Rookie Traders Are Calling It Quits, and Their Families Are Thrilled | Kanebridge News
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,495,064 (-0.25%)       Melbourne $937,672 (-0.06%)       Brisbane $829,077 (+1.01%)       Adelaide $784,986 (+0.98%)       Perth $687,232 (+0.62%)       Hobart $742,247 (+0.62%)       Darwin $658,823 (-0.42%)       Canberra $913,571 (-1.30%)       National $951,937 (-0.08%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $713,690 (+0.15%)       Melbourne $474,891 (-0.09%)       Brisbane $455,596 (-0.07%)       Adelaide $373,446 (-0.09%)       Perth $378,534 (-0.83%)       Hobart $528,024 (-1.62%)       Darwin $340,851 (-0.88%)       Canberra $481,048 (+0.72%)       National $494,274 (-0.23%)   National $494,274                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,982 (-85)       Melbourne 11,651 (-298)       Brisbane 8,504 (-39)       Adelaide 2,544 (-39)       Perth 7,486 (-186)       Hobart 1,075 (-37)       Darwin 266 (+11)       Canberra 840 (-4)       National 40,348 (-677)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,376 (-100)       Melbourne 6,556 (-154)       Brisbane 1,783 (+12)       Adelaide 447 (+11)       Perth 2,139 (+3)       Hobart 173 (-1)       Darwin 393 (+1)       Canberra 540 (-29)       National 19,407 (-257)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $550 ($0)       Brisbane $650 ($0)       Adelaide $550 ($0)       Perth $595 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $720 (+$40)       Canberra $675 ($0)       National $639 (+$6)                    UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $550 ($0)       Brisbane $550 ($0)       Adelaide $430 ($0)       Perth $550 ($0)       Hobart $450 ($0)       Darwin $483 (-$38)       Canberra $550 ($0)       National $555 (-$4)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,759 (+74)       Melbourne 5,228 (-159)       Brisbane 2,940 (-7)       Adelaide 1,162 (-13)       Perth 1,879 (-7)       Hobart 468 (-15)       Darwin 81 (+6)       Canberra 707 (+10)       National 18,224 (-111)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,359 (+95)       Melbourne 5,185 (+60)       Brisbane 1,588 (-3)       Adelaide 335 (-30)       Perth 752 (+11)       Hobart 161 (-1)       Darwin 107 (-16)       Canberra 627 (-36)       National 17,114 (+80)   National 17,114                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.61% (↑)      Melbourne 3.05% (↑)      Brisbane 4.08% (↑)        Adelaide 3.64% (↓)       Perth 4.50% (↓)     Hobart 3.85% (↑)        Darwin 5.68% (↓)     Canberra 3.84% (↑)      National 3.49% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.46% (↑)      Melbourne 6.02% (↑)      Brisbane 6.28% (↑)        Adelaide 5.99% (↓)     Perth 7.56% (↑)        Hobart 4.43% (↓)       Darwin 7.36% (↓)     Canberra 5.95% (↑)        National 5.84% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 1.6% (↑)      Melbourne 1.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.5% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 1.0% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.5% (↑)      National 1.2% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 2.3% (↑)      Melbourne 2.8% (↑)      Brisbane 1.2% (↑)      Adelaide 0.7% (↑)      Perth 1.3% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.3% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 2.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 30.9 (↑)      Melbourne 32.6 (↑)      Brisbane 37.7 (↑)      Adelaide 28.7 (↑)      Perth 40.1 (↑)      Hobart 37.6 (↑)        Darwin 36.1 (↓)     Canberra 33.0 (↑)      National 34.6 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 32.5 (↑)      Melbourne 31.7 (↑)      Brisbane 35.2 (↑)      Adelaide 30.2 (↑)        Perth 42.8 (↓)     Hobart 36.9 (↑)        Darwin 39.6 (↓)     Canberra 36.7 (↑)      National 35.7 (↑)            
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Rookie Traders Are Calling It Quits, and Their Families Are Thrilled

Many who picked up investing during the pandemic are cooling on the hobby

Tue, Jan 3, 2023 8:38amGrey Clock 4 min

Some novices who took up trading during the pandemic are abandoning the hobby. Their loved ones are breathing a sigh of relief.

Spouses, parents and other family members who were subjected to one too many play-by-plays of market movements say they are happy to have their loved ones back—and equally glad they no longer have to hear about buzzy stocks or cryptocurrencies.

The market swooned in 2022, taking the fun out of day trading for many newbies. The S&P 500, after surging during the pandemic, just wrapped up its worst year since 2008. Bitcoin lost about 65% of its value throughout the year.

Some amateur traders’ families now face the disappearance of the life-changing sums of money they held in their portfolios at the height of the run-up. The stakes are lower for those who put a modest amount into meme stocks or crypto for fun.

Alan Garcia started trading on Webull Financial LLC early in the pandemic, when his work as a musician dried up. Soon, Mr. Garcia was parked at his desk each day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to manage his portfolio of about $2,000. He bet heavily on companies like ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp., which makes an electric car seating a single person; ticker symbol, SOLO.

The obsession didn’t end when he sat down in the living room with his wife, Adriana Rodriguez, each evening. For about two years, he talked about investing. Mr. Garcia, a 34-year-old Houston resident, even started watching investing videos in bed at night.

“He was here,” Ms. Rodriguez said, “but he wasn’t here.”

In early 2022, Mr. Garcia lost everything in his portfolio on a bad options bet, leaving him in a foul mood. But the next morning, he felt relieved. After Ms. Rodriguez, a lawyer, left for the office, he worked on his music all day instead of checking the market. He hasn’t traded on the app since.

Ms. Rodriguez is thrilled. Mr. Garcia agrees it is for the best—mostly, anyway. “We’ve never been this good in our lives,” he said. “One day I’ll get that $2,000 back though.”

Trading exploded into the mainstream during the pandemic, when many Americans were stuck at home, flush with stimulus checks and eager to pass the time. New apps made it cheap and easy for newbies to trade from the comfort of their cellphone, and many found a sense of community on investing forums online. In 2021, rookie traders fuelled a run-up in meme stocks that put hedge funds on their heels.

Individual investors are broadly staying invested in stocks, unlike previous downturns when many dumped their holdings. But lots of one-time day traders are finding they are now content to buy and hold rather than try to time their investments. Average daily trading volume is down markedly at major brokerage firms that cater to retail customers.

Vince Major took a job in 2021 as head of marketing at a cryptocurrency wallet company, and soon he was subjecting his mother, Vikki Major, to his thoughts on various cryptocurrency projects and how the sector could revolutionise the financial system.

His mother found it unbearable. Mrs. Major, who is 66 and a juvenile probation officer in Phoenix, told her son to knock it off. That inspired him to give a presentation at an October industry conference titled “My Mother Hates Your Project (and Mine!).”

A duly chastened Mr. Major has cut back the crypto talk on morning FaceTime calls with his mother. After trying to speak about crypto in a more understandable way, he even convinced his mom to buy ether and leave it in a virtual wallet using his company’s app.

Mrs. Major’s ether is down about 40% since she bought it in summer 2021, and it is now worth about $14,000 total. Mr. Major, who is 36 and lives in Los Angeles, said the value of his crypto holdings is up overall because he started buying in 2015 when prices were much lower.

Mrs. Major figures her son knows what he is talking about—even if it was in an annoying way at first. “He’s very intelligent,” she said.

Marvin Lahoud went all in on investing when the pandemic hit, spending up to 10 hours a day trading. Mr. Lahoud, who works at a Boston construction-management company and moved to the U.S. from Lebanon in 2017, started wearing an earpiece to listen to CNBC while doing chores.

His wife, Suzie Lahoud, tried to embrace the investing subculture, too, though she thought his interest might peter out as it had for previous obsessions like photography and videogames. The couple sang their daughter a song about investing as a lullaby.

“It’s always nice to see him get excited about something,” said Ms. Lahoud, a doctoral student. “But there were times I would get a little frustrated just because it was taking up so much of his time and mental space.”

In February 2021, Ms. Lahoud told her husband she was pregnant with their second child. His Robinhood Markets Inc. portfolio had just reached nearly $1 million. He posted to Reddit a screenshot of his account and his family’s news. “I’m on track to retire early and spend time with my kids,” he said, earning 2,000 comments. He was rich—on paper at least.

By early 2022, Mr. Lahoud’s investments started dropping and he faced a massive tax bill from gains he had taken in 2021. Mr. Lahoud gave up trading.

Without investing to keep him occupied, Mr. Lahoud said he felt depressed for the first time in his life. He threw himself into a new endeavour: researching the year 536 AD, which a Harvard professor dubbed the worst in history. That year, a volcanic eruption plunged swaths of the world into darkness, causing widespread famine. Reading about it made him feel better.

“My troubles are so small,” Mr. Lahoud said, “and life is too short.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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China’s EV Juggernaut Is a Warning for the West

Competitive pressure and creativity have made Chinese-designed and -built electric cars formidable competitors

Thu, Jun 8, 2023 4 min

China rocked the auto world twice this year. First, its electric vehicles stunned Western rivals at the Shanghai auto show with their quality, features and price. Then came reports that in the first quarter of 2023 it dethroned Japan as the world’s largest auto exporter.

How is China in contention to lead the world’s most lucrative and prestigious consumer goods market, one long dominated by American, European, Japanese and South Korean nameplates? The answer is a unique combination of industrial policy, protectionism and homegrown competitive dynamism. Western policy makers and business leaders are better prepared for the first two than the third.

Start with industrial policy—the use of government resources to help favoured sectors. China has practiced industrial policy for decades. While it’s finding increased favour even in the U.S., the concept remains controversial. Governments have a poor record of identifying winning technologies and often end up subsidising inferior and wasteful capacity, including in China.

But in the case of EVs, Chinese industrial policy had a couple of things going for it. First, governments around the world saw climate change as an enduring threat that would require decade-long interventions to transition away from fossil fuels. China bet correctly that in transportation, the transition would favour electric vehicles.

In 2009, China started handing out generous subsidies to buyers of EVs. Public procurement of taxis and buses was targeted to electric vehicles, rechargers were subsidised, and provincial governments stumped up capital for lithium mining and refining for EV batteries. In 2020 NIO, at the time an aspiring challenger to Tesla, avoided bankruptcy thanks to a government-led bailout.

While industrial policy guaranteed a demand for EVs, protectionism ensured those EVs would be made in China, by Chinese companies. To qualify for subsidies, cars had to be domestically made, although foreign brands did qualify. They also had to have batteries made by Chinese companies, giving Chinese national champions like Contemporary Amperex Technology and BYD an advantage over then-market leaders from Japan and South Korea.

To sell in China, foreign automakers had to abide by conditions intended to upgrade the local industry’s skills. State-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group developed the manufacturing know-how necessary to become a player in EVs thanks to joint ventures with Toyota and Honda, said Gregor Sebastian, an analyst at Germany’s Mercator Institute for China Studies.

Despite all that government support, sales of EVs remained weak until 2019, when China let Tesla open a wholly owned factory in Shanghai. “It took this catalyst…to boost interest and increase the level of competitiveness of the local Chinese makers,” said Tu Le, managing director of Sino Auto Insights, a research service specialising in the Chinese auto industry.

Back in 2011 Pony Ma, the founder of Tencent, explained what set Chinese capitalism apart from its American counterpart. “In America, when you bring an idea to market you usually have several months before competition pops up, allowing you to capture significant market share,” he said, according to Fast Company, a technology magazine. “In China, you can have hundreds of competitors within the first hours of going live. Ideas are not important in China—execution is.”

Thanks to that competition and focus on execution, the EV industry went from a niche industrial-policy project to a sprawling ecosystem of predominantly private companies. Much of this happened below the Western radar while China was cut off from the world because of Covid-19 restrictions.

When Western auto executives flew in for April’s Shanghai auto show, “they saw a sea of green plates, a sea of Chinese brands,” said Le, referring to the green license plates assigned to clean-energy vehicles in China. “They hear the sounds of the door closing, sit inside and look at the quality of the materials, the fabric or the plastic on the console, that’s the other holy s— moment—they’ve caught up to us.”

Manufacturers of gasoline cars are product-oriented, whereas EV manufacturers, like tech companies, are user-oriented, Le said. Chinese EVs feature at least two, often three, display screens, one suitable for watching movies from the back seat, multiple lidars (laser-based sensors) for driver assistance, and even a microphone for karaoke (quickly copied by Tesla). Meanwhile, Chinese suppliers such as CATL have gone from laggard to leader.

Chinese dominance of EVs isn’t preordained. The low barriers to entry exploited by Chinese brands also open the door to future non-Chinese competitors. Nor does China’s success in EVs necessarily translate to other sectors where industrial policy matters less and creativity, privacy and deeply woven technological capability—such as software, cloud computing and semiconductors—matter more.

Still, the threat to Western auto market share posed by Chinese EVs is one for which Western policy makers have no obvious answer. “You can shut off your own market and to a certain extent that will shield production for your domestic needs,” said Sebastian. “The question really is, what are you going to do for the global south, countries that are still very happily trading with China?”

Western companies themselves are likely to respond by deepening their presence in China—not to sell cars, but for proximity to the most sophisticated customers and suppliers. Jörg Wuttke, the past president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, calls China a “fitness centre.” Even as conditions there become steadily more difficult, Western multinationals “have to be there. It keeps you fit.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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