💥 Two ways to play the M&A boom

Biden vs tech | UK slows its roll |

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Today's big stories

  1. The US president signed an executive order cracking down on Big Tech
  2. With company merger activity set for a record-breaking year, here are two ways to profit – Read Now
  3. The UK economy grew a lower-than-expected 0.8% in May, much less than the month before

Depth Charges

Depth Charges

What’s Going On Here?

The US president launched a fresh offensive on Friday against anticompetitive company practices in several sectors, with Big Tech a particular target.

What Does This Mean?

The American administration is worried that tech giants currently have too much power to exploit users’ personal data and squeeze out smaller competitors. Friday’s executive order proposes to tackle this problem in two ways. First, it calls for regulatory reforms improving scrutiny of merger deals in the tech sector and preventing dominant companies from taking would-be rivals out of the market. Second, it suggests new rules increasing oversight of firms’ data-collection and user-surveillance practices.

But the president’s new plans cover more than just the tech sector. Also in his crosshairs is the pharmaceutical industry – with government health officials asked to help drive down the prices of prescription drugs by importing cheaper alternatives from Canada, among other things.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: We’re all tied to tech.
If successfully implemented, this latest crackdown could hit tech firms’ growth – and with valuations sky-high, their share prices are vulnerable. The five biggest tech companies – Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook – are currently worth an average 31x next year’s forecast earnings, almost 50% more than the US S&P 500 overall (tweet this). But even those passively invested in the index should be worried: these five firms represent almost a quarter of its total market value.

Zooming out: Tech today, crypto tomorrow?
If regulators are being asked to reduce consumer harm, then the crypto industry looks ripe for intervention. That could be bad news for Circle, the crypto-focused payments firm that last week announced plans to “go public” later this year via a $4.5 billion merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Circle’s popular USDC stablecoin is pegged to the value of the US dollar – but with 90% of the world’s central banks exploring digital versions of their respective currencies, such unofficial competitors’ days may be numbered.

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2. Analyst Take

How You Could Profit From The M&A Boom

What’s Going On Here?

Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are currently on track for a new annual record.

There are four major factors at play: one of them is the rise of SPACs, which by one estimate could drive $1 trillion worth of deals in the next two years.

And there are two main ways to play this opportunity, focusing on companies with certain features and those in particular industries.

So that’s today’s Insight: what’s driving the M&A boom, which companies are most likely to benefit – and the simple change you can make to your investment process to profit from these deals.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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The Lion Sleeps Tonight

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

What’s Going On Here?

Three lines on a chart late last week showed British economic growth slowed to a mere 0.8% in May, disappointing pundits.

What Does This Mean?

Despite strong showings from its soccer teams, the UK’s post-coronavirus recovery lost a little steam in May. Fresh data out on Friday showed the country’s economy grew just 0.8% compared to the month before – barely half what investors were expecting, and a marked slowdown from April’s 2% rate. While relaxed restrictions saw restaurants, hotels, and movie theaters reopening their doors, increases there were outweighed by contractions in the construction and manufacturing sectors – thanks in part to the global microchip shortage dragging down British carmakers.

But it ain’t all bad, guv. The UK economy is now just 3% smaller than it was before the pandemic – and the country’s central bank reckons the difference will have been made up by the end of the year, thanks to plucky Brits spending the savings they accumulated during last year’s lockdowns.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: They think it’s all over...
With Britain’s economy getting back to winning ways, the Bank of England may soon begin withdrawing some of its antiviral support measures. That’s if nothing derails the recovery – a not insignificant risk, given the fast-spreading Delta variant’s potential to wreak further havoc. Ensuring economic growth continues may yet necessitate further work: just look at China, which decided on Friday to reduce local banks’ cash reserve requirements in order to boost lending and spending.

Zooming out: Out of puff.
At least one British manufacturer got a boost on Friday: medical device maker Vectura accepted a $1.2 billion takeover offer from American-Swiss tobacco firm Philip Morris International. Ironically, Vectura mainly produces the sort of inhalers used by asthma sufferers – a condition that smoking helps trigger. Still, the deal should help Philip Morris towards its goal of $1 billion in annual non-nicotine sales by 2025…

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💬 Quote of the day

“Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.”

– Oscar Levant (an American concert pianist, composer, author, and actor)
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🎯 On Our Radar

  1. Want to get better at anything? Sleep more.
  2. A trip to space at 82. A Mercury 13 legend gets his ticket to ride.
  3. The radical act of a haircut. A shaved head is more than a shaved head.
  4. TikTok made me buy it. The app is making products blow up and flame out.
  5. Life going too fast? How to make time slow down.

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🌎 FINIMIZE LIVE EVENTS

🔨 Craft your crypto strategy

The perfect crypto strategy is the best way to benefit from bitcoin, earn big on ether, and double down on doge. So we invited Coinrule’s Ruben Cisternino to How To Make Crypto Work For You on July 14th to get you up to speed on all the tricks of the crypto trade in no time.

💰 How To Make Crypto Work For You: 6pm UK time, July 14th
🤔 What Does Inflation Mean For Your Portfolio: 2pm UK time, July 15th
🍷 How To Invest In Wine: 6pm UK time, July 19th
🌍 Why It Might Be A Good Time To Buy Emerging Market Stocks: 5pm UK time, July 20th
💥 How To Profit From The Commodities Boom: 1pm UK time, July 21st
👟 How To Invest In Sneakers And Streetwear: 1pm UK time, July 22nd
🌿 How To Invest In The Future Of Cannabis: 6pm UK time, July 23rd
📈 How To Protect Yourself From Rising Prices: 6pm UK time, July 26th
👑 How To Invest Like The Ultra-Wealthy: 5pm UK time, July 28th
🌎 How To Profit From Emerging Markets: 6pm UK time, July 28th
🏙 Investing In A Sustainable Metropolis: 11am UK time, July 29th
💰 How To Make Money From Money: 3pm UK time, August 4th
🤔 Are You An Investor Or A Trader?: 12pm UK time, August 25th

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