You May Have Always Known Women Are Good With Money , Now Research Confirms It

A growing number of women are increasing their investing prowess and financial education, research shows. The ladies are stepping it up. I love this kind of news.

I admit I am a sucker for a study that shines the light on women and money in a positive way. And the key findings from Fidelity Investments “2021 Women and Investing Study” do just that.

I know, I just did this happy dance with the MIT “Freak Out” report, but more to enjoy here.

The bold headline: two-thirds (67%) of women are now investing savings they have outside of retirement accounts and emergency funds in the stock market, which represents a 50% increase from 2018, according to the research. What’s more, 52% are planning to create a financial plan to help them reach their goals within the next year.

This is noteworthy since women typically get the bad rap of being nervous and cautious investors, who probably would find investing in stocks uncomfortable. Women are also notorious for saying financial planning is boring, or they aren’t good with numbers. Neither which is true, but an excuse for not understanding investing terminology perhaps and being intimidated by the seemingly macho world of Wall Street.

Where are they putting those extra savings funds besides individual stocks and bonds? The study found that women also socked money away in mutual funds and ETFs (63%) and money-market funds or CDs (50%): ESG/sustainable investments (24%) and get this: 23% in cryptocurrencies. I had to look at that last statistic twice, but that’s what the report says.

The age brackets by generation for those investing outside of retirement account–a whopping 71% of female millennials—ages 25 to 40; 67% of Generation X—ages 41 to 56 and 62% of boomer women ages 57 to 75. All good numbers.

But as anyone who has been reading my column knows, this is the nugget that made a smile spread across my face: When women do invest, they see results: new scrutiny of more than 5 million Fidelity customers over the last 10 years finds that, on average, women outperformed their male counterparts by 40 basis points, or 0.4%. That’s not a heap mind you, but a win is a win.

I’ll take it.

“Over the last few years, we were already seeing an increasing number of women investing outside of retirement to grow their savings, but the pandemic really lit a fire under that momentum,” Kathleen Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments, told me.

“It’s driven many to reflect and re-prioritize what’s most important and focus on making greater progress toward those goals. We’re seeing that motivation in the record numbers of women reaching out for financial planning help and opening new brokerage accounts, as well as advisory accounts.”

The data was drawn from a nationwide survey of 2,400 American adults (1,200 women and 1,200 men). All respondents were 21 years of age or older, had a personal income of at least $50,000 and were actively contributing to a workplace retirement savings plan, like a 401(k) or 403b. This survey was conducted in July 2021 by CMI Research, an independent research firm.

The overall findings are certainly promising.

Yet when you get into the weeds you find that only a third of women canvassed see themselves as investors, according to the study. Only 42% feel confident in their ability to save for retirement and a mere 33% say they feel confident in their ability to make investment decisions.

Most women (64%) say they would like to be “more active in their financial life, including making investing decisions,” but 70% believe they would have to learn about “picking individual stocks” to get started.

I like that awareness of the need to get educated. (One of my favorite authors for this topic is Jonathan Clements, the founder and editor of HumbleDollar and the author of many personal finance books, including From Here to Financial Happiness and How to Think About Money.)

As Fidelity’s Murphy mentioned: Half of the women say they are more interested in investing than they were at the start of the pandemic and want to learn more — not just about how to start investing — but how to evaluate and select different types of investments to align with specific goals, and how to manage an existing portfolio to ensure they are on track.

These findings are in step with what Catherine Collinson, chief executive and president of the nonprofit Transamerica Institute and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies told me when I interviewed her for this column: What’s Behind the Surprising Gender Split for Boomers’ Retirement Saving?

Her firm also found that “early indicators are that the pandemic has prompted both men and women to engage in their finances and pore over their financial situation to a degree that they may not have previously.”

Finally, here’s the nagging fear many of us (me too) can relate to: 32% of women say not earning enough money keeps them up at night, according to the research. For 37%, it’s managing debt that’s their night sweat. And more than half of women say it’s worries about long-term finances that has them tossing and turning.

Age is an indicator of whether money woes keep us up at night, but not the way you might expect, or at least what I did. Overall, it’s the millennial women who are the most troubled when the light goes out: 77% say finances have kept them up at night as compared to 73% of Generation X and 59% of boomers.

Here’s to sweeter dreams ahead.

By: Kerry Hannon

Kerry Hannon is a leading expert and strategist on work and jobs, entrepreneurship, personal finance and retirement. Kerry is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Never Too Old to Get Rich,” “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+,” and “Great Pajama Jobs: Your Complete Guide to Working From Home.” Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon.

Source: You may have always known women are good with money — now research confirms it – MarketWatch

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Natural Gas Market Soars To Record Heights

European and UK gas prices surged Wednesday to record peaks, energised by fears of runaway demand in the upcoming northern hemisphere winter. Europe’s reference Dutch TTF gas price hit 162.12 euros per megawatt hour and UK prices leapt to 407.82 pence per therm in morning deals.

However, prices later erased gains to flatline in early afternoon trade. “It’s panic and fear with winter just around the corner,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch told AFP.

Soaring gas prices — coupled with oil which has struck multi-year highs — have fuelled fears over spiking inflation and rocketing domestic energy bills. Gas demand is also heightened in Asia, particularly from China, while key Russian exports are falling.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Wednesday that Europe was to blame for the current energy crisis, after soaring gas prices spurred accusations that Moscow is withholding supplies to pressure the West.

“They’ve made mistakes,” Putin said in a televised meeting with Russian energy officials. He said that one of the factors influencing the prices was the termination of “long-term contracts” in favour of the spot market.

Some critics have accused Moscow of intentionally limiting gas supplies to Europe in an effort to hasten the launch of Nord Stream 2, a controversial pipeline connecting Russia with Germany.

At the same time, global gas stockpiles remain worryingly low.

“Natural gas prices have climbed to new peaks … as insufficient levels of inventories ahead of the winter season drive concerns for a spike in inflation and energy prices for consumers,” XTB analyst Walid Koudmani told AFP.

“These supply constraints could translate into higher costs of fuel moving into the winter months, a prospect which could further slow down economic recovery and worsen moods across markets.”

Europe’s energy crisis has also been exacerbated by a lack of wind for turbine sites, coupled with ongoing nuclear outages — and the winding down of coal mines by climate-conscious governments.

Gas demand has also galloped higher in recent months as economies reopened worldwide from their Covid-induced slumber. “The rebound in industrial activity across the world following months of Covid-related restrictions and widespread remote working … boosted demand for natural gas,” noted UniCredit economist Edoardo Campanella.

European gas futures have now multiplied by eight since April. And the market is set to shoot even higher, according to French bank Societe Generale. “Never before have power prices risen so far, so fast,” wrote Societe Generale analysts in a client note.

Shows evolution of the price of natural gas in Europe this past year to September 28 on the Dutch TTF Gas market Shows evolution of the price of natural gas in Europe this past year to September 28 on the Dutch TTF Gas market Photo: AFP / Patricio ARANA

“And we are only a few days into autumn — temperatures are still mild. “A cold winter could cause severe problems for Europe’s energy markets, where politicians are already trying to contain the fallout.”

European leaders are divided on how to respond to the record rise in energy prices, with France and Spain calling Wednesday for bold EU-wide action, while others urged patience. The European Commission — which is the European Union’s executive arm — will next week propose measures to mitigate the price surge for consumers.

Those suggestions will then be discussed by the bloc’s leaders at a summit in Brussels on October 21-22. Britain is particularly exposed to Europe’s energy crisis because of its reliance on natural gas to generate electricity.

By Roland Jackson

Source: Natural Gas Market Soars To Record Heights

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The Market Is Right To Be Spooked By Rising Bond Yields

Nobody likes dropping cash, however Tuesday’s stock-price fall worries me greater than the headline of a 2% fall within the S&P 500 ought to. In itself, 2% is not any biggie: three days this yr had larger falls, and on common we now have had seven worse days a yr since 1964.

What bothers me is that the rise in bond yields that triggered the autumn was actually fairly small, and there may simply be much more to return. The ten-year Treasury yield rose solely 0.05 share level, taking it above 1.5%, and the 30-year rose barely extra to only above 2%. If that is the type of response we should always anticipate, then get out your tin hat. Yields must rise 4 occasions as a lot simply to get again to the place they had been in March.

Why, you would possibly fairly ask, are shares abruptly spooked by bond yields? Within the increase as much as March, shares and yields marched increased collectively, and for the previous 20 years increased yields have typically been higher for shares. The distinction is that investors see the central banks turning hawkish, whilst financial development slows, as a result of they will’t ignore excessive inflation.

As  Pascal Blanqué,chief funding officer at French fund supervisor Amundi, places it, the worry is of an increase in charges pushed by inflation alone pushing central banks to behave, somewhat than an increase in charges pushed by financial development pushing central banks round. That is the mind-set that dominated funding till the late Nineteen Nineties. If it sticks, it marks a profound change.

In the long term, it could imply bonds would not present a cushion when inventory costs drop, making portfolios extra unstable. Within the quick time period, if the sharp rise in yields since the Federal Reserve meeting last week is the beginning of a development, then shares are in bother. On the flip aspect, if yields come again down, it is perhaps good for shares—because it was on Friday—somewhat than unhealthy, as has often been the case for a few many years.

To see the risk, suppose again to the spring, when yields had been marching increased. The outlook for inflation is about the identical (buyers are pricing it as excessive however short-term). The outlook for financial development is worse, which gives much less help for shares typically. However central banks have shifted stance from super-easy for just about perpetually to start out speaking about tightening.

That is the improper type of rise in bond yields. When yields had been rising as much as their March excessive of 1.75% for the 10-year Treasury, shares had been on a tear as a result of yields had been being pushed up by the prospect of upper financial development, and so stronger income. Overwhelmed-up worth shares and economically-sensitive sectors soared, whereas Huge Tech and different development shares, plus the dependable earners generally known as high quality shares, went sideways. After March, falling yields boosted development and high quality shares once more, whereas worth and cyclical went sideways.

This time, shares are reacting as they do when yields rise as a consequence of a central financial institution hawkish shift. Huge Tech, other growth stocks and quality suffered the most, as their excessive valuations make them reliant on projected earnings far sooner or later; increased yields make these future earnings much less enticing in contrast with proudly owning tremendous secure bonds. However with out the prospect of upper financial development to spice up earnings, low cost worth and cyclical shares additionally fell when yields rose, albeit by lower than development and high quality.

There’s enormous uncertainty in regards to the potential financial outcomes, so we shouldn’t simply assume that this week’s buying and selling sample will proceed. On the plus aspect, increased capital spending and the pandemic-driven adoption of know-how would possibly enhance productiveness greater than employee shortages push up labor prices. This could damp inflation and speed up development.

A retreat of Covid-19 might ease pressure on manufacturing and change spending again to companies. On the down aspect, hovering power prices and better costs from widespread provide bottlenecks would possibly hit households and weaken the financial system additional, whilst inflation stays excessive—the dreaded stagflation state of affairs.

We ought to be even much less assured about how central banks will react. I see twin triggers for the market’s reassessment. First, Fed coverage makers upped their “dot plot” predictions for rates of interest subsequent yr and the yr after, together with inflation. Second, the Financial institution of England, faced with an energy price crunch and higher-than-forecast inflation, warned of a potential price rise earlier than the tip of this yr. A slew of emerging-market central banks additionally raised charges, as did oil-producer Norway.

If the financial system reacts badly to increased yields, although, the Fed and Financial institution of England would possibly properly shift again to uber-dovishness. The withdrawal of emergency authorities spending measures in a lot of the world may also give the doves a brand new cause to maintain charges low.

Lastly, there’s uncertainty in regards to the market response itself. Possibly Tuesday’s bond strikes had been exacerbated by a mixture of momentum promoting and yields (which transfer in the other way to costs) rising above the brink of 1.5% on the 10-year and a pair of% on the 30-year. It may not be a coincidence that shares did properly on Friday as soon as the 10-year dropped again under 1.5%.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How involved are you in regards to the late September stock-price fall? Weigh in under. Spherical numbers shouldn’t matter, however typically do, whereas momentum is short-term. Tuesday’s transfer wasn’t pushed by an occasion on the day, so maybe the brand new narrative of hawkishness received stick. In spite of everything, it shouldn’t be that massive a deal to withdraw some financial help when inflation is greater than double the goal and coverage has by no means been simpler.

Given Huge Tech’s outsize share of the general market, buyers within the S&P 500 should be satisfied that if bond yields are going to maintain rising, it is going to be for the great cause of an accelerating financial system, not the unhealthy cause of sticky inflation pushing central banks to behave.

By: james.mackintosh@wsj.com

Source: The Market Is Right to Be Spooked by Rising Bond Yields – WSJ

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Japanese Stockmarket Enjoys a Suga Rush As PM Steps Down

The Japanese stock market has hit a 30-year high following the resignation of prime minister Yoshihide Suga.

Japanese stocks have hit a 30-year high following the resignation of prime minister Yoshihide Suga. Suga, who has only been in office for a year, had become widely unpopular as his government failed to get on top of a surge in Covid-19 infections. A slow vaccine rollout and the controversial decision to go ahead with hosting the Olympics despite the pandemic also sapped his support. He will step down before a general election scheduled for later this year. 

Japan’s Topix index reacted to the news by hitting its highest level since April 1991, says Bloomberg. Investors had once had high hopes for Suga, who vowed to accelerate Japan’s digital shift (see also page 28). In February this year the Nikkei 225 index hit the symbolic 30,000-level for the first time since 1990. Yet it fell back as Covid-19 came to dominate his premiership: “Suga had created an atmosphere of uncertainty… there was a perception that Japan was ‘in a mess’”, says Richard Kaye of Comgest Asset Management Japan.  The Topix has gained 6.5% during the past month alone.

In most countries investors dislike the uncertainty of an upcoming election, says Takeshi Kawasaki for Nikkei Asia. Not in Japan. “Looking at the ten early elections held since 1990, stocks rose nearly every time between the day of the lower house being dissolved and the election date”. 

What seems to happen is that headlines about Japanese politics grab the attention of foreign money managers. They decide they like what they see and buy. “Typically at the mercy of trends in US equities” thanks to Wall Street’s tendency to set the tone for world markets, Japanese stocks are likely to go their own way over the coming months.

By: Alex Rankine

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Critics:

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (東京証券取引所, とうきょうしょうけんとりひきじょ), abbreviated as Tosho (東証) or TSE/TYO, is a stock exchange located in Tokyo, Japan. It is the third largest stock exchange in the world by aggregate market capitalization of its listed companies, and the largest in Asia. It had 2,292 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of US$5.67 trillion as of February 2019.

The exchange is owned by the Japan Exchange Group (JPX), a holding company that it also lists (TYO: 8697). JPX was formed from its merger with the Osaka Exchange; the merger process begins in July 2012, when said merger was approved by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.[2] JPX itself was launched on January 1, 2013.

The TSE is incorporated as a kabushiki gaisha with nine directors, four auditors and eight executive officers. Its headquarters are located at 2-1 NihonbashiKabutochō, Chūō, Tokyo which is the largest financial district in Japan. Its operating hours are from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m., and from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. From April 24, 2006, the afternoon trading session started at its usual time of 12:30 p.m..

Stocks listed on the TSE are separated into the First Section for large companies, the Second Section for mid-sized companies, and the Mothers section for high-growth startup companies, and the TOKYO PRO Market section for more flexible alternative investment. As of October 31, 2010, there are 1,675 First Section companies, 437 Second Section companies and 182 Mothers companies.

The main indices tracking the TSE are the Nikkei 225 index of companies selected by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japan’s largest business newspaper), the TOPIX index based on the share prices of First Section companies, and the J30 index of large industrial companies maintained by Japan’s major broadsheet newspapers.

Ninety-four domestic and 10 foreign securities companies participate in TSE trading. See: Members of the Tokyo Stock Exchange

Other TSE-related institutions include:

  • The exchange’s press club, called the Kabuto Club (兜倶楽部, Kabuto kurabu), which meets on the third floor of the TSE building. Most Kabuto Club members are affiliated with the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Kyodo News, Jiji Press, or business television broadcasters such as Bloomberg LP and CNBC. The Kabuto Club is generally busiest during April and May, when public companies release their annual accounts.

Market Movers

Constituents of the Nikkei 225 with the highest percent gain over one day.

ListingLastChangeVolume
Shinsei Bank Ltd8303:TYO1,968.00
JPY
+228.00
+13.10%
9.68m
Toho Zinc Co Ltd5707:TYO2,841.00
JPY
+130.00
+4.80%
805.10k
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd3099:TYO808.00
JPY
+35.00
+4.53%
2.68m
Hitachi Zosen Corp7004:TYO947.00
JPY
+32.00
+3.50%
3.45m
DeNA Co Ltd2432:TYO2,167.00
JPY
+72.00
+3.44%
709.60k
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd9107:TYO6,380.00
JPY
+190.00
+3.07%
5.45m
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp4188:TYO1,040.50
JPY
+26.50
+2.61%
5.67m
Meiji Holdings Co Ltd2269:TYO7,260.00
JPY
+170.00
+2.40%
537.60k
Pacific Metals Co Ltd5541:TYO2,094.00
JPY
+44.00
+2.15%
596.40k
Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd5706:TYO3,590.00
JPY
+75.00
+2.13%
587.70k

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Investors, Don’t Depend on Stocks and Bonds To Hedge Each Other

There’s nothing more beautiful to a professional investor than a negative correlation between stocks and bonds. When stocks have a bad month, bonds have a good month, and vice versa. Since their zigs and zags offset each other, the value of the combined portfolio is less volatile. The customers are pleased. And that’s how it’s been for most of the last two decades.

But for almost a year now, Bloomberg market reporters have been detecting anxiety from the pros that the era of negative correlation may be over or ending, replaced by an era of positive correlation in which stock and bond prices move together, amplifying volatility instead of dampening it. “Bonds Have Never Been So Useless as a Hedge to Stocks Since 1999,” read the headline on one article this May.

Yet hope springs eternal. The headline on a July 7 article was, “Bonds Are Hinting They’ll Hedge Stocks Again as Growth Bets Ease.”

In the big picture and over long periods, it’s obvious and necessary that stock and bond returns are positively correlated. After all, they’re competing investments. Each generates a stream of income: dividends for (most) stocks, coupon payments for bonds. If stocks get very expensive, investors will shift money into bonds as a cheaper alternative until that rebalancing makes bonds more or less equally expensive. Likewise, when one of the two asset classes gets cheap it will tend to drag down the other.

When the pros talk about negative correlation they’re referring to shorter periods—say, a month or two–over which stocks and bonds can indeed move in different directions. Lately two giant money managers have produced explanations for why stocks and bonds move apart or together. They’re worth understanding even if your assets under management are in the thousands rather than billions or trillions.

Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, based in Westport, Conn., says that how stocks and bonds play with each other has to do with economic conditions and policy. “There will naturally be times when they’re negatively correlated and naturally be times when they’re positively correlated, and those come from the underlying environment itself,” senior portfolio strategist, Jeff Gardner says in an edited transcript of a recent in-house interview.

According to Gardner, inflation was the most important factor in the markets for decades—both when it rose in the 1960s and 1970s and when it fell in the 1980s and 1990s. Inflation affects stocks and bonds similarly, although it’s worse for bonds with their fixed payments than for stocks. That’s why correlation was positive during that long period.

For the past 20 years or so, inflation has been so low and steady that it’s been a non-factor in the markets. So investors have paid more attention to economic growth prospects. Strong growth is great for stocks but doesn’t do anything for bonds. That, says Gardner, is the main reason that stocks and bonds have moved in different directions.

PGIM Inc., the main asset management business of insurer Prudential Financial Inc., has $1.5 trillion under management. In a report issued in May, it puts numbers on the disappointment the pros feel when stocks and bonds start to move in sync. Let’s say a portfolio is 60% stocks and 40% bonds and has a stock-bond correlation of -0.3, which is about average for the last 20 years. Volatility is around 7%.

Now let’s say the correlation goes to zero—not positive yet, but not negative anymore, either. To keep volatility from rising, the portfolio manager would have to reduce the allocation to stocks to around 52%, which would lower the portfolio’s returns. If the stock-bond correlation reached a positive 0.3, then keeping volatility from rising would require reducing the stock allocation to only 40%, hitting returns even harder.

PGIM’s list of factors that affect correlations is longer than Bridgewater’s but consistent with it. The report by vice president Junying Shen and managing director Noah Weisberger says correlations between stocks and bonds tend to be negative when there’s sustainable fiscal policy, independent and rules-based monetary policy, and shifts up or down in the demand side of the economy (consumption).

The correlation is likely to be positive, they say, when there’s unsustainable fiscal policy, discretionary monetary policy, monetary-fiscal policy coordination, and shifts in the supply side of the economy (output). One last thought: It’s a good idea to spread your money between stocks and bonds even if they don’t hedge each other.

The capital asset pricing model developed by William Sharpe in the 1960s says everyone should have the same portfolio, consisting of every asset available, and adjust their risk by how much they borrow. True, not everyone agrees. John Rekenthaler, a vice president for research at Morningstar Inc., wrote a fun article in 2017 about the different strategies of Sharpe and fellow Nobel laureate Harry Markowitz.

Source: Investors, Don’t Depend on Stocks and Bonds to Hedge Each Other – Bloomberg

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Asian Stocks Mixed as Data Show Delta Sapped China: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday as weaker economic activity in China and the latest escalation in Beijing’s crackdown on private industries overshadowed another record close on Wall Street.

Equities slipped in China, where data signaled that an outbreak of the delta virus variant led to a service-sector contraction for the first time since February last year. Hong Kong slid as Beijing’s stepped-up curbs on video-gaming firms weighed on Chinese technology stocks.

U.S. futures edged up after the S&P 500 hit its 12th all-time high in August and the Nasdaq 100 rose. Treasuries held gains made following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s measured comments about a possible reduction in stimulus and any future interest-rate hikes. The dollar dipped.

Oil declined, with traders assessing the prospect of additional OPEC+ production. Aluminum and nickel advanced as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raise target prices. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin fell to about $47,000.

Global stocks overall are set for a seventh monthly advance on strong company profits, expanding vaccinations to underpin economic reopening and supportive Fed policies. At the same time, the decline in Treasury yields from a March peak may partly reflect concerns of a slower recovery ahead on risks such as the impact of the delta strain.

“The bond market is getting a little nervous about the economic outlook,” Priya Misra, head of global interest rate strategy at TD Securities, said on Bloomberg Television. But she added the U.S. economy is “strong” and that “by year end, if the economy holds up, which we forecast it will, that’s when we expect rates — especially in the long end — to start to edge higher.”

In the latest U.S. data, pending home sales fell in July. Traders are awaiting key payrolls figures Friday for further guidance on the economy’s strength.

Here are some key events to watch this week:

OPEC+ meeting on output WednesdayEuro zone manufacturing PMI WednesdayU.S. jobs report Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures climbed 0.2% as of 1:42 p.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 rose 0.4%Nasdaq 100 futures increased 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.1%Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7%Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6%South Korea’s Kospi added 0.8%Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.4%China’s Shanghai Composite index retreated 0.8%

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index shed 0.1%The euro was at $1.1818The Japanese yen was at 109.88 per dollarThe offshore yuan was at 6.4660 per dollar

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 1.28%

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was at $68.90 a barrel, down 0.5%Gold was at $1,815.12 an ounce, up 0.3%

By:

Source: Stock Market Today: Dow, S&P Live Updates for Aug. 31, 2021 – Bloomberg

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U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Have Lost Another $150 Billion In Market Value This Week As Beijing Targets ‘Excessive’ Wealth

Shares of Chinese tech giants trading in the United States struggled to pare losses Friday amid intensifying concerns over China’s efforts to impose sweeping new regulations on its publicly traded companies over the next several years, yielding market value losses of more than $150 billion for the 10 largest U.S.-listed Chinese stocks this week alone.

Key Facts

As of 2:45 p.m. EDT, shares of e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba, the largest Chinese company listed in the U.S., were among the hardest hit, down more than 15% on the New York Stock Exchange over the past week to $157, deflating its market capitalization to $424 billion.

Fellow online retailers JD.com and Pinduoduo, posted similarly staggering losses, wiping out about $20 billion and $10 billion in market value this week, respectively, despite ticking up about 2% Friday.

“China remains a huge source of global concern,” market analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge Media wrote in a Friday email, pointing to the nation’s strengthening regulatory campaign against corporations and actions that last month included demanding online education companies end their for-profit business models.

This week, shares of Chinese stocks have crashed steadily since Tuesday, when President Xi Jinping vowed to redistribute wealth in the nation by regulating “excessively high incomes”—spurring a sell-off that crushed shares of European luxury companies that do big business in China, like LVMH and Gucci-parent Kering.

U.S.-listed shares of online-gaming company NetEase, electric carmaker NIO and Internet firm Baidu plunged 11%, 10% and 10%, respectively, this week.

All told, the 10 largest Chinese companies trading in the United States have lost about $153 billion in market value since last week—more than 15% of their combined market value of roughly $940 billion.

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Key Background

In a matter of weeks, China has introduced harsh regulations targeting wide swaths of its economy and showing investors how risky investing in its market can be, Tom Essaye, author of the Sevens Report, wrote in a recent note. “Yes, there’s a huge market and lots of growth potential, but obviously there are regulatory risks that seem to be growing larger with every passing month,” said Essaye.

Last week, officials released a sweeping five-year blueprint for the crackdown, covering virtually every sector in its market. Then on Wednesday, China’s market regulators published a long list of draft rules targeting tech companies, barring them from using data to influence consumer choices and “traffic hijacking activities,” among other things.

Crucial Quote

“This is all a stark reminder that the current regulatory crackdown from Beijing is not going to let up,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a Thursday note, forecasting U.S. tech stocks, which are outperforming the broader market Friday, should benefit from the tech-focused crackdown in China over the next year. “The fear with more regulation in China around the corner is a major worry that is hard for investors to digest, and it will ultimately cause more of a rotation from the China tech sector to U.S. tech.”

Surprising Fact

The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China index, which tracks Chinese businesses trading in the United States, is down 9% this week and has crashed 51% from a February all-time high.

Further Reading

U.S., European Investment Banks May Have Lost Some $12 Billion As Chinese Education Firms Crashed (Forbes)

China’s Internet Tycoons Suffer $13.6 Billion Wealth Drop As Regulatory Crackdown Triggers Market Sell-Off (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a 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 journalism

Source: U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Have Lost Another $150 Billion In Market Value This Week As Beijing Targets ‘Excessive’ Wealth

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Market News

1h Does the US economy need another $480 billion in stimulus? – CNN Business
2h Top Wall Street analysts say these stocks are long-term buys – CNBC
22h Gold fails at $1,800, another selloff might be on its way – Kitco
1d Fed To Taper This Year – What Are the Odds? – Benzinga
1d Half a trillion dollars erased from China markets in a week – New York Post
1d US Indexes Close Higher Friday – GuruFocus
1d Taking Stock of Small-Cap Earnings – Zacks Investment Research
1d Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium to take place virtually due to Covid risk – CNBC
1d Fed’s Jackson Hole conference to take place virtually – Reuters
1d U.S. dollar net long bets slip in latest week -CFTC, Reuters data – Reuters
1d China Evergrande’s Bailout Hopes Continue to Fade – GuruFocus
1d Fed ‘actively working’ on US digital currency, official says – New York Post
1d Fed Minutes, Retail Data Weighed on Wall Street This Week – Schaeffers Research
1d Wall Street Week Ahead: Investors stick to stocks, but gear up for bumpier ride – Reuters
1d Looking to Cash In on a Stronger U.S. Dollar? – ETF Trends
1d U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Have Lost Another $150 Billion In Market Value This W… – Forbes
1d Biden Freezes Student Loan Interest Rates For 47,000 Service Members – Forbes
1d Read This Before Your Next Trade – Zacks Investment Research
1d Fed officials will seek to avoid a tantrum as they keep ‘taper talk’ going at Ja… – CNBC
1d ‘Flash recession’ could hit markets by the fall – Fox Business

Can You Beat Inflation With A Monthly Annuity?

A century ago, money from Andrew Carnegie created Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association to pay pensions to schoolteachers, professors and other people who work at nonprofit organizations. In the early days, these pensions were backed by bond portfolios and paid fixed monthly sums. Then, in 1952, TIAA invented the variable annuity.

Payouts from this novel product were tied to the return on a collection of stocks called the College Retirement Equities Fund. Don’t put all your money in this risky thing, a retiring prof would be told, but put in some in order to keep up with the rising cost of living. Your payouts from Cref will be unpredictable but still very likely, over time, to greatly outpace payouts from a fixed annuity. That’s because stocks, over time, outpace bonds.

With the variable annuity, TIAA married the high returns on equities with the classic annuity benefit of longevity pooling. Longevity pooling means that people who die young collect less over their lifetimes than their colleagues who live long. Pooling is a bet worth making because it allows you do live well off a pot of savings without taking a risk that you will exhaust those savings. Pooling is how all monthly pensions work. It’s how Social Security works.

Cref was a hit. It now has $279 billion under management.

Is it a good buy? It looks that way to me. The graph displays the monthly payouts for a 67-year-old female who invested $100,000 25 years ago in the main stock account, which is akin to a global index fund with a 30% foreign allocation. She rode a roller-coaster, with payments cut in half during the crash of 2007-2009, but if she’s still breathing at 92 she’s now getting $2,146 a month, better than triple her $610 starting pension.

For the index fund, the combined fee (for salesmen, annuity administrators and portfolio managers) comes to 0.24% a year. In the world of annuities that counts as a bargain. Variable annuities sold by stockbrokers can cost eight times as much.

It helps that TIAA is a nonprofit and its annuity pools are run on a mutual basis—meaning, pensioners share in the gains and losses that arise from unexpected mortality. Thus, if too few emeritus professors take up skydiving, there will be more than the expected number of mouths to feed and the growth in payouts will be less than hoped for. Conversely, a pandemic boosts payouts.

Now, a mutual form of organization is no guarantee of either efficiency or wisdom, but in this context it means that the insurance company does not have to pad its prices in order to cover the risk that retirees will live too long.

Nor does the nonprofit status mean an advisor won’t be tempted to steer a pensioner into products considerably more costly than an index fund (read this New York Times story). But if you stick to the cheap portfolio options you’ve got a good deal. Proviso: You should be in excellent health if you’re buying any kind of annuity.

Alas, not everyone can get in the door at Cref. You can acquire a TIAA annuity only if you or a fairly close relative works or worked in the nonprofit world—such as for a government agency, hospital, school or college.

What variable annuity is there for retirees in the corporate sector? Nothing that I would recommend. The insurance industry has responded to TIAA’s invention with a slew of convoluted and costly products that make price comparisons next to impossible.

You will probably see some kind of “mortality” charge in the prospectus (that padding I was talking about); you will probably not be able to discern what kind of worse damage is built into the formula that connects your payout to the return on the stock market; your salesman will probably be buying a new sports car right after you sign.

If you are not eligible for TIAA, and if an advisor mentions variable annuities, flee. Find a better solution at Do-It-Yourself Income For Life.

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Why Big Investors Are Quitting Chinese Stocks – Bloomberg Wealth

Chinese companies once ticked a lot of boxes for investors trying to follow the market’s old adages.

Diversify, they say. Well then, why not look beyond the world’s largest economy to its second? Maybe you’ve got Facebook, Amazon and Google in your portfolio already. Shouldn’t you also be thinking about Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu? You can buy them on Robinhood, after all.

Check your politics at the door, they say. So in an era when China is a bipartisan flashpoint, why not tune out the rhetoric and focus purely on returns?

That all sounds promising in a theoretical world. But in the practical one we inhabit, investing in China has become riskier, particularly this summer. In this excellent breakdown, Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion explains in terms you will actually understand how opaque it is to own U.S.-listed China stocks.

When you buy shares of a Chinese company listed outside of China, what you are actually buying is “an empty shell that has certain contractual relationships with the Chinese company,” Levine explains.

Sound tenuous? SEC Chair Gary Gensler thinks so. The commissioner worries that Americans just don’t know enough about Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges. A few weeks ago, he blocked initial public offerings of certain firms until they boost disclosures of risks posed to shareholders.

This is all coming in the context of some serious developments in China. There are mounting concerns about human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the crackdown in Hong Kong. Both have led to negative views of the country globally and pose ethical and financial dilemmas for investors increasingly thinking about the moral side of investing.

And a Chinese clampdown on capitalism has spooked investors. At its most extreme, it erased $1.5 trillion from Chinese stocks. It has hit Chinese tech companies hard. It’s prompted superstar fund manager Cathie Wood to pare her China exposure. Wood’s ARKK ETF is now sitting with no exposure to shares of companies in the world’s second-biggest economy. Other high profile investors have taken similar steps, including George Soros and Paul Marshall, co-founder of one of the world’s largest hedge funds.

And it’s not just tech. In mid-June, Chinese President Xi Jinping indicated that private tutoring — a huge expense for middle-class Chinese families — should not be such a burden. The country went on to ban for-profit tutoring, a huge deal in the $100 billion education tech sector.

Yet with proof that there is an adage for almost any angle, I offer you another: Buck the consensus view. HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker says investment opportunities in China are “too big to ignore.” And while he wouldn’t recommend Chinese equities in general, one market expert in our latest “Where to Invest” series says he would recommend two ETFs that have exposure to Chinese solar and battery technology.

Where do these adages lead us? Probably to another: Trust yourself, not some old saying. — Charlie Wells

By:

Source: Chinese Stocks: Should You Invest in the World’s Second-Largest Economy? – Bloomberg

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Related Contents:

What’s Happening With Peloton Stock?

 stock has had a relatively tough year, declining by about 20% since early January and remains down by almost 33% from its all-time highs, as investors expect that higher vaccination rates and a continued re-opening of the gyms and in-person fitness classes would hurt demand for the company’s fitness equipment and subscriptions. However, there have been a couple of positive developments for the company over the last several weeks.

In July, UnitedHealthcare indicated that it was working with Peloton to provide members with access to fitness classes for a year. The deal, which marks Peloton’s first collaboration with a health plan, could prove an attractive avenue for subscriber acquisition for Peloton, considering that UnitedHealth has roughly four million commercial members. For perspective, Peloton had a total of about three million subscribers for its connected fitness and digital offerings as of the last quarter. UnitedHealth should also stand to benefit, as having healthier and more active customers could help to lower its healthcare costs. Peloton could expand with similar partnerships with other healthcare and insurance companies.

Moreover, it doesn’t look like we are done with the Covid-19 pandemic just yet. Daily new infections in the U.S. have been on the uptrend over the last few weeks, driven by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus. The seven-day average case rate has risen from 22,000 in early July to over 100,000 cases presently. This could delay the re-opening of workplaces and keep people at home for a few more quarters, bolstering demand for Peloton’s products. The company might also be in a better position to cater to demand now, considering that it has taken steps to address supply chain bottlenecks.

That being said, the near-term trajectory for the stock will depend significantly on the company’s guidance for FY’22 (fiscal years end June), which is likely to be provided during its Q4 FY’21 earnings due later this month. We value Peloton stock at about $130 per share, slightly ahead of the current market price. See our analysis on  for more details.

[6/23/2021] Peloton’s Corporate Wellness Program

 stock has rallied by almost 11% over the last five trading days and remains up by around 16% over the last month. A part of the gains was driven by analyst upgrades and anticipation surrounding the re-launch of its treadmills following a recall last month. However, the bulk of the gains came on Tuesday after Peloton announced a new corporate wellness program that offers employees subsidized access to Peloton’s digital fitness membership and its fitness equipment, along with tailor-made features such as team tagging and group exercises.

Peloton will also assist its corporate partners with setting up workout spaces in offices. The offering could be a big win for Peloton as investors have been concerned about the company’s growth prospects following its Covid-fueled surge over the past year. By partnering with large corporations, Peloton could get more high-value customers to sign up for its services while possibly seeing lower customer acquisition costs. Corporates also stand to benefit as they look to bring talent back into the workplace after over a year of remote working. Health and fitness-related benefits, particularly from a buzzy brand like Peloton, are likely to be sought after by employees following the pandemic.

We remain bullish on Peloton’s stock, with a price estimate of about $130 per share, about 10% ahead of the current market price of about $117. See our interactive analysis for a detailed look at Peloton’s valuation and financials. See our updates below on our outlook for Peloton stock.

[6/17/2021] What Will Peloton Look Like In 2025?

At-home fitness major  has been one of the big winners through the Covid-19 pandemic, with its stock up by over 5x since the first set of Covid-19 lockdowns back in March 2020. The stock now trades at about $105 per share, or almost 6x projected FY’22 revenues (fiscal years end June) and 200x FY’22 EPS. Is this expensive? Probably not, considering that sales could potentially grow almost 2.4x over the next four years (FY’24), with the company also expected to improve its profitability considerably from FY’22 onward.

We believe Peloton’s revenues could potentially rise close to 2.4x from the levels of $4 billion in FY’21 to $9.5 billion by FY’25, representing a compounded annual growth rate of almost 24%. For context, that’s still well below the solid 145% CAGR the company is on track to post between FY’18 and FY’21. Although the end of Covid-19 – a big tailwind for Peloton – appears to be in sight, there are multiple secular trends that should help to grow sales post the pandemic. The economics of owning a Peloton compare favorably with gym memberships and spin classes, and the added convenience of working out from home should give customers a reason to buy Peloton.

Moreover, Peloton should benefit from the easing of current supply chain bottlenecks, with the company planning to build out its own U.S. factory, which is likely to commence operations from 2023. Peloton’s international expansion – which is just getting started – is also likely to drive sales growth. Sure, revenue growth could be still higher if we consider Peloton’s possible push into commercial-fitness applications post its acquisition of Precor, but 2.4x growth in the top line over the next four fiscal years looks very much achievable as a base case.

Combine revenue growth with the fact that Peloton’s net income margins (net income, or profits after all expenses and taxes, calculated as a percent of revenues) are on an improving trajectory. Net margins rose sharply from -13% over the first nine months of FY’20 to almost 4% over the same period in FY’21. Margins probably have a lot more room to expand as revenues increase, given Peloton’s solid unit economics.

Peloton has a vertically integrated model which includes hardware, software, and subscription services, somewhat similar to tech titan Apple. Gross margins stood at about 39% for the first nine months of FY’21, just a hair below Apple’s 40% odd margins. It’s probably not far-fetched to assume that net margins could approach 20% by FY’25. Considering our revenue projections of roughly $9.5 billion and 20% margins, almost $1.9 billion in net income is possible by FY’25.

Now, if Peloton’s revenues grow 2.4x, the P/S multiple will shrink by almost 60% from its current levels, assuming the stock price stays the same, correct? But that’s exactly what Peloton’s investors are betting will not happen! If revenues expand 2.4x over the next few years, instead of the P/S shrinking from around 6x presently to about 2.5x, a scenario where the P/S metric falls more modestly, perhaps to about 5x looks more likely, considering the fact that profitability is also projected to see sharp improvement.

This would make a 50% plus growth in Peloton’s stock price a real possibility in the next four years. This would likely take Peloton’s market cap from about $31 billion currently to almost $48 billion by FY’25. Although the stock is likely to remain somewhat volatile through the post-Covid reopening, as investors cycle into value and commodity stocks to ride the economic upturn, we think Peloton should deliver solid returns for investors in the medium term.

See our analysis on  for an overview of Peloton stock’s recent performance and where it could be headed over the next month.

[6/3/2021] What’s Happening With Peloton’s Stock?  (NASDAQ: PTON) is up by almost 9% over the last week (five trading days) outperforming the S&P 500 which has remained roughly flat over the same period. The recent gains are driven by favorable views from brokerages, and also as investors likely see increasing value in the stock following its almost -30% decline this year. So how is Peloton stock expected to trend in the near term?

Is the stock poised to decline further or is a recovery looking likely? Based on our machine learning engine, which analyzes Peloton’s stock price movements post its 2019 IPO, the stock has a 64% chance of a rise over the next month, after rising by about 9% over the last five trading days. See our analysis on for more details.

We also think the longer-term outlook for Peloton’s business is solid. We expect demand to remain strong even post Covid-19, as the economics of owning a Peloton compare favorably with gym memberships and spin classes. Moreover, Peloton’s business should continue to benefit from supply chain improvements with the company planning to build out its own U.S. factory, which should commence operations from 2023.

Peloton also recently closed its acquisition of Precor, a company that caters to commercial-fitness applications such as gyms and hotels and this could help to expand the Peloton brand and product range. Peloton’s international expansion is also just getting started, and this could also help the stock. While Peloton trades at a relatively lofty 6x projected FY’22 revenues (fiscal years end in June), this is justified by its high growth rates and thick margins. Consensus estimates point to a healthy 30% plus growth in revenues over FY’22 and gross margins have typically come in at about 40%.

[5/6/2021] Peloton’s Tread+ Recall An Buying Opportunity? (NASDAQ: PTON) fell by almost 15% in Wednesday’s trading, after the company said that it would be carrying out voluntary recalls of its treadmill machines – the Tread+ and Tread over safety issues, offering users a full refund. The Tread+ treadmills were reportedly responsible for dozens of accidents and the death of at least one child. Peloton stock is now down by close to 50% from all-time highs seen in January, as it has also been hurt by a broader rotation out of growth and “at home” stocks, with the Covid-19 pandemic receding in the U.S. So is Peloton stock worth a look at current levels of about $82 per share? We think it is.

Now, the current recall marks a PR setback for Peloton, which initially brushed off concerns that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) raised about its treadmills in April. The financial impact of the recall could also be somewhat meaningful. The recall is likely to involve over 125,000 Tread+ machines which cost about $4,300 each, and a small number of Tread machines that have seen a very limited roll out in the U.S.

If we assume that 70% of customers opt to return the Tread+ (customers also have the option of keeping their treadmills and having Peloton relocate them to rooms not accessible by children), that would translate into refunds to the tune of over $375 million, excluding logistics and other costs. For perspective, Peloton’s revenues stood at about $1.1 billion last quarter. The company has also stopped the sale and distribution of Tread+ as it works on hardware modifications and this could also impact revenues this fiscal year.

That said, a majority of Peloton’s hardware sales come from its exercise bikes and we think the demand is likely to remain strong even as Peloton fixes its treadmills. Treadmill-related accidents are also not unique to the company. Per the CPSC, there were 17 deaths related to treadmills in the U.S. (across manufacturers) between 2018 and 2019. As Tread+ sales eventually resume, the company should see volumes pick up. Moreover, Peloton’s business should continue to benefit from supply chain improvements, the launch of new and lower-priced products, and its international expansion, which is just getting started.

So is Peloton stock expected to decline further in the near term or is a recovery looking likely? Based on our machine learning engine, which analyzes Peloton’s stock price movements post its 2019 IPO, there is a strong chance of a rise over the next month, after declining by about 17% over the last five trading days. See our analysis on  for more details.

[4/20/2021] How Peloton’s Treadmill Safety Issues Impact Its Stock (NASDAQ: PTON) fell by over 7% on Monday and remains down by around 9% over the last week (five trading days) compared to the S&P 500 which is up by about 1% over the same period. The sell-off comes as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that the company’s Tread+ treadmills were responsible for dozens of injuries and at least one death.

The Commission also asked people with young children or pets to stop using the Peloton treadmills, while urging the company to carry out a recall of the product. So how will this impact Peloton? Now, treadmill-related accidents are not unique to the company. Per the CPSC, there were 17 deaths related to treadmills between 2018 and 2019. However, we think Peloton may need to respond with some safety-related software updates or possibly hardware enhancements in the future. The recent events could create some image-related issues for Peloton, which has been one of the pandemic’s biggest winners.

So how is Peloton stock expected to trend? Is the stock poised to decline further or is a recovery looking likely? Based on our machine learning engine, which analyzes Peloton’s stock price movements post its 2019 IPO, the stock has a 64% chance of a rise over the next month, after declining by about 9% over the last five trading days. See our analysis on  for more details.

[2/16/2021] What’s Happening With Peloton Stock?

Connected fitness company  (NASDAQ: PTON) has risen by about 10% over the last week (five trading days). The recent gains come on the back of a rally in the broader markets, with the S&P 500 is up 3% over the same period, and also due to positive views in recently initiated sell-side coverage on the stock. That said, Peloton stock remains down by about -19% year-to-date, driven by the broader correction in growth stocks and pandemic winners such as “at home” stocks.

So is Peloton stock poised to rise further or is a correction looking imminent? Based on our machine learning engine, which analyzes Peloton’s stock price movements post its 2019 IPO, the stock has a 77% chance of a rise over the next month, after rising by about 10% over the last five trading days. See our analysis on  for more details.

So what’s the longer-term outlook for the company? We think Peloton looks like a good bet for long-term investors for a couple of reasons. The stock trades at close to 9x projected FY’21 revenues (fiscal years end in June). Although that looks somewhat high for a company that sells fitness equipment, Peloton justifies this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Peloton is growing fast, with revenues on track to more than double in FY’21 driven by Covid-19 related demand.

Growth should remain strong in the medium term as well, on account of supply chain improvements, the launch of new and lower-priced products, and international expansion. For perspective, Peloton’s revenues are projected to rise 35% in FY’22 per consensus estimates. Secondly, Peloton’s unit economics also look solid, meaning that it should become quite profitable as revenues continue to scale up. Gross margins stood at almost 40% as of the last quarter, with roughly 35% margins for products and 60% margins on connected fitness subscriptions. That’s even higher than consumer technology behemoth , which has gross margins of about 39%.

[2/16/2021] What’s Happening With Peloton Stock? stock has gained about 5x over the last year, making the at-home fitness company one of the biggest winners through Covid-19. Here’s a quick rundown of the recent developments for Peloton’s stock.

Firstly, Peloton published a strong set of Q2 FY’21 results (quarter ended December 31, 2020), beating market expectations. Revenue grew 128% year-over-year to $1.06 billion and the company also posted a small profit. Connected fitness subscribers grew to 1.67 million at the end of the quarter, marking an increase of 134% year-over-year, and the number is expected to grow to 2.28 million by the end of the fiscal year. Connected fitness subscribers pay about $40 per month to access and sync classes to their Peloton equipment.

One of Peloton’s biggest issues has been that it isn’t able to fulfill demand quickly enough. Although this might seem like a nice problem to have, Peloton risks alienating potential customers and hurting customer experience. This has been a factor holding the stock back since the holiday quarter, with Peloton underperforming the S&P 500 year-to-date. However, the company says that it now plans to invest over $100 million in air freight and expedited ocean freight over the next six months to help speed up its deliveries.

Separately, Peloton recently raised about $875 million in capital via a convertible debt offering at a 0% rate. The company will not pay any interest on the notes till they mature in 2026 and the conversion price stands at about $239, about 55% ahead of the stock’s current market price. This looks like an attractive deal for Peloton, enabling it to invest in its fast-growing business without immediately diluting existing shareholders. []

See our interactive analysis for a detailed look at Peloton’s valuation and financials.

[12/31/2020] Peloton Stock Updates

While Peloton’s (NASDAQ: PTON) stock saw a big sell-off after news of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in early November 2020, the stock is now up a solid 50% since then and is up by roughly 35% over December alone. So what are the trends driving Peloton’s surge? Firstly, the workout-from-home trend has continued to rise, and demand for Peloton’s products continues to significantly outstrip supply.

For example, the premium Bike+ exercise bike has seen delivery timelines slip to 10 weeks currently. Secondly, Peloton was recently added to the Nasdaq 100 stock index. This move results in higher demand for the stock from index funds tracking the Nasdaq. Thirdly, the company announced last week that it would be acquiring Precor – one of the world’s largest commercial fitness equipment suppliers. This is being viewed very positively for a couple of reasons.

Precor has deep relationships with gyms, fitness centers, and hotels and this could also help Peloton expand its reach to these sectors, as they recover post the pandemic. Peloton could also integrate its digital and connected fitness capabilities with Precor equipment. Peloton is also likely to leverage Precor’s expertise and expand beyond its core offerings of bikes and treadmills to other equipment such as ellipticals and climbers. Precor has a total of about 625k square feet of manufacturing space located in the United States. With these facilities complementing Peloton’s existing manufacturing infrastructure in Asia, it should eventually ease manufacturing constraints.

[12/7/2020] Is Peloton A Fad?

Connected fitness company Peloton’s (NASDAQ: PTON) stock is up almost 4x this year, trading at levels of about $115 or about 8x projected FY’21 Revenues. Peloton’s recent growth partly justifies these valuations – it has effectively at least doubled Revenues each year over the last three years and is on track to double Revenues again in FY’21 (fiscal years end in June).

However, as the early phase of growth dies down and Covid-19 related demand declines, could the company’s success be a flash in the pan? Or is Peloton building a sustainable competitive advantage? While it’s still too early to tell, we think that Peloton’s business model has a lot going for it.

High Switching Costs: Peloton’s business model focuses on building commitment via its pricey, but high-quality exercise bikes and treadmills. Once customers invest in its high-cost hardware, it’s likely that they will continue to pay for the monthly connected fitness subscription service (about $39 per month) to get the most out of their equipment. This is evident from the fact that churn rates stood at just 0.65% in Q1 FY’21 – well below most subscription-based digital services. [] The company is also looking to significantly broaden its reach, by launching slightly lower-priced equipment and indicating that it could eventually sell pre-owned bikes.

Favorable Experience For Users: The overall experience of spin classes and fitness lessons are highly dependent on the quality of instruction, and Peloton’s team of instructors have obtained celebrity-like fame. This is a big positive, as Peloton’s model scales well compared to physical fitness classes. The economics of owning a Peloton also compare favorably with gym memberships and spin classes. The average monthly cost of just a gym membership was about $58 in the U.S. in 2018, while Peloton’s connected program costs $39 a month and can also be shared among family members.

Brand Buzz, Social Features: Being one of the first movers in the connected fitness space, Peloton has built significant brand value. The company is also building social features that could help to engage users and build a sense of community around its platform. This network effect could also help to prevent customers from churning out of its platform. Peloton is also counting on its lower-priced digital fitness subscription ($13 per month) as an acquisition channel for its pricier equipment and connected fitness offering. The company said that Digital Subscriptions grew 382% to over 510,000 over Q1.

[9/11/2020] Peloton’s Valuation

Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON) is an at-home fitness company that sells connected exercise bikes and treadmills and related fitness subscriptions. The stock is up over 4x year-to-date, as the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns caused people to stop going to gyms and fitness centers and work out from home, causing demand for the company’s products and services to soar.

Peloton now trades at about 8x projected FY’21 revenues, ahead of  which trades at about 6.5x. Does this make sense? We think it does. In this analysis, we take a look at the company’s financials, future prospects, and valuation. See our interactive analysis for more details. Parts of the analysis are summarized below.

An Overview of Peloton’s Business

Peloton Interactive sells connected fitness equipment including bikes (starting at about $1,900) and treadmills (starting at about $2500) with a monthly Connected Fitness Subscriptions ($39 per month), which streams and syncs instructor-led boutique classes to users bikes and the Peloton Digital Membership ($13 per month) which streams classes to mobile devices and smart TVs.

The company’s Product and Service bundle is positioned as an alternative to not just other exercise equipment, but to gyms and fitness center memberships. Although the company’s products are priced at a premium, the ecosystem – which combines hardware, software, and content – compares quite favorably in terms of price versus fitness classes and subscriptions. For perspective, the average monthly cost of just a gym membership was about $58 in the U.S. in 2018. [] While Peloton sells primarily to individuals, it also has some exposure to the commercial and hospitality markets.

Peloton’s Financials 

Peloton has been growing quickly. Revenues rose from about $440 million in FY’18 (fiscal year ends June) to about $1.83 billion in FY’20, – an annual rate of over 100%. Equipment sales rose from about $350 million in FY’18 to $1.46 billion in FY’20, with the company delivering 626k Bikes and Treads over 2020 alone. Subscription Revenues grew from about $80 million to $360 million, as the company’s base of connected fitness subscribers rose from 246k in FY’18 to about 1.09 million in FY’20.

Peloton’s total membership base rose to 3.1 million as of the end of FY’20, including users who only pay for its digital subscription (not connected to its equipment). Over FY’21, we expect Peloton’s Revenues to grow to almost $3.6 billion, driven by continued growth in equipment sales and a growing base of subscribers.

While Peloton remained loss-making as of last year, the economics of its business look favorable. Overall Gross Margins are thick at about 47% in FY’20 with hardware margins standing at 43%. In comparison, even Apple – an icon of hardware profitability – posted Gross Margins of less than that at 40% over its last fiscal. While Peloton’s Operating Costs have been trending higher, they have been growing slower than Revenue. With Revenue projected to double this year, Peloton appears to be on track to turn profitable.

Peloton’s Valuation

Peloton stock currently trades at levels of close to $130 per share, valued at about 8x projected FY’21 revenues. While the valuation multiple might appear rich, considering that Apple – the most established hardware/software/services play – trades at about 6.5x – we think it is largely justified. Peloton’s Growth has been solid – with Revenues doubling each year over the last two years and sales are likely to double in FY’21 as well.

Margins also have scope to improve meaningfully, considering the company’s high gross margins and low customer acquisition costs. Moreover, the company’s lucrative connected fitness subscription revenues are likely to be very sticky, as users who have invested in high-cost hardware are less likely to stop paying for its monthly service. Given the buzz surrounding the company’s brand, there may also be scope to double down on lifestyle and apparel products, taking on the likes of Lululemon and Nike.

That said, there are risks as well. Firstly, Peloton faces significant supply constraints at the moment. While a new manufacturing facility in Taiwan is likely to begin production at the end of the year, the company is still likely to miss out on some potential holiday demand. Secondly, as the Covid-19 pandemic eventually ends, investors could re-think the valuation of “at-home” stocks and this could at least temporarily impact Peloton’s valuation.

Separately, tech giants – with their deep pockets and software ecosystems – could play a bigger role in the connected fitness space, challenging Peloton. For instance, Apple recently launched its at-home workout app, Fitness Plus, which provides guided workouts and connects with Apple devices such as the Apple Watch.

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Source: What’s Happening With Peloton Stock?

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