Markets this week 📊
Diwali mood seems to have lingered on the markets with another week closing in green. The global market rout continued after US Fed and ECB threw another bomb on the pivot-wallahs. Good news is, India continued to remain resilient.
As markets remain in caution mood amidst RBI’s unexpected meet this week, we could not help but wonder how a mysterious screenshot sent the MSCI China Index rallying $450 billion over 2 days. The screenshot claimed that China is set to reopen in March 2023 and went viral on WeChat and Twitter, prompting traders to lap onto stocks. We know nothing about the origin of this fallacy but didnt mind a few hours of a good mystery in the mid of the week.
Talking about mystery, we hope your finances do not feel the same. We have started a new section “Money Matters” where we will take up one pressing personal finance issue that people face in their everyday lives and demystify it for our readers because after all, money matters! Do you have any investment concerns? Write to us at email@example.com and we shall answer it in our next wrap-up.
Now, let’s now dig deep into some of the important news that made headlines this week.
Sick of Spam? 🤬
$#@!%*%$#@: I am pretty sure that is your reaction when on a busy afternoon in between work calls and messages, you get disturned with spam calls and super annoying SMSes. Every other day a pop-up lands in your inbox which reads… You are selected for a work-from-home job. Earn up to Rs.3000 daily or a 100% Cashback Voucher. Hurry avail Now!
DND, please! Despite blocking callers and messages, 2-3 random calls and atleast 4-5 msgs have become a norm, as per a survey by Local Circles. Even the DND service offered by Trai to save consumers from telemarketers has failed due to the rise in unregistered spammers.
Same msgs, New routes: Open rates for text messages have now been just limited to OTPs. Spammers have, therefore, started targeting messaging apps like Whatsapp and Telegram, due to their popularity. These apps are favoured for personal interaction making them vulnerable to frauds.
Wake up Regulators: Unfortunately, there is no regulation in place to govern spam on OTT communication apps. But these apps are doing their bit. Artificial intelligence, latest technology, banning user accounts, and built-in consent systems are some of them to keep spam in check.
Easy availability of mobile numbers is the root cause of the problem. Millions of telemarketers have access to mobile numbers for as low as Rs. 1000. Once you have shared your number during billing, shopping etc, you get into the spammer circle despite not giving any explicit consent. Absence of data protection and privacy law has made it easier to operate in the grey area.
Catch me if you can: Spammers are a creative bunch of people employing newer and innovative ways to reach us. Trai is exploring tech solutions to deal with this but will they be able to outsmart them? Our phones will find out soon.
We are not a big fan of “The Daily Musk” but could make a very interesting proposition for all the big fans out there. Humour aside, let’s come straight to the point.
The Tick fever: Every day, 206 million people open Twitter for news, entertainment, and social interaction. The platform however also harbingers conspiracy theories, hate speeches, and a lousy business model.
Since its IPO in 2013, Twitter has only occasionally turned profitable (in 2018 and 2019) and relies heavily on ad revenues. Here comes Elon with his ~$13 billion debt financing for this acquisition and his first few decisions was calling himself the “Chief Twit”, firing the executive team, and introducing $8 monthly charge for profile verification or “Blue Tick” next to your Twitter name. All of this to overhaul the platform and cut its financial underperformance and not to forget a heavy interest burden of $1 billion yearly.
Musk being Musk: Reacting to heavy criticism around the tick fever, Musk in his favourite avatar started a meme fest. He portrayed people being happy buying coffee at Starbucks for $8 but whining when it comes to paying the same amount for a verification tick on Twitter. He then shared a photo that showed a sweatshirt being sold for $58.
Twitter had ~360,000 verified profiles in 2021. How many of these—especially non-businesses—would be willing to pay $8 a month to a platform with no current monetisation options? Not all for sure, making them vulnerable to impersonation (fake accounts). This could thereby increase Twitter’s spam bot problem, the very reason Musk backed out from the deal in the first place!
Some believe a subscription model is essential for Twitter 2.0. The question is, do you?
Startups love for temporary
What happened – There has been a 15% increase in the number of enterprises shifting to a semi-gig workforce model as cost pressures have hit recruitments. As per a Razorpay report based on a survey of 25k employees across 1000 Indian startups, the hiring of permanent employees fell by 60%+ in the last 12 months. Amidst this churn, avg salary hike for gig workers was at 58%, compared to 20% for permanent workers. Gig workers with avg monthly salary levels of 85k-150k and more have been the preferred sweet spot for new hirings, albeit still contributing the least to the overall pool. While overall hiring has decreased, salary spending has increased by 65% as startups move to leaner but stronger teams.
Tech rules: While recruitment has dipped across departments, CXO roles have been worst hit with a 93% drop in hiring. Tech, often the backbone of new-age ventures, is the least impacted and has rather seen a 4% rise in contribution to the overall workforce.
Dignified layoffs! Really? The bear environment and losing VC love have forced several startups to go the layoff lane. But Byjus CEO’s heartfelt letter to its employees after throwing pink slips several times this year will be taken with a pinch of salt.
Pink slips may be in the air now, but there was a time when big dole-outs like BMWs and Royal Enfield bikes were common in the startup ecosystem.
The only bright spot here could be that big honchos will now be more accountable than ever. After all, a CEO “seeking forgiveness” is literally unheard of.
With this new era of gig economy, moonlighting will probably thrive more than ever!
We are introducing a new section in our wrap from this week where we shall take up one personal finance query we get from our readers and give our view on the same. This week we look at Fixed Deposits.
Why we should not ignore debt investments?
During (and post) Covid-19, a large number of Indian retail investors migrated from investing in FDs to investing in mutual funds and direct equity markets due to this “Teji” mindset and sub par returns from FDs. More demat accounts have been opened in the last 32 months than in the two decades preceding it.
While this has helped channelise savings at the right places, too much exposure to equities has significantly increased the riskiness of portfolios, often unmindfully.
Mind ya, staying ahead of inflation doesn’t always mean buying only the equity-oriented instruments, and a right asset allocation model as per the risk appetite and goals of an investor is a must.
One should invest in debt funds to diversify your investments. Products like target maturity debt funds, actively managed debt funds, Non-convertible debentures or simply FDs can be considered to get exposure to debt assets. Yes, fixed income can be boring, but sometimes, BORING IS GOOD! To know more about these products or find out which suits you the best, do give our recently published blog a read.
What else made news?
✨All that glitters is Gold: Aditya Birla Group (ABG) has earmarked ~₹5,000 crore to launch large-format jewellery stores to take on head-to-head competition with Reliance and Tata. The trio already competes in designer label space.
🎬Prime days for Youtube– Like Amazon, YT is rolling out Primetime Channels, to bring movies and shows from other streaming services onto its platform. Over 30 partners have signed up so far.
👊Biden takes Modi lessons: US President has threatened American oil companies with windfall tax if they do not raise production. Oil companies enjoyed bumper profits amidst high oil prices even as consumers are paying through their nose.
Black days are back: Delhi Pollution levels turns severe and severe+ with schools shut.
🎅Merry Christmas Autos: Santa comes early for Indian automakers as October sales numbers indicate sector growing beyond their pre-pandemic days. 2W sales also zoomed ahead with SUV being the favourite in the pack.
Hope you liked reading this week’s wrap. See you next week. Till then, hope you have a great weekend!
Disclaimer: This write-up is solely for educational purposes. This in no way should be construed as a buy/sell recommendation. Please consult your investment advisor before investing.
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