European Central Bank Raises Interest Rates For The First Time In 11 Years As Global Inflation Surges

The European Central Bank on Thursday authorized its first interest rate hike in 11 years in a bid to help cool rising inflation, becoming the latest central bank to more aggressively unwind policy that fueled economic growth during the pandemic even as global recession fears continue to rise.

In a statement on Thursday, the ECB said it would raise rates by 50 basis points as a “key step to make sure inflation returns to its 2% target over the medium term”—coming in at the higher end of expectations calling for an increase of at least 25 basis points.

Officials also signaled additional hikes to come, saying “further normalization” of interest rates will be appropriate, though they suggested the larger hike on Thursday will allow them to move more slowly with future increases, adding: “The frontloading today . . . allows the Governing Council to make a transition to a meeting-by-meeting approach to interest rate decisions.”

The decision comes after data showing inflation in the United Kingdom skyrocketed 9.4% in June, hitting a new 40-year high and surpassing similarly high inflation of 9.1% in the United States.

In a speech late last month, ECB President Christine Lagarde warned there are “growing signs”—including the ongoing war in Ukraine—that suggest “supply shocks hitting the economy could linger for longer” and further warned unforeseen shocks could de-anchor inflation expectations.

Lagarde doubled down on the message Thursday, telling reporters at a press conference that inflation could remain “undesirably high for some time” while also tempering concerns by saying she still doesn’t believe a recession in Europe is the most likely scenario over the next year.

Though it was initially flat for the day, the United Kingdom benchmark FTSE 100 fell 0.9% to 7,200 points after the announcement. Global stocks didn’t fare much better: S&P 500 futures erased premarket gains to trade roughly flat by 9:15 EDT.

Rising food and energy prices—fueled in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—have elevated inflation around the world, pushing many central banks to raise interest rates, which help lower prices by making borrowing more expensive and thereby curbing demand. Increasingly, however, experts worry aggressive central bank policy to curb ongoing price spikes will usher in low economic growth this year and potentially risk a global recession.

“Excessive rate hikes could push the consumer-led economy into not only a short-term, but also a longer-term recession,” says Nigel Green, the CEO of $12 billion advisory deVere Group, warning of the risk that central banks “hit the brakes too hard” in the coming months.

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I’m a senior reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business

Source: European Central Bank Raises Interest Rates For The First Time In 11 Years As Global Inflation Surges

Critics:

The Ukraine war and Covid supply chain issues have driven up everyday costs across the world, putting pressure on households. The eurozone is vulnerable because it relies heavily on Russia for its oil and gas. This week it urged member states to begin rationing supplies amid fears Moscow will halt gas deliveries this year, causing further price spikes.

Explaining its decision to raise rates, ECB president Christine Lagarde said: “Economic activity [in the eurozone] is slowing. Russia’s unjustified aggression towards Ukraine is an ongoing drag on growth. “We expect inflation to remain undesirably high for some time owing to continued pressure from energy and food prices and pipeline pressures in the pricing chain,” she added.

The bank says further rate hikes “will be appropriate” and that it will take a “meeting-by-meeting” approach to raising rates. The idea is that by making it more expensive to borrow money, people will spend less, bringing down demand and therefore prices. However, there are also concerns that higher rates could push the bloc into recession – which is defined as two successive quarters of economic decline.

These fears helped push the euro to a 20-year low against the dollar in recent weeks. The ECB began cutting interest rates after the 2008 financial crisis to stimulate growth, and took them as low as -0.5% during the pandemic. The idea was to encourage banks to lend rather than deposit money with the ECB.

Earlier this year the bank signalled it planned to increase rates again, although economists had only expected an increase of 0.25 percentage points in July. Some economists have criticised the ECB for moving too slowly, pointing out that the UK and US began raising rates months ago. Carsten Brzeski, chief eurozone economist at ING bank, said: “In hindsight, the very gradual and cautious normalisation process the ECB started at the end of last year has simply been too slow and too late.”

However, there are concerns about how higher borrowing costs will affect highly indebted European nations, including Italy and Greece.

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Why a Bear Market Is an Investor’s Best Friend

In the USA, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are in bear market territory. A bear market is often taken to mean a 20% fall. That’s either from a recent peak, or over a set period of time.But generally, investors tend to think of any sustained upwards run as a bull market. And any significant downwards spell is a bear market. Typically, the average bull market has lasted around five years. The average bear, meanwhile, continues for a little more than a year.

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Might long-term investors be better of if that was the other way round, with more falls than rises? Wouldn’t we have more opportunities to buy cheap shares? To answer that, I can’t think of anything better than looking at how the billionaire boss of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, deals with stock market falls.

In the few weeks after the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the S&P 500 fell 30%. The recovery was surprisingly fast, with the index regaining its ground by August. The FTSE 100 took quite a bit longer, mind. What happened the next year, in 2021? The S&P 500 gained 28.7%, while Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway slightly bettered it with 29.6%. Buying shares while they were depressed by the pandemic was clearly a good plan.

Major bear market
But that’s nothing compared to the carnage resulting from the the financial crash, which kicked off in 2007. Between a high point in October that year, and the beginning of March 2009, the S&P 500 crashed by a whopping 56%.

Berkshire Hathaway suffered too, albeit with a softer fall of 32%. Now what do we see if we wind forward a decade? From the depths of the banking crash in 2009, the S&P 500 had gained 280% by the same point in 2019. Buffett’s shareholders did a bit better on 290%, and they’d started from a significantly lower initial fall.

Just like the Covid market slump, the financial crash provided investors with a great time to buy. And those who were panicking and selling while shares were down? Well, we can see what they missed.

Fear and greed

Buffett is famed for buying heavily when he sees great companies unfairly marked down. In his 1986 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, he explained how he avoids trying to time the market bottoms. Instead, he said: “Our goal is more modest: we simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.

That approach to bear markets has served Buffett, and his shareholders, well.From Buffett taking control of Berkshire Hathaway in 1965 up to the end of 2021, the S&P 500 managed a total return (including dividends) of more than 30,000%. Berkshire, meanwhile, soared by a total of 3.6 million percent!

We’re not all going to be as good as Buffett. But even investors who make regular purchases in an index tracker will benefit from bear markets over the long term. The simple truth is that when markets are down, we can buy more shares for the same money.

The hotshot analysts at The Motley Fool UK’s flagship share-tipping service Share Advisor have just unveiled what they think could be the six best buys for investors right now. And while timing isn’t everything, the average return of their previous stock picks shows that it could pay to get in early on their best ideas – particularly in this current climate! What’s more, all six ‘Best Buys Now’ are available to access right now, in just a few clicks.

by Alan Oscroft

Source: Why a bear market is an investor’s best friend – The Motley Fool UK

Critics by: principal.com

If you have reviewed these basics and you still have money at the end of the month, here’s a quick look at further investment options to consider.

1. Increase your deferral to your 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan.

The maximum amount you can contribute each year through elective salary deferrals is $19,500.1 And if you’re 50 or older, you can also make a “catch up” contribution of up to $6,500.2

“Bumping up your deferral, even by 1 or 2%, may not seem like much. But with the power of compounding earnings, it can make a big difference over 20 or 30 years,” says Heather Winston, CFP®, assistant director of financial advice and planning for Principal®. Also, weigh the difference between saving in a tax-deferred account vs. a taxable one.

Winston says if your account has taken a dip, increasing your contributions may help you reach your retirement goal sooner. If the markets have dropped, the money you defer to your retirement plan may go further by allowing you to buy more shares.

To get started: If you have a retirement account from your employer with services by Principal, you can log in to increase your contribution. First time logging in? Here’s how you create an account.

2. Add to your traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Good news: You have until July 15, 2020, to make a 2019 contribution to an IRA, thanks to recent legislation. (And you can always make a 2020 contribution now, too.)

The maximum annual contribution to a traditional IRA is $6,000. If you’re 50 or older, the IRA catch-up contribution limit is $1,000. (Read the basics of IRAs.)

Depending how much money you make and if you’re not covered by a retirement plan at work, you may be able to deduct all or a portion of your traditional IRA contributions from your taxes (details are on the IRS website). The more you save today, the more you’ll likely have years down the road.

With a Roth IRA, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year using after-tax money. If you’re 50 or older, you can add an extra $1,000 per year. To contribute the full amount to a Roth IRA, you need to make less than:

  • $124,000 if you’re single or file as head of household.
  • $196,000 if you’re married filing jointly.

You can withdraw your annual Roth IRA contributions without taxes or penalties at any time. If you have earnings, you can withdraw them tax-free in retirement.3

To get started: Review our IRA solutions to see what may be best for you.

Tip: Monitor and rebalance. If you’re investing in the market through a retirement plan, IRA, stocks, or mutual funds, consider putting this on your to-do list annually: Rebalance your portfolio (PDF) and make sure you have a diverse mix of investment options within various asset classes. A financial professional can help you learn how to do that.

3. Open a brokerage account, if you don’t already have one.

If you’ve never invested in stocks and mutual funds outside of your workplace retirement plan or IRAs, you could start by opening a brokerage account. (Not sure if you’re ready? Read “Four signs you’re ready to start investing.”)

You’ll need to know your risk tolerance. A risk profile (PDF) places you on a scale somewhere between conservative (more averse to risk) and aggressive (more tolerant of risk). Your profile can help you select investments and build a portfolio at a level of risk you’re comfortable with, while continuing to work toward your goals.

This year is a good test of investors’ tolerance for risk. If you find yourself worrying about whether your portfolio is gaining or losing day-to-day, or certainly if you’re losing sleep, you may need to adjust your risk profile. When your risk tolerance matches your investment portfolio, volatile times can be less concerning for you.

To get started: Connect with a financial professional to discuss your options.

Asset classes you might consider

If you invest, consider diversifying—spreading your money across multiple types of investments—to help reduce the risk of losing money.

  • Large companies and technology stocks will likely continue to perform well.
  • Look at small companies and sectors like energy, materials, consumer discretionary (non-essential goods and services), and financials to improve.
  • Stocks in emerging countries may perform better than those in developed countries outside the United States.
  • For bonds, go for higher yields on high quality corporate and municipal bonds at short-intermediate maturities.
4. Set aside money in a 529 savings plan for a child or grandchild.

A 529 savings plan allows you to invest your money to be used for qualified education expenses such as college, apprenticeship programs, and K-12. This includes tuition, room and board, mandatory fees, and textbooks. You designate how and where it’s spent.

Before opening an account, get a full understanding of the plan, including its tax benefits, fees, expenses, and investment options. You can open a 529 plan offered by any state, so shop around for the one that best suits your needs.

To get started: If you’re interested in learning about our 529 plan, visit scholarsedge529.com.

5. Contribute more to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

If you’re enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), you can add a total of $3,550 a year for single coverage or a max of $7,100 for family coverage in 2020. If you’re over age 55 but under 65, you can also make “catch-up” contributions to your HSA, to the tune of $1,000 more per year.

An HSA offers a triple advantage on federal income taxes: Money put in isn’t taxed, it grows tax-free, and you’re not taxed when you take money out for medical expenses. Plus you decide how the funds are invested, and how you’ll use the money for health care expenses.

To get started: Talk to your employer’s human resources department about how to contribute more to an HSA associated with your HDHP.

Berkshire and Buffett Have 5 Words For Sellers Who Want Their Money: ‘Take it or leave it’

As fans flock this weekend to Omaha, Neb. for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting hosted by Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

The answer: unique mystique.  Buffett and Berkshire BRK.A, -2.94% BRK.B, -2.55% are distinct in the corporate world for a combination of unusual practices and styles that no rival matches.

Nor should any rival expect to match the Berkshire/Buffett model, which is a product of inimitable personality and circumstance. But being a “cafeteria Buffett” is possible: picking the best practices that suit.  Many companies have emulated parts of the Berkshire model well and there are plenty of executives as talented as Buffett when it comes to investment savvy or managerial insight.

Two of my favorite Berkshire/Buffett oddities concern how they find acquisitions and how they approach price.

To generate acquisition opportunities, they rely on their professional network. They put the word out that they are always open to acquisition opportunities within specific parameters and then look for business relationships to tee them up.

On price, they almost never haggle over but rather put their first-and-best offer up front. They know what things are worth and know what they are willing to pay.  They are also perfectly happy to walk away from any opportunity and part friends.

A favorite story concerned a company called Tech Data, which reached out to Berkshire during its go-shop period for another merger. Berkshire made a proposal, Tech Data countered for more, Berkshire said no and walked, and the company was ultimately acquired by its initial pursuer.

For my book, Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values, I collated the sources and pricing of Berkshire Hathaway acquisitions and present updated versions through the most recent acquisition, of Alleghany, in the charts below. Think about this the next time you read about another Berkshire buy.

Seller overture (in a pure sense; if it was the owner’s idea but prompted by other links, the deal is listed under those links):

Fechheimer Bros.; Helzberg’s Diamond Shops (walking down the street in New York City); Ben Bridge (Ed Bridge called, after talking with Barnett Helzberg); MiTek (subsidiary chief executive officer sent package in mail with parent company’s permission);

Larson-Juhl (call from owner); Forest River; Business Wire (actually from CEO; suggesting owner would approve); ISCAR; Richline owner heard Buffett speak at a Ben Bridge lunch); Star Furniture (through intermediary: endorsed by Blumkins and Child; contacted Denham), Willey (through intermediary: Child asked Irv Blumkin).

Business relationship

Gen Re (Ronald Ferguson); U.S. Liability (Ferguson); Applied Underwriters (Ajit Jain did deal with owners); Dairy Queen (banker introduced a year before Rudy Luther died; then done quickly); Benjamin Moore (Robert Mundheim); NetJets (customer; Richard Santulli called); Shaw Industries (after discussing aborted insurance deal); McLane (Byron Trott, Goldman Sachs); The Marmon Group (seeds date to 1954 when Buffett met Jay Pritzker), Alleghany (Joe Brandon)

Friend/relative

NICO (Jack Ringwalt); Central States (Bill Kizer); Kansas Bankers Surety (at niece’s birthday party); H. H. Brown Shoe (John Loomis golfing with Frank Rooney); XTRA (Julian Robertson); TTI (John Roach, friendship seemed to arise with Justin), MidAmerican (Walter Scott, Jr.)

Berkshire overture

Scott Fetzer (wrote CEO amid waning takeover contest); Jordan’s Furniture (implicitly, asking Blumkins, Bill Child, and Melvyn Wolff); Johns Manville (announced deal broke off; Berkshire stepped up); Fruit of the Loom (made offer in bankruptcy), Precision Castparts (was an investor and reached out in the course of Precision’s regular investor outreach activities)

Stranger

CORT (acquaintance sent fax); FlightSafety International (shareholder of both wrote Robert Denham), Justin (someone faxed about co-investing proposal).
Pricing of Berkshire Hathaway acquisitions
Alleghany Berkshire offered price. Seller asked for an increase. Berkshire said no.
Benjamin Moore  Berkshire offered price. No counter.
BNSF Berkshire offered price. Seller asked for more. Berkshire said no.
Clayton Homes Berkshire offered price. Board had CEO ask for more. Berkshire said no.
CTB Berkshire offered price, and actually went down a quarter-point for adviser fees. Berkshire said that’s it.
Dairy Queen  Berkshire offered price. No further discussion.
Fruit of the Loom Berkshire offered single bid in bankruptcy at end of auction process and won.
Garan Seller sought price above $60 a share. Berkshire offered $60 and that was that.
Gen Re Buffett proposed the exchange ratio and Gen Re went along.
Johns Manville Berkshire offered price. Board tried to get more. Berkshire said no.
Justin Berkshire offered price. Another bidder dropped out. No further discussion.
Lubrizol Berkshire offered price. Seller tried to get more. Berkshire said no.
Precision Castparts Berkshire offered price. Seller asked for an increase. Berkshire said no.
Shaw Industries Berkshire offered price. Board/banker asked for more. Berkshire said that’s our best price.
XTRA Berkshire offered $59 a share. Seller asked “Is that your best offer?” Berkshire said it was.

Source: Opinion: Berkshire and Buffett have 5 words for sellers who want their money: ‘Take it or leave it’ – MarketWatch.

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Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett is known as the Oracle of Omaha, and each year, investors gather to hear his wisdom at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

Buffett took control of Berkshire, which was then a failing textile company, in the mid-1960s. Under his leadership, Berkshire has grown into one of the world’s largest conglomerates. As a result, he and other longtime shareholders have become extremely wealthy.

Berkshire Hathaway has in some ways set the standard for lavish annual meetings. The daylong, carnival-like atmosphere features comedy skits, disco balls, music, celebrities like Bill Gates, and even dancing characters from the various companies in the BH portfolio, including the GEICO gecko. Live online coverage of the proceedings provides real-time updates for those unable to attend.

All it takes is a single share to be considered a stockholder and join the party. You can own either the company’s Class A shares (BRK-A), which traded at $519,799.90 per share as of April 13, 2022, or the more affordable Class B shares (BRK-B), which ended the week on the same date at $346.22.

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The World’s Best Banks 2022: As Covid Recedes, Banks Get A Boost From Higher Rates But Inflation Could Spoil The Party

After more than a decade of declining interest rates, the Federal Reserve announced a quarter-point rate hike last month, the first since 2018, and signaled more to come in 2022, as many as six, in order to combat inflation.

This should improve banks ability to earn net interest margin, the lifeblood of most banks from an earnings standpoint and could be mimicked in other large economies at a time when inflation is causing damage to global economies and other central banks look to take similar action.

Mike Mayo, managing director and head of U.S. large-cap bank research at Wells Fargo Securities, says that 2021 was a strong year for large investment banks that could aggressively take advantage of a bull market and tailwinds of a soaring stock market.

However, Mayo says 2022, with its troubled markets, will produce headwinds for those financial titans and serve as a “passing of the baton in the banking industry” to Main Street banks that will thrive amidst the pandemic recovery that brings along more volumes of deposit and loans along with the aforementioned rising interest rates.

As the world emerges from two difficult pandemic years, the U.S. the economy has improved dramatically at a breakneck pace. Gross Domestic Product grew at 5.7% in 2021. However, the pandemic has left behind supply chain challenges and outsize inflation that keeps hitting new highs, the latest being a 8.5% measurement for March, the highest since 1981.

Despite runaway inflation, economists think inflation will soon recede. Swiss banking giant UBS is predicting that inflation for the rest of 2022 will drop to as low as 3.4% by December.

“The US economy is coming online faster and stronger than other parts of the world,” Mayo says. “As a result we will likely see a pickup in Main Street banking in terms of companies increasing their buildup of inventory and their capital expenditures and consumers drawing down their excess savings to spend and travel.”

Bank stocks have had an underwhelming run in early 2022. While there have been marketwide struggles, the S&P 500 is down nearly 6.7% year to date, financial stocks have suffered even greater losses with the iShares U.S. Regional Bank ETF down 9.18% year to date. This comes on the heels of a strong year for bank stocks, with that same iShares ETF up 38.9% last year, outpacing the S&P 500 at 26.89% in 2021.

“We are facing challenges at every turn: a pandemic, unprecedented government actions, a strong recovery after a sharp and deep global recession, a highly polarized U.S. election, mounting inflation, a war in Ukraine and dramatic economic sanctions against Russia,” said Jamie Dimon, CEO of the largest bank in the U.S. JPMorgan Chase JPM , in his annual letter to investors.

Looking forward, Dimon said he does not envy the Fed because it is likely to have to raise rates significantly higher than expected. While Dimon struck an optimistic tone that “if the Fed gets it just right, we can have years of growth, and inflation will eventually start to recede,” he conceded that the road to those greener pastures will be paved with consternation and volatility.

“The Fed should not worry about volatile markets unless they affect the actual economy. A strong economy trumps market volatility,” he added.

Outside the U.S., the economic recovery from the pandemic has not been as rapid, particularly in the world’s second largest economy, China, where a policy of “zero Covid” and less effective vaccinations than Western nations has led to a seemingly unending pandemic and shutdowns as recently as this month in Shanghai.

In the midst of global turmoil and a naggingly persistent pandemic, Forbes’ fourth annual list of the World’s Best Banks, which is published in partnership with market research firm Statista, surveys more than 45,000 customers in 27 countries to determine its ranking. Survey participants were asked their opinions on both their current and former banking relationships, defined as all financial institutions that offer a checking and/or savings account.

Click here for the Forbes list of World’s Best Banks.

Banks were rated on overall recommendation and satisfaction which were weighted the most as well as five other subdimensions: trust; terms and conditions; digital services; customer services; and financial advice.

The results yielded between 5 and 75 banks per country with a minimum score of 70 out of 100 and selected depending on the score achieved, the number of evaluations collected, the number of active banks in the specific country as well as the respective population in the country and number of banks with enough evaluations.

The U.S. has the largest number of awarded banks at 75, followed by Japan with 45 and Germany with 35 while 7 countries had the lowest number of 5. There were 27 countries with awarded banks.

The top five banks from the U.S. were Lincoln, Nebraska based Union Bank & Trust, Fargo, North Dakota-based Gate City Bank, Georgia-based United Community Bank UCBI , USAA, a lender open to members of the U.S. military and their families, making the cut as well as Boston-based Eastern Bank Corporation, a sign of the strength of regional banking with all but USAA having less than 2500 employees.

In Japan, SBI Sumishin Net Bank, an internet bank founded in 2007 by SBI Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, which was also listed, took the top spot showing the strength of upstart banks leading into the fintech space.

The top German bank was Sparda-Bank Hessen, a subsidiary of a series of cooperative banks known as Sparda-Banken that has a small employee count of 254 and was founded in 1897.

I’m a wealth management staff writer at Forbes based in New York. Prior to joining Forbes, I was on the same beat for Private Asset Management. I also

Source: The World’s Best Banks 2022: As Covid Recedes, Banks Get A Boost From Higher Rates But Inflation Could Spoil The Party

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Who Do Young Entrepreneurs Look Up To? Elon Musk

Steve Jobs is dead, Mark Zuckerberg is tarnished. For the next generation of startup founders, the contributions of Bill Gates feel like ancient history.

In middle school, Kenan Saleh saw the movie The Social Network, the dramatized account of the early days of Facebook. He decided, right then and there, that he would one day start a company of his own. “It was the first movie I’d seen that showed that you could be young and still be the most successful person in the room,” he says. “I definitely emulated Mark Zuckerberg in some ways.”

In true Zuckerbergian fashion, Saleh did start a company out of his dorm room at the University of Pennsylvania. He raised $500,000 as he crammed for finals and then sold the company to Lyft in 2019, the year he graduated. Along the way, Saleh realized he needed a new role model. He no longer wanted to be like Zuckerberg, who by then had become ensnared in a series of scandals.

Plenty of people liked Steve Jobs, but Jobs was dead, and reading his biography was about as appealing as “reading a history book.” Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Bill Gates were still alive, but their contributions to Silicon Valley already felt like ancient history. Saleh wanted a hero who was making history now.

Young people love to idolize their predecessors. Jobs was Silicon Valley’s idol of choice for decades, but to the next generation of startup founders, his legacy feels about as old as Web 1.0. Boy geniuses like Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel, who became billionaires by the time they were 25, have fallen out of favor.

So have tech oligarchs like Jeff Bezos. “We don’t look up to these fools,” says Marc Baghadjian, the 22-year-old founder of a dating startup. “Just because you’re a billionaire doesn’t mean you’re positively effecting change.”

Instead, both Baghadjian and Saleh now worship Elon Musk, whom they see as a billionaire on an ethical mission. “He’s shown that you can do the best thing for the world and reap the benefits at the same time,” says Saleh, who started watching videos of Musk while he was in college.

WIRED asked more than a dozen young startup founders between the ages of 15 and 30 who inspires them. More than half brought up Musk. Others mentioned techno-optimists like Sam Altman and Patrick Collison, who seem to believe that technology can solve the world’s biggest problems, or entrepreneur-philanthropists with lesser-known startups.

None of them had read books about the history of Apple, Google, or Amazon; they said they were more inspired by forward-looking companies trying to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Olav Sorenson, who has taught entrepreneurship at UCLA and at Yale, says his students tend to admire people who have been “successful without selling out.” Some cite Seth Goldman—the founder of Honest Tea, who now chairs the board of Beyond Meat—as one source of inspiration because “he has focused his energy on investing in and supporting businesses with an ethical mission,” Sorenson says.

“This generation is looking at all of the issues and trying to say, ‘How can we start to be part of the solution to the problems that the older generation created for us?’” says Lori Rosenkopf, vice dean of entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Rosenkopf says that in the last few years, she’s noticed a shift in the way students talk about entrepreneurship—not just as a career alternative to banking or consulting, but as a way to start ventures with “a much greater social perspective.”

For many young entrepreneurs, Musk is the prime example of this mindset. “Elon Musk is literally picking up the tab for the mistakes that other generations have made,” says Baghadjian, who read Ashlee Vance’s biography of Musk in high school and has considered him a hero ever since.

Baghadjian says that while companies like Amazon and Apple have produced big innovations, Musk’s work with electric vehicles and solar energy was much more important.

Other young people were inspired by the trope of the startup founder who struggles on the way to success. One mentioned Musk sleeping on the floor in the Tesla headquarters, which they said showed grit. A few also mentioned the tale of Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, who maxed out his credit cards and subsisted on ramen noodles in the startup’s early days.

“There’s not a lot of glamour when you’re starting out,” says Pranjali Awasthi, who is 15 and is working on a stealth startup while she finishes high school online. Awasthi cited Musk and Altman as her heroes. But she also wished for more role models who look like her, a young woman of color. She says she was inspired to launch her startup in high school after she read about Laura Deming, who had started working on her own venture fund when she was 16.

A historic lack of diversity among high-profile entrepreneurs has left some young people without founder idols. “A lot of the founders people worshiped before have been straight, white men,” says Josh Yang, who is 27 and graduated from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business last year.

Women make up about 10 percent of tech CEOs, according to a 2021 report from the nonprofit AnitaB.org, and there are still startlingly few Black and Latinx CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. Yang, who identifies as a queer Asian man, doesn’t put much stock in the celebrities of the tech world. “I’m forging my own path,” he says.

So is Andrew Sun, an 18-year-old who recently launched a microfinance startup. He credits a high school teacher for getting him into entrepreneurship, rather than a celebrity CEO like Musk. “I don’t really have any desire to become a celebrity,” he says. “I want to be an entrepreneur who makes a substantial positive impact on our world.”

Arielle Pardes head shot - Wired

By:

Arielle Pardes is a senior writer at WIRED, where she works on stories about our relationship to our technology. Previously she was a senior editor for VICE. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania and lives in San Francisco.

Source: Who Do Young Entrepreneurs Look Up To? Elon Musk | WIRED

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