world applications. The U.S. has been lobbying the Dutch government, among others, to align their export controls with the U.S. so it can better restrict China’s access to high-tech goods — the latest battle in a war for tech supremacy. (Source)
🤖 Talking A.I. is Born: Catching the Internet by storm, OpenAI’s latest text-based AI ChatGPT is now publicly available for beta testing. Based on the generative AI tech behind the famous DALL-E image maker, a user can chat with it as easily as they would with a coworker — leading to its soaring virality. Within days of its release, ChatGPT scored 1M+ users, a testament to its broad appeal and ease of use. Many ChatGPT users prefer its answers to their queries over Google’s, making the A.I. a fierce contender to the tech giant’s search engine. However, there’s still room for improvement as its wording can sound robotic and it can’t filter out misinformation. Still, OpenAI’s latest marvel may have a long-term impact on regular people and tech firms. (Source) Try it here!
☠️ The Deadly Impacts of Profit Over People: In 2022, more than 144,000 tech employees have been laid off, ranging from major players like Meta, Amazon, and Netflix to unicorns like Stripe, DoorDash, and Lyft. Evidence from research conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer and others indicates that the stress from layoffs literally kills people. Layoffs increase the odds of suicide by 2x or more and mortality by 15-20% over the following 20 years. Adjacent industries are copying the layoff trend despite the lack of decisive evidence of cost savings. Pfeffer emphasizes prioritizing people as an important asset as companies make financial planning decisions. (Source)
🤦🏼♂️ JPow Outfoxes…Himself: The U.S. November jobs report showed 263,000 people joined the workforce and had healthy wage growth, beating Wall Street’s forecast more than 2x. As wage growth keeps pace with inflation, these results fly in the face of the Fed’s actions to tame inflation. According to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, the labor market is not rebalanced enough yet and additional rate hikes may be needed to achieve the Fed’s target of 2% inflation. While the extra rate hikes will be smaller in size than prior ones, higher rates may have to stay in place longer than planned. The good news is that JPow predicts the economy will achieve a “soft landing” or a light recession, which would still create new jobs, just at a slower pace. (Source)
📚 Bad News For Borrowers with Student Loans: A showdown between the Supreme Court and President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is in the works. Last week, the Supreme Court announced that it would review the plan’s legality following pushback from several Republican-led states and courts. The debt relief policy is an essential piece of the Biden administration’s agenda, with a slight majority (51%) of Americans in favor of it. But, opponents cite that it is a costly handout that misuses taxpayer funds and punishes those who paid off their loans or did not attend college. (Source)
Finance Concept of the Week
The 8th Wonder of the World
Famed investor Warren Buffett calls compound interest “the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it…he who doesn’t pays it.”
Compound interest lies at the heart of investing and drives wealth creation. It comes from making regular contributions to your investments and letting those assets grow in value over years or decades, creating exponential wealth. This strategy, called passive investing, is the foundation of one’s personal wealth and rewards those who are patient and consistent.
It’s made up of 3 factors:
- Principal – the money you set aside for investing, or your contributions
- Interest/Earnings – gains earned on the principal amount invested
- Compound Interest – gains on the principal and gains on the interest itself (over time)
An Example — Your Retirement
If you open a Roth IRA (retirement account with tax-free withdrawals) at age 25 and contribute the maximum limit ($6,000 for 2022, $6,500 for 2023) every year until you retire while earning an annual average 8% interest rate…
You can expect to be a millionaire at 34 years and a multi-millionaire after 42 years.
As you see below, most of your investment growth comes from the interest made on interest (compound interest), not your contributions.
Get Started in 5 Easy Steps
- Open an account with a reputable brokerage like E*Trade or Fidelity.
- Select your account of choice such as a retirement account like a Roth IRA or a regular taxable brokerage account.
- Deposit a set amount of cash and invest in your index fund of choice (e.g., VTSAX, VFIAX) or an ETF (e.g., VOO or SPY).
- Automate your cash deposits and investing to a monthly schedule to ensure you are making consistent contributions. Don’t stress if you aren’t able to put in too much at first, focus on getting started.
- Check your balance once a month or quarter to ensure that your funds were invested properly and there are no issues.
If you want to learn more about compound interest and how to make the most of your retirement investing, read on!
Tip of the Day
💵 Some companies offer employees stock options or equity as part of their compensation package to incentive them to stay at the company longer and work harder. Understanding how equity vests will help you make the most of your compensation and career plans.
- 4 Key Year-End Tax Moves (CNBC)
- Do Credit Cards Have PINs? | How Using a PIN Keeps You Secure (Finance Futurists)
- This 28-year-old built a side hustle that brings in $30,000 a month (CNBC)
- How to Live Below Your Means: Focus on These 8 Areas (Finance Futurists)
- Half of People Say Holiday Season Should Last Longer (Good News Network)
- Personal Finance Framework (Twitter)
Personal Finance Resources
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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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