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The US has jobs to spare | Snap is back in style |

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Today's big stories

  1. Against all odds, the US added far more jobs than expected in January
  2. Only 10% of investors actually make money, and here's how to make sure you’re one of them – Read Now
  3. Snap and Pinterest reported better-than-expected results, so investors have found their new favorite social media platforms

Judgment Day

Judgment Day

What’s Going On Here?

Data out on Friday showed that the US added far more jobs than expected last month, suggesting this post-apocalyptic wasteland has become that much more inhabitable.

What Does This Mean?

Picture the scene: a super-contagious virus is running riot, businesses are sitting empty, and pale-faced workers are staying indoors. This isn’t Netflix’s latest big-budget blockbuster: this is January in the US. So the country was bound to add fewer jobs than expected, surely.

Except, it didn’t. In fact, it added 467,000 jobs last month – three times the 150,000 economists were expecting. Plenty of that was down to the leisure and hospitality sector, but transportation and retail posted strong numbers too (tweet this). Plus, the proportion of people either in work or looking for it rose to 62.2% – the highest since March 2020, and just 1.2% below pre-pandemic levels.

Why Should I Care?

For you personally: You’re rich!
If you have an interview coming up, don’t be afraid to really throw your weight about: all this hiring means companies are paying more for the best and brightest, which might be why the average hourly salary was 5.7% higher last month than the same time last year. Now, it’s true that this will probably come back on you, since it’s only a matter of time before companies raise their prices to maintain their profits. But you’re a baller now, so who cares?

The bigger picture: Jobs don’t necessarily mean growth.
These job numbers suggest vaccinations are having the required effect, but the party-poopers over at Goldman Sachs don’t think we’re out the woods yet: its economists reckon Omicron could prolong supply shortages. They also think the drop-off in government spending and tax support will leave less cash in consumers’ pockets and hit spending this year. That might be why the investment bank just cut its US economic growth forecast for 2022 from 3.8% to 3.2%.

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Analyst Take

How To Put Yourself In The Top 10% Of Investors

How To Put Yourself In The Top 10% Of Investors
Photo of Stéphane Renevier

Stéphane Renevier, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

Only a fraction of retail investors end up making money in the grand scheme of things.

Around 90% of investors lose money in the long run, which means – and I’ve personally crunched the numbers on this – that only 10% make money.

That stands to reason: overconfidence abounds in the markets, which leads investors to underestimate their risk, fall short on research, and take oversized positions.

What’s more, a lot of investors get caught up in how good their ideas are, without interrogating how to execute them or how their biases are influencing them.

So that’s today’s Insight: the simple ways you can put yourself in the top 10% of investors.

Read or listen to the Insight here

SPONSORED BY PENFOLD

You wouldn’t treat your other investments like this… 

Your pension will probably be the biggest investment you ever own.

So why do so many of us lose sight of how much we’re earning, not to mention accept it as a given when we lose track of pots from old jobs?

With Penfold, you can transfer all your old pensions to one pot and let its powerful digital pension technology grow your money for you.

You get to choose from four investment plans, all managed by BlackRock and designed to help you reach your savings goals. Penfold will even claim your 25% tax relief bonus for you.

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Cheers To That

Cheers To That

What’s Going On Here?

Snap and Pinterest both reported better-than-expected results late last week, which means the two of them can celebrate their success in style.

What Does This Mean?

After Meta’s poor showing last week, investors were worried Snap and Pinterest would suffer the same fate. But there was nothing to stress about: Snap’s augmented reality tools – which allow users to try on virtual clothes – attracted advertisers in their droves, helping the company bring in 42% more sales last quarter than the year before. The company even posted its first-ever quarterly profit.

Pinterest’s sales, meanwhile, were up 20%, with retailers spending more on advertising over the holidays. And it one-upped Snap’s inaugural quarterly profit too, boasting its first-ever profitable year. But that’s as far as they differ: both companies gave positive revenue outlooks for this quarter – albeit with caveats…

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Moving on from Meta.
Snap and Pinterest do have obstacles ahead: they said Apple’s privacy settings – which make it harder to target users with relevant ads – could keep putting advertisers off, while Snap thinks supply shortages could hit marketing budgets. But investors still seem to think they’re a less complicated alternative to Meta, and sent their stocks up 52% and 28% after the update. And the platforms seem to have given them confidence that Twitter will do well when it reports next week too, which might be why they also sent its stock up 10%.

The bigger picture: Older, not wiser.
Another caveat: Snap is still worried about TikTok, which is doing a bang-up job of stealing users’ coveted attention span. That could force the company – and the likes of Meta, which has likewise cited TikTok as a concern – to innovate, if not just copy the format. It’s worked for Alphabet, after all: YouTube’s “Shorts” – launched in 2020 – just passed 5 trillion views.

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💬 Quote of the day

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

– Dr Seuss (an American children's author and political cartoonist)
Tweet this

CRYPTO PULSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FABRIIK

What’s all the hot air about gas fees?

A gas fee – or network fee – is the cost of validating a transaction on a blockchain.

Put another way, it’s the premium that miners or holders of a cryptocurrency or NFT charge you for piggybacking off their computer processing power.

A lot of NFTs are created on Ethereum right now, which has the highest gas fees of all networks: the average rose to $44 a transaction in November.

But that’s starting to change, with disgruntled and out-of-pocket crypto fans switching to other blockchains, like Cardano and Bitcoin SV.

Bitcoin SV transaction costs are much lower than both bitcoin and Ethereum, and Fabriik thinks its ultra-fast speeds and unlimited scaling could make it an ideal blockchain for NFTs.

FabriikX is built on the BSV blockchain, so you can buy NFTs without giving up your gains to gas fees. It offers expertly curated, exclusive NFTs from top creators within arts, sports, and music, as well as content from the best creative minds in the digital collectibles community.

And if you buy from the FabriikX inaugural community collection, you’ll qualify for pre-sale access to FabriikX’s first exclusive celebrity NFT drop.

Check Out The Collection

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🌎 Finimize Live

📝 Time for a pop quiz

Pencils sharpened, phone off, answers written on the inside of its arm – looks like bitcoin’s ready to answer the hard questions. Come along to Will Bitcoin Pass The ESG Test?, and find out if it gets an A+ – or if it’ll have to resit the year.

📚 How To Value A Company’s Principles: 1pm UK time, February 7th
♻️ Will Bitcoin Pass The ESG Test: 5pm UK time, February 8th
How To Paint Your Crypto Green: 6pm UK time, February 9th
🤓 How To Make Tech Companies Do Better: 3pm UK time, February 11th
👊 How To Beat Inflation (Without Getting Risky): 5pm UK time, February 16th
🔥 Getting The Most Out Of Your Investing Strategy: 5pm UK time, February 17th
🏡 Your Guide To Opportunity Zones: 5pm UK time, February 25th

🎯 On Our Radar

  1. Message in a Wordle. A new kind of apology is here.
  2. What do you do in your pajamas? This guy broke North Korea.
  3. Brie-lliant tweets. A cheese disaster has sparked Twitter joy.
  4. The world’s furriest surfers. Red Bull athletes ain’t got nothing on this.
  5. The Winter Olympics have started. Here’s how to watch everything from skeleton to ski ballet.
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