🐱 Why NFTs are all the rage

That's a spicy meatball | US and UK are BFFs |

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Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for March 5th in 2:59 minutes.

☕️ Finimized over a coffee milkshake at Café Sol in Maputo, Mozambique (31°C/87°F 🌦)

Today's big stories

  1. Italy’s sale of green bonds pulled in record orders from investors
  2. One niche corner of the crypto market is suddenly all the rage again – Read Now
  3. The US announced it’ll be suspending tariffs on some UK products

Rome-Cooked Meal

Rome-Cooked Meal

What’s Going On Here?

Italy added green bonds to its menu earlier this week, and returns-hungry investors put in a record number of orders for them.

What Does This Mean?

Sustainable investing is still very much on the up, and European countries are cashing in on the boom to bankroll their eco-friendly post-pandemic recoveries. Italy’s a case in point: it just sold bonds earmarked for environmental projects for the first time ever. The country sold $10 billion worth to investors, but it received ten times that amount in orders (tweet this). That’s not just twice the demand Germany saw in its own sale last year: it’s the most demand there’s ever been for a government’s green bonds, period.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: No one knows for sure if sustainability pays.
The huge demand even meant Italy could get away with paying less income on the bonds, which just goes to show that investors are willing to pay a premium – or “greenium” – for that sustainability label. And as more and more evidence shows sustainable funds generate better returns than their less socially responsible peers, skeptics might argue that this situation is a perfect example why: funds’ investments aren’t necessarily providing better returns because they’re green, but because they’re branded green.

The bigger picture: It’s all part of a “needs must” bond strategy.
Of course, a sustainable bond’s still a bond, and bonds have had their worst start to a year since 2013. Warren Buffett even warned his shareholders to steer clear of them in his annual letter. But some investors – think pension funds and insurance companies – have no choice but to dedicate a certain portion of their portfolio to bonds so as to guarantee their customers regular payouts. And since Italy’s are some of the highest-yielding in Europe (albeit some of the riskiest), they might be the best of a bad bunch.

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2. Analyst Take

Why NFTs Are Suddenly All The Rage Again

What’s Going On Here?

Non-fungible tokens” – or NFTs to their friends – have been all over the news recently.

That’s on the back of some headline-grabbing NFT auctions, including one where a flying cat with the body of a Pop-Tart – Nyan Cat to its friends – sold for nearly $600,000.

NFTs are unique digital assets hosted on a blockchain. If bitcoin is the digital equivalent of gold, NFTs are paintings or polished diamonds – no two are quite alike.

And if they sound familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before: NFTs briefly got a lot of buzz during the 2017 crypto boom.

But they’re back in a serious way – and in an increasingly computerized world, paying a lot for digital artworks isn’t necessarily any more irrational than paying for physical ones.

So that’s our Insight for today: whether you should rush to invest in NFTs, and how exactly they work.

Read or listen to the Insight here


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Smart Cookie

Smart Cookie

What’s Going On Here?

The US announced on Thursday that it’ll pause some tariffs on UK products, including Scotch whisky, clotted cream, and “biscuits” – whatever they are.

What Does This Mean?

Europe and the US have been arguing for the best part of 17 years over the billions in illegal subsidies they each give to their own plane makers, Boeing and Airbus respectively. And since boys will be boys, they’ve been slapping tariffs on each other's products for the last couple of years to make their point.

Fast forward to January, and the UK lifted some of those tariffs indefinitely in hopes that this post-Brexit flirting might lead to better trade relations. And it seems to be paying off: the US has said it’ll temporarily lift some of its own tariffs, meaning your dad’s favorite whisky can now be imported from the UK without an additional 25% duty.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: The UK’s biggest companies are set to benefit.
A trade bump should boost the bottom lines of those British companies that are particularly reliant on exports. So it’ll come as good news for the members of the FTSE 100, which – as part of an index of the country’s most valuable public companies – make on average three-quarters of their sales outside the UK.

The bigger picture: Even the smaller companies can’t keep a stiff upper lip.
While the members of the FTSE 100 stand to benefit from an uptick in global trade, those in the FTSE 250 – an index tracking the next 250 biggest companies – are more interested in Britain’s own economy. And with the UK ahead of the curve in the vaccine rollout, a robust recovery is looking more and more likely – leaving the Brits feeling uncharacteristically optimistic about the future.

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💬 Quote of the day

“Experience suggests it doesn’t matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.”

– Lois McMaster Bujold (an American speculative fiction writer)
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📚 What we're reading

  • Secure your future with a crypto index fund (Invictus)*
  • The real price of student loans (Vox)
  • Behind high-profile dognapping (Slate)
  • This is where planes spend lockdown (Stuff)

*This sponsored content helps us keep the newsletter free.

🌍 Finimize Events

💪 The tough get going

You wouldn’t see Serena or Tiger letting their heads go down when the going gets tough. And it’s much the same in finance: an Investing Mindset separates the GOATs from the Average Joes, if only you know how to develop one. And as luck would have it, you can find out later today.

💆‍♀️ The Investor Mindset: 1pm New York Time, March 5th
🛴 Investing In Scooter And Bike-Sharing: 1pm UK Time, March 8th
♻️ The Key To Understanding ESG: 1pm UK Time, March 9th
👣 Invest Your Money, Save The Planet: 6pm UK Time, March 9th
📲 What’s Next For Tech: 6pm UK Time, March 10th
🏦 The Next Decade in Banking: 6pm UK Time, March 11th
💰 The Evolution Of Crypto: 6pm Dubai Time, March 12th
🕶 Investing in Virtual Reality & 5G: 6pm New York Time, March 16th
👌 The Three Most Important Metrics In Investing: 6pm UK Time, March 18th
💉 Investing In Healthcare: 6pm UK Time, March 22nd
🤑 A Guide To Crypto In 2021: 6pm UK Time, March 25th
🎙 Finimize Monthly Town Hall: 1.30pm UK Time, March 26th

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