Rookie Traders Are Calling It Quits, and Their Families Are Thrilled
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,587,785 (-9.64%)       Melbourne $968,477 (-1.28%)       Brisbane $894,769 (-1.51%)       Adelaide $810,780 (-6.94%)       Perth $764,276 (-4.92%)       Hobart $750,134 (+1.16%)       Darwin $645,801 (-3.38%)       Canberra $1,017,220 (+3.56%)       National $1,010,264 (-5.75%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $725,381 (-1.27%)       Melbourne $488,555 (-0.24%)       Brisbane $499,581 (-5.39%)       Adelaide $411,364 (-4.41%)       Perth $414,273 (-2.57%)       Hobart $498,192 (-6.11%)       Darwin $351,130 (-4.84%)       Canberra $480,942 (-4.46%)       National $506,040 (-3.24%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,047 (+6,578)       Melbourne 14,543 (+5,785)       Brisbane 8,228 (+1,243)       Adelaide 2,741 (+600)       Perth 6,788 (+1,322)       Hobart 1,219 (+48)       Darwin 269 (+17)       Canberra 1,013 (+155)       National 44,848 (+15,748)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,226 (+4,905)       Melbourne 7,846 (+2,295)       Brisbane 1,759 (+304)       Adelaide 499 (+101)       Perth 1,899 (+331)       Hobart 186 (-9)       Darwin 388 (+26)       Canberra 854 (+60)       National 21,657 (+8,013)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $780 ($0)       Melbourne $590 ($0)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $600 ($0)       Perth $650 ($0)       Hobart $550 (-$10)       Darwin $680 ($0)       Canberra $690 ($0)       National $652 (-$1)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $725 (-$5)       Melbourne $580 ($0)       Brisbane $620 (-$10)       Adelaide $450 (-$20)       Perth $600 (+$15)       Hobart $470 (-$10)       Darwin $570 ($0)       Canberra $570 ($0)       National $584 (-$3)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,614 (+7)       Melbourne 5,631 (-24)       Brisbane 4,055 (-125)       Adelaide 1,248 (+4)       Perth 1,830 (+7)       Hobart 380 (+12)       Darwin 153 (-19)       Canberra 664 (-12)       National 19,575 (-150)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,725 (-368)       Melbourne 5,038 (-276)       Brisbane 2,044 (-65)       Adelaide 394 (+11)       Perth 594 (-34)       Hobart 139 (+1)       Darwin 285 (-5)       Canberra 590 (-16)       National 16,809 (-752)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.55% (↑)      Melbourne 3.17% (↑)      Brisbane 3.60% (↑)      Adelaide 3.85% (↑)      Perth 4.42% (↑)        Hobart 3.81% (↓)     Darwin 5.48% (↑)        Canberra 3.53% (↓)     National 3.36% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.20% (↑)      Melbourne 6.17% (↑)      Brisbane 6.45% (↑)      Adelaide 5.69% (↑)      Perth 7.53% (↑)      Hobart 4.91% (↑)      Darwin 8.44% (↑)      Canberra 6.16% (↑)      National 6.01% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)        National 0.9% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 36.6 (↓)       Melbourne 40.8 (↓)       Brisbane 36.8 (↓)       Adelaide 31.2 (↓)       Perth 41.1 (↓)       Hobart 41.6 (↓)       Darwin 49.2 (↓)       Canberra 39.9 (↓)       National 39.7 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 36.2 (↓)       Melbourne 39.2 (↓)       Brisbane 33.8 (↓)       Adelaide 30.0 (↓)     Perth 43.3 (↑)      Hobart 43.8 (↑)        Darwin 33.7 (↓)       Canberra 45.3 (↓)       National 38.2 (↓)           
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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

By RACHEL LOUISE ENSIGN
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.”



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Penta spoke with heads of several non-profits and leading philanthropists to gauge whether charitable giving will continue its reported slump from 2023 or rebound alongside renewed interest in various political and economic issues.

“Contrary to what some might expect, philanthropy has had resilience in these times,” says Stacy Huston, executive director of Sixdegrees.org, a youth empowerment non-profit based in Virginia founded by actor Kevin Bacon in 2007.

Huston’s view echoes recent data from the biennial Bank of America Study of Philanthropy published last year, which found that while affluent giving is largely down, the value of the average philanthropic gift is up 19%, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The notion of what these gifts look like is changing, and is partially responsible for the growth. Philanthropy can be executed through more avenues than ever, whether through celebrity association, tech titans stewarding large endowments, or  athletes using their platforms to advocate for and create meaningful change.

“The industry and movement is creating new models, and you want to get it right,” says Scott Curran, CEO of Chicago-based Beyond Advisers. “No one should take their foot off the gas pedal.”

Curran spent a number of years with the Clinton Foundation in its infancy before leaving in 2016 to open his own consultancy, which focuses on philanthropy strategy at the highest levels. Curran and his team work with celebrities, athletes, multi-generational family foundations, and other affluent givers who need guidance in directing their philanthropic efforts. It’s a growing area of interest: Over half of affluent households with a net worth between US$5 million and US$20 million have, or are planning to establish, “some kind of giving vehicle” within the next three years, according to the Bank of America report.

Corporate philanthropy, rather than individual giving, is the cornerstone of Marcus Selig’s work as chief conservation officer at the National Forest Foundation, a Congressionally chartered non-profit based in Montana responsible for protecting millions of acres of public lands.

“Our outlook is business as usual,” he says, advising that giving may slow down, but not enough for the foundation to change course.

Factors such as political polarisation in the U.S. and the wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East are pushing nonprofits to consider their niche, and how they might work with other groups, both on the corporate and philanthropic levels, Selig says.

“It leads to a little more sharing on the ground in what needs to be done,” he adds.

Steve Kaufer , founder of Massachusetts-headquartered e-commerce giving platform Give Freely and founder of TripAdvisor, says that the economy has a much bigger role in election years, as he looks to build and grow something that can act as a “counterbalance.”

“There’s a trend towards democratisation, and acting collectively can lead to greater impact,” he says.

Kaufer’s new platform hopes to leverage the everyday philanthropist through online shopping dollars to benefit major charity partners like UNICEF and charity:water, who earn funds as shoppers choose an organisation to benefit through an online clickthrough process.

“Whether a good year or bad year, e-commerce will continue to keep growing,” he says. “Nobody doubts that.”

Whether a legacy foundation, corporation or individual, the political landscape this year is requiring some to exercise caution as they consider what their own charitable actions might be and how it could be viewed more broadly. For the personal philanthropist, every move is now scrutinised more closely. On the nonprofit side, entities are exercising more due diligence to understand if a specific donor aligns with their mission and that there aren’t any underlying issues that could cause greater pushback.

“You have to be able to walk the walk,” Huston says. “For example, we’ve had to turn down very large donor checks from corporations because there’s a Reddit stream calling them out on their human rights practices.”

She adds that even a routine charity activation could now be aligned with a political party, and that adds complexities to how a higher-profile organisation like Six Degrees can activate, especially as the film Footloose turns 40 in 2024 (which Bacon starred in).

“A lot of organisations and states want to align themselves with this feel good moment, and we should be able to stand side by side with everyone, but we have to be aware,” she says.

Another topic attracting donor interest today is  mental health, an area that historically has been underfunded and under-resourced by philanthropy, according to Two Bridge partner Harris Schwartzberg, who has been closely linked to the mental health space for more than a decade.

Today, the issue for mental health nonprofits is less about resources and more about societal divisiveness and polarisation around the topic. There’s an “overwhelming demand” for solutions, but the space is in a “perfect storm” for the broader political issues to make things worse, Schwartzberg says.

In Curran’s opinion, the storms brewing are troublesome, but they are also creating new opportunities for corporate and personal giving. The  current state of philanthropy is one of “dynamic, expansive, and blurred lines,” meaning a careful blending of targeted giving combined with an understanding of the broader geopolitical landscape could lead to a successful overall philanthropic strategy.

“There are a lot of headlines that distract, but shouldn’t,” he says. “2024 needs more serious philanthropists than ever.”

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