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💪 Life is short. Hurry up and retire.

August 12, 2021 Sign up

Good day. Can you guess which of the following alternative assets outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 20 years? a. Fine Wine, b. Vintage Beanie Babies, c. Trading Cards. Check the "Trending" section below for the answer.

  • Crypto crackdown: How does the looming legislation impact the crypto markets?
  • Life is short. Hurry up and retire?
  • Some habits of effective investors


How the looming legislation impacts the crypto markets?

Pending regulation of the crypto markets has been an elephant in the room for years now, and it seems to be slowly but surely coming to fruition as the SEC is pursuing further crackdowns of the largely unregulated crypto landscape as a whole. 

Cryptocurrencies are unlike any other asset class in the sense that no one governing body is responsible for legislating them, which was the point of decentralization to begin with, but we digress.

Where we are presently

  • The public market has the SEC and FINRA to hold public companies and brokerage firms accountable, while crypto has no overseer. 
  • The SEC does reserve the right to regulate any ICO (initial coin offering) or crypto project that is deemed a “security” by definition, which has already caused some confusion. Example: Ripple Labs' XRP token. Simply put, ICOs are the crypto industry's equivalent to an initial public offering (IPO).
  • ICOs are largely unregulated, and anyone technically inclined to launch a new project can attempt to do so. This is one of the government regulator’s primary concerns, to prevent scamming. 
  • Cryptocurrency is subject to capital gains taxes just like any other asset and is considered “property” by the IRS. So, you’re not going to evade taxes by trading crypto instead of stocks. Most exchanges will be sending you that 1099, and you may have also noticed that the IRS asks about crypto on your 1040 now. 

What potential regulators want

  • Recent comments have come from newly confirmed SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, a former regulator with the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) who spent time teaching classes on blockchain technology at MIT. He’s far from naive on crypto, and is well-versed on the nuances of the topic. 
  • Gensler and regulating accomplices are mainly seeking a few things: Reporting, transparency, and integrity. Multiple committees and think tanks are beginning to address the issue, and the bodies eventually responsible for changes will likely come from a confluence of the SEC, IRC, CFTC, and maybe FINRA too. 
  • Defi, stablecoins, and more: Investors lost over $83 million dollars to defi fraud in Q1, a major concern. Gensler also suggests stablecoins constitute security, and could be used by those looking to side-step anti-money-laundering measures or other regulations.

What it could mean

Nobody has any idea what exactly is going to be done to enforce stronger regulations on the crypto market. The SEC’s docket is full, to say the least, and we still find ourselves in the talking stage of this relationship with cryptocurrency legislation. 

Nevertheless, talk is all that’s needed to move one of the most volatile markets in the world, as has been clearly demonstrated over the last 6-10 months. Talk of regulation is viewed as bullish by some investors, because it signals widespread recognition, legitimacy and adoption of crypto by the world, whereas others are skeptical of the government getting involved any more than they already are. 

So, how will this impact Bitcoin and the crypto markets? No one knows, but headlines and investor sentiment are the best short-term qualitative indicators we have at the moment.


Life is short. Hurry up and retire?

El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines

According to a survey by the New York Federal Reserve, a record low 32.9% of participants are planning on working beyond the age of 67. And for those aged 55+, we're seeing a record 2.7 million of them planning to apply for Social Security benefits early. That's almost double the 1.4 million in the same age cohort who are planning to work longer. 

Americans 55 to 69 added $4.2 trillion to their assets last year—that's a $2.2 trillion increase in equities and mutual fund shares, $250 billion to the valuations of privately owned businesses, and $750 billion to real estate. 

A growing desire to get out of corporate life combined with the K-shaped economic recovery from 2020 has inspired many to potentially retire early, and they’ve now got the ammunition to do it. 

2020 Shifts in Wealth of Americans

Source: Bloomberg

The philosophy 

What good are our golden years if they don’t come until the last quarter of our life? Shouldn’t we do what we can to try and retire as early as possible? This is not a novel concept, but the idea has become amplified by a novel pandemic scare in 2020. 

The FIRE movement, or Financially Independent Retire Early ideology, has actually been around since 1992, but employees that range from Baby Boomers all the way to Gen Z are looking for the quickest way out more so than ever. People want to enjoy their life while they still can, and who could blame them?

The means 

If you aspire to join the early retirees one day too, here are a few simple tips. 

  • Keep a check on your allocations: Your portfolio is there to help you retire, make sure your allocations are adjusted according to your goals, and rebalance if necessary. 
  • Create a mock retirement budget: Spend some thought on what you’d want your ideal retirement to look like, and try to approximate a budget that corresponds to it. From there, you can make the necessary calculations and accommodations to start working towards it. 
  • Invest as much as you can: Most people don’t get rich from their job, that’s just how it is. The more of your salary you can dedicate to investing wisely and consistently, the better you set yourself up for the future you desire.

📚 New to the idea of FIRE? Learn more about it to see if it's for you:


Add wine investing to your diversified portfolio

Fine wine has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 20 years because it benefits from scarcity and the tendency to become more valuable over time.

And in the past, fine wine was off-limits to everyday investors, with auctions being held at houses like Sotheby's, Christie's, and Zachys. But that's now changing thanks to technology.

Enter Vinovest — a new platform that combines the knowledge of Master Sommeliers and artificial intelligence to identify the best potential wines to invest in.

  • Time is your friend. $100 invested in the fine wine market in 1952 would be worth $420,000 in 2020. That’s an average return of 6,175% annually. The same $100 in the stock market would have been worth $100,000.
  • Insured with the FDIC equivalent for wine, protecting each bottle for accidents, breakage and loss that may occur. Vinovest also stores your wines in world-class warehouses.

Learn more about Vinovest here and get three months of waived management fees.


Some habits of effective investors

They say hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, and it’s surely rare to find an innately talented investor who can pick moonshot stocks with any deal of accuracy. Investing is a long game, and our best chance to win is often just through consistency and prudence rather than luck and hope. 

That being said, it’s paramount to form some reliable and profitable habits that can turn us into effective investors in the long run, so here are just a few ideas. 

  • Make saving necessary: Saving money should be in the budget, especially until you have your emergency fund built up. In order to invest, we first need to have something to fall back on, and prioritizing your savings account early and often is the quickest route to achieving that. 
  • Maximize employee benefits: What came to your mind? Employee matches, probably, and that’s exactly what we’re talking about. If you’re offered a match on your retirement contributions, maxing that out will add up over time, because free money (i.e., the match) and compounding interest (i.e., tax-advantaged growth) are just nice like that. 
  • Have a plan: Whether it be the asset allocation of your retirement account, a monthly investing budget, or just a stop loss, intentionality almost always wins in investing. Systematically going about your investing and having a strategy in place will save you a lot of money, and likely make you a lot more too.


Today's Movers & Shakers

  • Palantir (+9%) after topping revs estimates and matching earnings
  • CyberArk (-5%) after missing earnings estimates although it beat on revenues. The same story is playing out with Utz Brands (-4.5%) as they are seeing strong demands for its products but costs are rising. This concern about margins will be key as investors look at Q3/Q4 numbers as a result of inflation (higher input costs)
  • eBay (-1%) after forecasting lower revenue
  • Bumble (+1.7%) after seeing subscribers grew and higher revenues but missed on earnings 
  • Sonos (+11.6%) after posting a surprise profit when analysts were expecting a loss; same story with Opendoor (+20%)
  • Lordstown (+1.6%) after the EV after the firm said that it will start (limited) production of its Endurance electric pickup
  • Rumors are that DoorDash (+2.3%) held talks (which have since broken down) with Instacart for a full acquisition
  • Hims & Hers Health (+11%) posted a smaller loss than expected
  • Micron (-3%) after Morgan Stanley lowered guidance

This commentary is as of 9:27 am EDT.


  • ANSWER. Fine wine has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 20 years because it benefits from scarcity and the tendency to become more valuable over time (Vinovest)
  • You can be taxed for buying a cup of coffee with bitcoin using a crypto credit card, but there are ways around it (CNBC)
  • Finny lesson of the day. Need a bite-sized digestible refresh on what alternative investments are? Take this 7-min quiz-based lesson

Finny is a personal finance education start-up offering free, game-based personalized financial education, a supportive discussion forum, and simple stock and fund tools (aka Finnyvest). Our mission is to make learning about all things money fun and easy! 

The Gist is Finny's newsletter to our community members who are looking to make and save more money, protect their finances and be their own bosses! Finny does not offer investment or stock advice. The Gist is sent twice a week (Tues & Thurs). The editorial team: Austin Payne and Chihee Kim. Thanks to Ashu Singh for Today's Movers & Shakers.

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