Earlier this week, Tesla (TSLA) revealed that Q1 had been a bumper for car deliveries, despite supply chain challenges. In the three months since the start of the year, it delivered a total of 310,048 vehicles – almost 70% higher than Q1 last year, when it delivered 184,800 cars. According to its controversial chief executive Elon Musk, the EV giant has overcome several hurdles in an “extremely difficult quarter”, like issues across the supply chain and a zero-Covid-19 policy in China. And yet it’s telling, isn’t it, that this news took a backseat in the Musk universe.
Moving on, Musk also took a 9.2% passive stake in Twitter this week. If your obsession with becoming cool on Twitter doesn’t work out, why not just buy it? The soon-to-be trillionaire (or so people seem to think) was also appointed to the board. First point of action? Get kudos for attempting to implement an edit function, despite Twitter’s insistence it has actually been working on one since last year. For comparison, co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey owns just over 2% of the social media company.
Trump’s Truth is “a Disaster”
Staying in social media land, the long-awaited app Truth Social has flopped, according to one commentator. Founded by former US President Donald Trump, the Twitter duplicate was meant to be a “revolutionary technology company” standing up to the tyranny of big tech. It launched on 21 February, which is Presidents’ Day in the US. A host of problems now mean a waiting list of almost 1.5 million people is currently unable to use it. In fact, the app is unavailable to people using Android phones or web browsers, or indeed to anyone outside the US. For his part, Trump is said to be furious. He has yet to post any “truths” on the app himself, though.
Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is in a Spin
Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic crisis since its independence from the UK in 1948. Rising living costs and power cuts have prompted mass protests, which drove the Sri Lankan Central Bank’s head Ajith Nivard Cabraal to resign this Monday. The resignation was submitted after all of the country’s cabinet ministers resigned too. The bank, which postponed an interest rate decision in order to stabilize its currency, has made a new appointment, however, offering the role to a former deputy governor, P Nandalal Weerasinghe. When he will make a decision on rates remains to be seen.
We May Have Just Had a “Final” Climate Warning
As if there wasn’t already enough going on, this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the latest iteration of its long-running report on the climate crisis, urging governments and societies to take drastic action on the issue. It has been interpreted as a “final warning” on irreparable climate damage, the consequences of which are almost too brutal to imagine.
You Shouldn’t Assume Anything
As boring as it sounds, saving for retirement is an important task for everyone. And while most of us would like to assume our monthly contributions will be enough for a satisfying later life, our personal finance expert Christine Benz has outlined exactly why that is a dangerous game. Have a look at her four assumptions that could be downright dangerous to your pension planning.
Competitive Stocks Can Be a Bargain
One of our favorite analyst metrics for stocks is the economic moat. This means that a company has a competitive edge over its peers. Even better still: companies with a stable future that are trading at a discount! We have collated all of the cheapest stocks in our wide-moat index – and we’ve also revealed which stocks have been added and removed recently.
Latin America Looks Solid
We also took a look at the top and bottom performing funds in March, and one clear winner came out on top: Latin America. Funds with this focus saw returns of up to 17% this past month – and the category is up more than 25% in Q1. Meanwhile, the month proved hard for China funds. The sector has struggled since December, and all the bottom 10 funds on our list have this focus. Meanwhile, inflation seems to keep its hold on all markets for the time being.
Fund Fees are Falling
Morningstar issued a huge report on fund fees this week. According to the “Global Investor Experience” research, costs are falling around the world, and the UK is looking good like it’s in a healthy place relative to other countries. Australia, the Netherlands and the US come top of the report’s scorecard, while the United Kingdom ranks among Korea, Norway, South Africa and Sweden in the “Above Average” category. Italy and Taiwan lag as the most expensive places to invest in funds. Check the article for the full fee and expense scorecard.
ESG Skeptics Are Throwing Sticks in The Wheel
We’ve continued our laser focus on ESG issues this week, starting with a comprehensive analysis of so-called “anti-ESG” proxy voting by lobbyists. If they’re not dooming ESG decisions altogether, these small but influential group are at least plaguing boards with their machiavellian and meticulous methods. And speaking of which, having couple clients with different opinions on ESG can also prove difficult. IFA Greg Moss has outlined how he manages this when advising people on their financial decisions.