To balance their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic, states including New Jersey and New York have raised taxes on the wealthy. Conservatives warn that it will cause many of those who left at the onset of the pandemic make those moves permanent since they’re no longer bound to the physical locations of their offices or their children’s schools. But available data from 2020 show that the so-called exodus wasn’t as pronounced as initially projected, and the urban exit that did happen, was to suburbs rather than low tax states.
The listing of Coinbase, the largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., introduces a new way to invest in cryptocurrencies. WSJ explains how Coinbase is trying to distance itself from the risks of bitcoin to succeed on Wall Street. Photo illustration: George Downs
Robo-advisors have had a meteoric rise in popularity since their debut in 2008 thanks to the support from millennials and Gen Z. Today, Robo-advisors manage $460 billion, with some analysts predicting it will become a $1.2 trillion industry by 2024. Watch the video to find out why some investors believe it will never replace traditional human financial.
Since their debut in 2008, robo-advisors have had a meteoric rise in popularity. In 2020, they managed $460 billion, a 30% increase compared with 2019. Some analysts predict robo-advising will become a $1.2 trillion industry by 2024. “Investors historically have had two options when it comes to managing their investments. They could do it themselves through something like an online broker or you can work with a financial advisor,” explained Brian Concannon, head of Digital Advisor at Vanguard.
“Now, with the advent of robo-advisors, there’s a third option, and that’s to merge the benefits of professional money management and advice with the convenience of an all-digital application.” Robo-advisors’ sudden rise to prominence was made possible due to massive interest and support from millennials and Gen Z. According to a recent survey by Vanguard, millennials were twice as likely as young baby boomers to consider using a robo-advisor for investments.
“I believe that there are things that technology or algorithms can do better than humans can,” said Taylor Crane, a robo-advisor customer. “And I have no problem trusting a software to do that.” Skeptics do not expect robo-advisors to replace human advisors entirely in the near future. “Clearly, there’s always going to be a human element that’s missing,” said Jason Snipe, chief investment officer at Odyssey Capital Advisors. “My problem always will be the emotional response. Take a situation like last year when we’re going through Covid-19 and markets are moving a lot, dramatically. …
You can’t talk to the technology, right?” To combat this, many robo-advisor companies including Betterment and Vanguard began providing the option of hybrid services that combine both human and digital advice. “[Some] investors we see crave validation from a financial advisor,” said Concannon. “So for those investors, being able to pick up the phone and have a video conference with a financial advisor, have a discussion about their needs and wants goes an incredibly long way to providing them the peace of mind that they so desperately need.”
Time is on the side of the robo-advisory industry as the technology continues to improve and the younger generations accrue more wealth. “I think some combination of the two probably is where we are headed for in the future,” said Snipe. “I think the robo space has room to grow. I think it will obviously modify and change and become even more sophisticated.”
Vaccine passports are likely to become a feature of everyday life as lockdowns are lifted across the world. But as “green passes” kick-start economies, what are the potential drawbacks? Read more of our coverage on coronavirus : https://econ.st/397Mkxq
Since 1980, pensions plans have been phased out in favor of 401(k) plans. They now represent nearly one-fifth of the U.S. retirement market. So how did 401(k) plans become such a popular form of retirement savings and how should they be used? Watch the video to find out.
The IRS sent roughly 90 million stimulus checks to Americans in March. WSJ’s chief economics commentator Greg Ip explains why stimulus checks alone are unlikely to spur inflation. Photo Illustration: Carlos Waters
A new generation of investors wants to force businesses to become environmentally-friendly. Even climate conservationists know that money talks, but can green investments really save the world? Green investment rewards companies that use sustainable production practices and protect the environment. At the same time, companies that pollute or contribute to global warming are deprived of funds.
The strategy converts the once secondary issue of the environment into hard, cold cash. Antonis Schwarz is 30 years old — and an investor, philanthropist, and activist. His slogan is “cash against climate change.” Schwarz, like many other wealthy millennials, sees climate change as the key variable when it comes to investing money. These people intentionally put their cash into companies and projects that protect the environment. Schwarz believes that those who are well-off have a special responsibility to follow this strategy. He says, “When you are able to change something and you don’t, you’re complicit. We all have to become fully involved, so we can prevent a climate disaster.”
This philosophy can be summed up with the following question: “What’s the point of having loads of money if it becomes worthless because you’re living on a planet that’s becoming increasingly chaotic?” Institutional investors have more money at their disposal than wealthy private individuals do. Their approach is also changing — and not out of pure idealism. Extreme weather events caused by climate change, for example, are bad for business. They can force corporations to write off billions in damages.
This documentary goes behind the scenes to take a closer look at the financial markets. How well does “impact investing” work? Can investors really move large, powerful corporations to change their strategies? Politicians have so far failed to do precisely that.
Climate change is about to upend the corporate world through weather-related disasters, regulation and lawsuits. Can businesses react and adapt in time? Read more here: https://econ.st/3slTXIE
China is testing a digital yuan, aiming to accelerate the replacement of cash and increase state control in a society where digital payments via Wechat Pay and Alipay are already the norm. Here’s what Beijing’s new system looks like—and how it would work. Photo credit: Florence Lo/Reuters
Since 2010, Social Security’s cash flow has been negative, meaning that the agency does not collect enough money through taxes to cover what it is paying out. Even though there was still this vast trust fund behind Social Security, they started tapping that fund’s interest.
Starting in 2021, they will have to dip into the trust fund itself to cover those benefit payments, and even that pool of cash has an expiration date. Trustees of the fund expect that by 2035 it will not be enough to cover full benefit payments. Due to COVID-19, that date may come years sooner than expected, which has some retirees seriously worried about their future.