🧠 The wealth mindset
November 18, 2021
The Gist
TOGETHER WITH

Good day to you. Can you guess what percent of US millionaires didn't receive any inheritance? a. 39%, b. 59%, c. 79%. Follow the 🌊 below for the answer.

Here's what's on the docket for today 🧐:

  • The used car market is acting up
  • The future of NFTs. Wait, what the heck are they again?
  • Wealth mindset: Getting rich vs. staying rich

MARKET TRENDS

The used car market is literally acting up

Getty images. Today Illustration.

The 2020 pandemic has had its figurative hand in a lot of happenings over the last couple years. From a flash crash, massive money printing, a jobs crisis, warped supply chains, housing price escalations and maybe even... meme stocks too. Nothing has been able to avoid its impacts, not even car prices.

If you've gone shopping to buy a car this year, you know what we're talking about. Vehicle prices have fallen victim to a bunch of factors, ultimately resulting in some of the most insane used car prices we’ve seen yet.

Just how bad is it?

In the month of October alone, a key used car index showed a 9.2% month-over-month increase that surprised even the experts. That jump brings the average price of used cars up 38% this year vs. the prior. 

And what's off about October's increase is that it's usually the slowest month of the year for used car sales. 

So what is that price exactly? The average cost of buying a used vehicle has jumped from about $12.5K prior to the pandemic, to over $20K today. New cars aren’t any better either, with the average cost coming in at over $45K.

At prices like these, it’s fair to start thinking about going electric or regressing to the Fred Flinstone method.

How to cope

  • If you don’t need a car: A lot of us like to start hunting for cars long before we’re in dire need of something new. That’s great and helps us make a well-informed decision, but now might not be the time for that. In this market, it seems like an increasingly good idea to just abstain from it entirely. 
  • Sell your car? These prices can also make it a tempting time to sell your car if you happen to have some equity or own it outright. Hold on though, if you’re going to need to replace it, you could end up getting the short end of the stick. It’s prime time for selling secondary vehicles you don’t need, but probably not your daily. 
  • Heck, maybe just buy a new one: The average price of a used car is $20.6K, which is certainly much less than the average new one. But, in times like these, if your financial situation warrants it and you’ve had your eyes on one, the opportunity cost of buying new over used now hurts your wallet much less than it did when used cars were priced normally. 

🚗 If you're thinking to sell your car, pick up an insight or two here:

CRYPTO ASSETS

The future of NFTs. Wait, what the heck are they again?

A copy of the Nyan Cat NFT that sold for nearly $600K in Feb 2021

NFTs have seemingly come out of nowhere over the last 12 months, but they’ve actually been around since 2015 when the first project was launched on the Ethereum blockchain. Interest has picked up significantly throughout 2021, going from almost nonexistent to spiked on Google Trends data. 

Google Trends Data on the search term "NFT" over the last 5 years

Despite all the buzz and press coverage around them, many of us are still in the dark on how any of this works. 

A review 

  • NFT stands for non-fungible token, and in simple terms, think of it as a digital collectible. NFTs are assets of sorts stored on a blockchain and contain important metadata that identifies creation dates, ownership, and other relevant identifiers. 
  • Although NFTs and cryptos leverage the same blockchain technology, cryptos and physical currencies are considered "fungible" in that one Bitcoin can be traded or exchanged for one another because they are equal in value. A Bitcoin is always worth another Bitcoin. NFTs can't be directly exchanged with one another simply because no two NFTs are identical. Hence the term non-fungible. 
  • Their value comes from their scarcity and originality. They’re unique, non-counterfeitable, and authenticated by one of the most reliable emerging technologies on the planet. Even though NFTs have been around since 2014, they are gaining notoriety because they are becoming a popular way to buy and sell digital artwork. 
  • They can sell for anywhere from a few dollars for miscellaneous digital items, nearly $600K for a Nyan Cat meme to $69 million for a digital collage. Yes, the range is really broad and unpredictable. And while an NFT is associated with mainly crypto art today, it refers broadly to a technological element assigned to any type of media that links it to a blockchain, making it unique and permanent. 
  • Transactions on the blockchain are processed and validated by miners, that conduct highly complex computations. For their computational efforts, miners are paid what's called a gas fee or transaction costs. Gas fees are also incentives for miners which can help reduce spam on the network. On most NFT marketplaces, users will have to pay gas fees for buying, selling or creating (aka, minting) NFTs. Gas fees are usually quite high.

Future implications

The value of NFTs is hotly contested as some people view them as a get-rich-quick scam, while others believe them to be the future of creative expression. 

Die-hard followers believers that NFTs will change the way people share their ideas forever. Being able to verify authenticity, actions and origins for one's ideas is deemed priceless. An eyebrow-raising data point: NFT sales reached $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021 compared to only $13 million in the first half of 2020. Many who are immersed in the space say that we're just scratching the surface. Time will tell.

SPONSORED BY LEDGER

Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole” by Ledger, a digital asset security and management company, is a weekly show airing every Friday that unpacks the world of crypto. In each episode, the show crew looks at the crypto industry through various lenses, from how it’s changing society at large, to what you can expect as the world becomes crypto-fied.

Here are the different segments of the show:

  • "7 Days in Crypto"—an around-the-world overview of what's going on in the world of crypto and blockchain;
  • "The Story"—a 10-minute block depicting how crypto is playing out in everyday lives, told through a global lens and leveraging on-the-street reporting. Check out the story on NFT hype in Nigeria.
  • "The Deep Dive"—a 5-minute exploration of the crazy world of crypto culture, like CryptoPunks or the Metaverses.

Check out the latest episode—and enjoy going down the rabbit hole with Ledger!

MONEY MINDSET

The wealth mindset: Getting rich vs. staying rich

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

We’ve all heard the saying that enough is never enough, and it seems to hold true even more so in the area of wealth building. While there’s undoubtedly a balance to be found between pursuing endless piles of cash and finding financial freedom, it can be a fine line, and something we could use some guidance on.

So here are a few tips and takeaways on accumulating wealth and maintaining it.

Step 1: Getting rich 

Persistence & consistency through daily habits: Acquire knowledge and builds skills through consistent actions. With a deliberate approach to a refined goal, there are only a few things that could stop you completely.

Multiple incomes: Two rivers will fill a lake faster than one, and the more inflows the better. While having a stable income is important and should probably be our first priority, once established we can begin to move on to finding more ways to generate revenue for the business known as ourselves.

Taking calculated risks: To actualize your goals, what risks are you willing to take? Maybe that's real estate, starting a business or a side hustle. 

Community & relationships matter: It's rare to become successful on your own accord. The wealthy builds teams that believe in their vision. They are also skilled at building relationships with other success-minded people.

Step 2: Staying rich

Let your money work for you: In our current financial system with things like compound interest and tax-advantaged accounts, there’s an abundance of ways to make your money work for you so you don’t have to. If you treat each of your dollars like an employee, they’ll be much more productive compared to losing value under the mattress. 

Adopt aspects of a frugal lifestyle: Living below your means is a surefire way to stay wealthy. After all, if you spend almost everything you make, you’re essentially treading water and maintaining your need to replace that money. By living on a fraction of what you make, you allow that excess money to be put to work. 

Budget and spend meticulously: Knowing where every dollar goes is a habit that should begin long before you reach millionaire status, and it’s quite possibly the main key to being in control of your finances. This, combined with choosing wisely where that budget goes and avoiding impulse buys will almost always be a great recipe to stay on top.

☂️ Related lesson:

📊 ASHU'S CORPORATE CORNER

Today's Movers & Shakers

  • Macy’s (+8%) in early trading after posting stronger results and raising their full-year outlook
  • Kohl’s (+6%) also reported stronger results; consumer demand remains strong
  • BJ’s (+4.6%) handsomely beat estimates; revenues came ahead of expectations
  • Petco (-1%) also beat the street but investors aren't so impressed
  • Alibaba (-5%) after missing on revenues and profits 
  • JD.com (+1.4%) on the beat
  • Cisco Systems (-6.3%) as they expect current revenues will come below forecasts due to supply chain-related costs
  • Nvidia (+8.5%) as they beat on profits and revenues
  • Sonos (+1.9%) missed top- and bottom-line figures but raised their full-year forecast
  • Bath & Body Works $BBWI(+5%) had stronger than expected results
  • Victoria Secret $VSCO (+11%) on the beat
  • Deere (+1.4%) after workers approved the 6-year contract

This commentary is as of 9:02 am EDT.

🌊 TRENDING ON FINNY & BEYOND

  • Answer: 79% of US millionaires did not receive any inheritance at all from their parents or other family members, according to a survey by Ramsey Solutions
  • 'I went from having to borrow money to making $4m in a day’: how NFTs are shaking up the art world (The Guardian)
  • 📢 Calling all personal finance writers, creators & financial advisors: Would you or someone you know be interested in writing Finny Bites on finance topics (fully attributed to you)? If so, we want to hear from you! We're also growing our content team over here, so send us an email if you're interested in being part of the Finny content team! Contact us
  • Finny lesson of the day. Since we cover NFTs today, take this lesson for a few more insights into the basics:

Finny is a personal finance education start-up on a mission to make your money work for you. We offer a personalized learning experience through bite-size, jargon-free lessons, money trends & insights and investing tools.

The Gist is Finny's twice a week (Tues & Thurs) newsletter covering personal finance & investing insights and money trends. Finny does not offer investment and stock advice. The editorial team: Chihee KimAustin Payne. Ashu's Corporate Corner is brought to you by Ashu Singh.

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Calling all personal finance creators and writers

Would you be interested in writing Finny Bites, fully attributed to you? If so, we want to hear from you: send us an email and we'll be in touch!