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Week of September 27 Thumbnail

Week of September 27

For this week: It’s Way Too Easy to Say You’re a Financial Advisor, The Death of the Starter Home?, and What is Going on with China’s Tech Crackdown?

It’s Way Too Easy to Say You’re a Financial Advisor

Michael Kitces of Kitces.com has long advocated that there needs to be title reform for financial services. In this article he points out that there is a fundamental difference between hiring an advisor, and hiring a salesperson. As while both have essential roles in the economy – sometimes we want the advice of a nutritionist about our red meat intake, and other times we simply want the butcher to sell us the best cut of meat – regulation has long recognized the importance of “truth in advertising” when it comes to those respective roles.

Simply put, it’s important for advisors to communicate that they’re advisors and for salespeople to communicate that they’re salespeople (and not advisors), lest the consumer receive conflicted advice from a salesperson who isn’t actually trying to advise but simply wants to sell their product.

The Death of the Starter Home?

We all have a sense that home prices are rising and that housing is increasingly becoming less affordable. But by how much and how does this impact first time home buyers? Ben Carlson of wealthofcommonsense.com shares some perspective and the statistics are startling. 20 years ago, 55% of new homes sold cost less than $200,000, in 2021 it was 2%

What is Going on with China’s Tech Crackdown?

You may have heard some rumblings in the press but there has been a major policy shift by the Chinese Communist Party and they are reigning in large swathes of their economy. We've seen crackdowns on big tech and fintech companies (like Ant Financial and Didi), online education companies, and now even the playing of video games. Investors in key sectors have gotten clobbered by the new rules. So what is the goal and what is the endgame here? I love Odd Lots by Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway of Bloomberg and they speak to Dan Wang, a China tech analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, who breaks it all down in this podcast.

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