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Yup, prices are still rising | Disney's results are magic |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for February 11th in 3:07 minutes.

📈 You know inflation’s a major issue by now, so let’s discuss what you can do about it. Join LifeGoal Investments co-founder Taylor Sohns for The Limits Of Cash In Times Of Inflation on Wednesday, and find out how to invest when inflation’s on the up. Get your free ticket

Today's big stories

  1. US consumer prices rose by the most since 1982 last month
  2. Our analysts explores what might be next for investing in the retail investing landscape – Read Now
  3. Disney reported better-than-expected results as its parks fill up again

State Of Replay

State Of Replay

What’s Going On Here?

Okay, we could do with changing the record right about now: data out on Thursday showed that US consumer prices rose the most since 1982 last month.

What Does This Mean?

Even for a financial newsletter, we’re using the word “inflation” a lot these days. So here’s an idea: instead of saying “inflation”, let’s use the word “cookies”. Supply shortages and demand for just about everything continued to push up prices last month, with used cars and energy – which cost about 41% and 27% more than they did in January 2020 – accounting for a big chunk of the gains. Rent, clothing, and food were up too: 4%, 5%, and 7% respectively. That drove cookies to a higher-than-expected 7.5% – a 40-year record. See? We’re having more fun already.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: Too little, too late?
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) has already said it’s on track to raise interest rates next month, and data like this will give the central bank more confidence that it’s making the right decision. But some economists think it’ll up the ante and raise rates by 0.5% – rather than the more typical bump of 0.25% – for the first time since 2000. That’d be tantamount to an admission from the Fed that it’s been slow to act and needs to play catch-up.

Zooming out: PepsiCo gets cocky.
One of the reasons food costs are going up is because consumer staples are charging more for their products, and feel confident about doing so because customers need what they’re selling. And it’s clearly paying off, with PepsiCo – which posted quarterly earnings on Thursday – growing its revenue by a better-than-expected 12% last quarter versus the same time in 2020. And even though its outlook for this year wasn’t as strong as expected, investors – who might’ve wanted a piece of that so-called “pricing power” – still initially sent its stock up.

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Analyst Take

Will This Investing Renaissance Last?

Will This Investing Renaissance Last?
Photo of Andrew

Andrew, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

The world of investing has become almost unrecognizable over the past four years.

Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum for retail traders had about 275,000 subscribers back then. It’s now up to more than 11 million.

Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation fund managed just $1.2 billion. It peaked at more than $28 billion last year, propelling Wood from obscurity to household name.

And one bitcoin cost about $7,000, having lost two-thirds of its value over the previous six months. It’s now worth over $44,000.

The big question now is what this new investing landscape will look like going forward.

So that’s my last ever Insight: what four years at the coalface of investor education has shown me, and where we might be headed next.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Magic Touch

Magic Touch

What’s Going On Here?

Disney reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings earlier this week, as its Genie+ makes good on all of the entertainment giant’s wishes.

What Does This Mean?

Mickey fans couldn’t wait to flock back to Disneyland last quarter. Literally: visitors were prepared to stump up for the company’s new “Genie+” service just so they could skip the lines. That helped Disney’s resorts segment double its revenue from the same time in 2020, topping pre-pandemic levels.

The magic didn’t end at Disneyland’s gates either: Disney+ added nearly 12 million subscribers last quarter – far more than the 8 million analysts were expecting, and bringing the total to 130 million (tweet this). And those subscribers were more than happy to fork out for the streaming service, with the average North American viewer paying 15% more last quarter than the same time the year before. That pushed Disney’s revenue up by a better-than-expected 34%, and investors initially sent its shares up 8%.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Disney’s not resting on its laurels.
Disney’s investors are probably relieved as much as anything, having come into this update worried it’d forecast the same slowing subscriber growth that Netflix did last month. Instead, it revealed it’s going to spend big to keep that from happening: the company is expecting to put as much as $1 billion more into new shows and movies this quarter – part of a plan to reach as many as 260 million subscribers by 2024.

The bigger picture: There’s strength in numbers.
Some analysts argue that Disney needs to think outside the box to sustain last quarter’s momentum, not just throw money at production. After all, Netflix put out two massive crowd-pleasers last quarter – Squid Game and Red Notice – and it’s still expecting subscriber growth to slow down this quarter. Those analysts, then, are suggesting rival streaming sites might eventually need to think about teaming up to sell their products together, rather than competing on price.

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💬 Quote of the day

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

– Erica Jong (an American novelist, satirist, and poet)
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🎯 On Our Radar

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🌎 Finimize Live

😍 What’s coming up…

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
👀 How To Pick A Stock Market Winner: 6pm UK time, February 22nd
🎉 Getting Started With NFTs: 5pm UK time, February 23rd
🌿 Getting To Grips With ESG Investing: 6pm UK time, February 24th
🏡 Your Guide To Opportunity Zones: 5pm UK time, February 25th
🎨 How NFTs Are Resculpting The Art Industry: 5pm UK time, March 1st
📈 How Regulation Could Impact Your Crypto: 6pm UK time, March 3rd
🌟 How To Pick A Metaverse Winner: 7pm UK time, March 4th
🚀 Everything You Need To Know About The Metaverse: 6pm UK time, March 8th
🥊 The Art Of Beating The Market: 6pm UK time, March 14th

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