🎉 A new financial world order

I drink coke, therefore I am | Europe's got a lot to look forward to |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for April 20th in 2:56 minutes.

😎 Like a leather jacket-wearing badboy with an “IDGAF” attitude, NFTs are too cool for school right now. So join Eterna Capital’s Andrea Bonaceto tomorrow for Are NFTs A Digital Bargain Or Bubble?, and find out how you can become one of the “in” crowd. Get your ticket

Today's big stories

  1. Coca-Cola posted better-than-expected earnings, with demand returning to pre-pandemic levels
  2. There’s a lot more potential to the blockchain than just the crypto you’re investing in – Read Now
  3. Analysts are expecting European companies’ earnings to have grown substantially last quarter

Drink Positive

Drink Positive

What’s Going On Here?

Coca-Cola posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Monday, and it’s refreshing to see that demand for the soda – if nothing else – is back to normal.

What Does This Mean?

With the vaccination rollout in overdrive and restaurant reopenings underway, the world’s finally started emerging – parched and bleary-eyed – from their homes. And Coke’s been waiting for them with an ice-cold beverage in hand: the giant sold the same number of drinks last quarter as it did the same time last year, making it the first time since the coronavirus outbreak that sales didn’t drop. By March, in fact, those sales were back to 2019 levels. Investors had a pretty good feeling about Coke’s chances, but they’d still steeled themselves for some drop-off – and when it didn’t arrive, they sent the company’s share price higher.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming out: Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke?
Arch-rival Pepsi reported better-than-expected results of its own last week, but it’s had an easier time of it than Coke: the company’s big snacks business has benefited from homebound comfort eaters, and it sells more of its drinks in grocery stores than Coke does. Those roles, then, should reverse once going out replaces staying in – so much so that analysts think Coke’s sales will grow 1.5 times faster than Pepsi’s this year.

The bigger picture: A savings boom could unleash a spending boom. 
Household incomes have, generally speaking, been protected from the worst of the pandemic-driven slump by canny government schemes. Combine that with fewer spending options recently, and it’s no surprise that folks around the world have stockpiled an extra $5.4 trillion in savings since March last year. Even if they only spend a third of that now businesses are reopening, it could boost global growth by 2% both this year and next (tweet this).

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2. Analyst Take

Crypto’s Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

What’s Going On Here?

Decentralized finance – the growing ecosystem underpinning blockchain-based financial assets, like crypto – is having a moment.

That’s partly down to the frankly crazy price swings of high-profile cryptocurrencies, which have helped traders make (and lose) huge sums in a matter of days.

But Camila Russo – founder of decentralized finance news outlet The Defiant – thinks others are hooked on the promise of a global financial system that could be truly global.

Camila’s imagining a world where we’re not blocking investors in countries with capital controls from accessing other currencies and other countries’ stocks.

In other words, a completely untraditional, more equitable financial system.

So that’s today’s Insight: Camila on why there’s so much more to decentralized finance than crypto, and how to prime yourself for a completely different financial system.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Not, Want Not

What’s Going On Here?

Analysts are expecting to see a huge uptick in European companies’ earnings last quarter – especially now that frivolous nice-to-haves have become the new must-haves.

What Does This Mean?

US earnings season officially arrived last week, and now Europe’s companies are set to start sharing how they got on last quarter too. Not all of them, mind you: public European firms aren’t obliged to publish quarterly statements like their American counterparts are, and only 60% of them are coming clean.

Still, hopes are high for those of them that are: analysts – encouraged by improvements in economic growth – have upped their earnings expectations by almost 20% over the last three months. That’s their biggest adjustment in two decades, and it’s not the only bold call they’ve made: they’re also forecasting firms will post 55% higher profits on average than the same time last year.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Show yourself out, healthcare.
Much like Stateside, consumer discretionary companies – which sell things people want but don’t really need – are expected to see the biggest boost, with shoppers looking for something, anything to spend their cash on. Healthcare companies, meanwhile, are the only ones expected to see their earnings drop compared to the same time last year – probably because they were one of few sectors doing well back then.

The bigger picture: It’s a trap.
Between all-time high stock markets and the promise of a spectacular earnings rebound, investors are feeling remarkably optimistic. That’s not necessarily a good thing, though: it means earnings updates are far less likely to surprise and far more likely to disappoint. And now that this sky-high optimism’s been “priced in” to the wider stock market, enough disappointments could cause a lot of damage…

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The asset class returning 14% annually

Contemporary art prices rose almost 14% a year from 1995 to 2020, according to new research from Citi Private Bank. Compare that to just 9% returns for the S&P 500.

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🌏 Finimize Events

🚀 To the mooooon (literally)

The space sector is – sigh – close to achieving liftoff: Morgan Stanley even thinks the space economy will more than triple in size by 2040. So join the creator of the first pure-play space ETF Andrew Chanin for Space: The Final Investment Frontier, and set yourself up for returns that are totally out of this world. Who writes this stuff?

🔥 The Three Most Important Trading Signals: 6pm UK time, April 20th
👩‍🎨 Are NFTs A Digital Bargain Or Bubble?: 2pm UK time, April 21st
💡 Investing In Small Stocks: 6pm UK time, April 21st
🏡 The Pros and Cons Of REITs And Real Estate: 1pm UK time, April 22nd
📈 How To Inflation-Proof Your Portfolio: 6pm UK time, April 22nd
🚀 Space: The Final Investment Frontier: 6pm UK time, April 27th
💰 Crowdfunding Club: 1pm NYC time, April 28th
🛢 The Energy Sector’s New Direction: 4pm UK time, April 29th
🔪 How To Cut Through The Spin: 6pm UK time, April 29th
👋 Live Q&A With CEO Max Rofagha: 1.30pm UK time, April 30th
🤒 The Financial Health Check: 4pm UK time, May 6th
☄️ The Future Of Commodities: 6pm UK time, May 12th
💪 Building A Circular Economy: 5pm UK time, May 25th

📚 What we're reading

  • Gun violence, explained (Vox)
  • There’s nowhere to hide in New Zealand (IFLScience)
  • Pastry brings city to a standstill (BBC)
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