Got Debt? Don’t Fret.
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You made it to Thursday!
LinkedIn might feel like a bleak place these days as more people change their statuses to #opentowork. This week, Spotify, 3M, and The Washington Post became the latest in a string of companies to announce layoffs since the beginning of the year, joining Amazon, Google, Microsoft, NBC News, and Salesforce (to name a few). And it’s not just humans — even the M&M’s spokescandies have been pushed out of their roles — although we suspect we haven’t seen the last of them.
Even if you haven’t been directly impacted by job cuts and took today’s news that the economy grew 2.9% in the final quarter of 2022 as an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief, you’re likely wondering what these recent layoffs signal about the economy, so it’s helpful to put them into perspective. As Axios points out, tech workers have been disproportionately impacted as the sector adjusts to a business-as-usual state after historic growth early in the pandemic. Yet employment in other sectors, like construction and durable goods manufacturing, remains stubbornly strong, and some of the largest US employers still face labor shortages, which are pushing up wages for those who need them most. Walmart just became the latest retailer to raise starting wages for hourly workers.
The economy is likely to remain in a weird place for the foreseeable future, so we’ve rounded up a few articles and tips to help with your other pressing questions. If you’re…
- …confused about the implications of the US hitting its debt ceiling, CNBC explains what it means for your money.
- …wondering if we’ll see a recession this year, NPR summarizes some of the current economist predictions.
- …curious about what we can expect from next week’s Fed meeting, Axios shares some clues.
- …stressing about how to pay down your debt, keep scrolling! We have a whole article on that below. Finally, it’s earnings season! So far, company results have been a mixed bag, leading stocks to wobble. We’ll be continuing to watch the numbers roll in and how markets react, so expect more updates on that next week.
Asking for a friend….
We know there is a lot to think about these days, and it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. To help with those nagging questions and so you have useful resources at your fingertips, here are few links to resources and past stories relevant in these turbulent times:
- How to Practice Faith-Based Investing
- Some of our favorite inflation-fighting strategies (and a few more)
- Unpacking the ESG Alphabet Soup (including a link to our ever-growing glossary of common terms)
- FWIW Guide to Cleantech Investing: Sectors to Watch (covering a dozen innovative sectors to anchor your research on sustainable investing options)
- “Siri, What Is a Recession?”
News you can use
- Wealthy customers are pulling their cash from big banks in search of higher yields elsewhere, reports The Wall Street Journal. Bank of America and JPMorgan have seen deposits in their wealth units decline by 17%, and Wells Fargo’s wealth-management deposits dropped by 28%. If you too are wondering how to take better advantage of today’s high interest rates, we’ve got some tips to find your yield of dreams.
- ESG funds attracted positive investment flows in 2022 even as money was pulled from broader funds, according to Refinitiv Lipper data. Moreover, sustainable funds performed in line with the rest of the market during a turbulent year. For example, the Morningstar US Sustainability Index fell 18.9% in 2022 while the S&P 500 (that many use as a benchmark to compare themselves with) fell 19.4%. That said, it is hard for any investor to celebrate double-digit losses.
- Microsoft is betting big on artificial intelligence. Alongside laying off 10,000 employees this week, the tech giant announced its third investment in the generative AI platform OpenAI, which will include $10 billion over multiple years, according to The New York Times. You can learn more about OpenAI and other ways to invest in AI in the FWIW archives.