★ This Week in #FinancialGossip
Apple is taking no prisoners in its pursuit of total tech domination.
At Apple’s annual developer conference, the tech giant unveiled the Home Pod (a cute little white speaker that is now Amazon Echo’s arch enemy) and revealed a new Do Not Disturb Driving mode for iPhones. They also casually killed the need for peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo.
Soon Apple Pay will work from person to person, not just from person to retailer. If this sounds life-changing, it kind of is. You’ll now be able to pay back a friend by simply sending a text message. iMessage will sync with the card you have stored in your Apple Wallet and you’ll be able to authenticate your payment with Touch ID.
If someone sends *you* some cash it will be instantly available in Apple Pay Cash, which you can spend, send again, or transfer to your bank account. Getting a message just got a whole lot better.
America’s billionaire president has been making some “business decisions” that aren’t so favorable with America’s billionaire citizens.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk left two presidential advisory councils after Trump announced the U.S. would be leaving the Paris climate agreement, tweeting, “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Billionaire and former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg also publicly shared his disapproval of the decision by pledging $15 million to soften the monetary blow of the U.S. parting ways with the UN’s investment in renewable energy.
And he’s not alone. Currently, hundreds of businesses, including Apple and Amazon, have signed an agreement to continue to reduce carbon emissions despite the U.S. government’s decision.
John Legend just joined the fight against lunch debt, a very real (but not very publicized policy) where students who can’t afford lunch are then shamed with lunch debt.
What happens to a student with lunch debt? It differs from district to district but some will “mark” the student by making them wear a hand stamp or wristband, while other schools have students do chores to pay off their debt.
Once they reach a max debt (for example, $15 in unpaid lunches) they will no longer be able to receive a hot lunch from the cafeteria and will be given a brown bag with a cold cheese sandwich instead.
76% of U.S. school districts have students with unpaid lunch debt, and now people are trying to raise money through GoFundMe campaigns to pay off the students’ debts. One father started a campaign to pay off all lunch debt among Seattle Public Schools and has raised over $20,000 — $5,000 of which came from artist, philanthropist (and food lover) John Legend.
Amazon stock surpassed the $1,000 mark last week and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) followed suit on Monday.
It’s rare to see S&P 500 stock prices reach four digits (the only other $1,000 club member in the S&P 500 is Priceline). Typically, if a stock price increases to a level where it seems “too high” for small investors, the company will decide to split its shares. For example, if you owned one share of $1,000 stock and the company decided to split its stock in a 2-for-1 split, you’d be given two $500 shares instead.
The important thing to take away here is that while the media loves to make a big deal of stock prices hitting certain psychological milestones, price alone can not tell you if a stock is cheap or expensive. Focusing predominantly on price is a common mistake that a lot of new investors make. But you need to look at the price in tandem with other factors, like earnings, to evaluate what a stock is truly worth.
The world’s top 10 most valuable brands are all American — except one.
Chinese tech firm Tencent, which specializes in online games, apps and mobile payments, secured #8 this year on BrandZ’s Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. With a market capitalization of $330 billion, Tencent has experienced escalated growth due to the popularity of its social platform WeChat.
Its brand value has increased by 27% since last year, now at $108 billion and surpassing IBM (#9) and McDonald’s (#10). Google holds the #1 spot followed by Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, AT&T, and then Visa.
Invibed didn’t make the list this year, but we like to think that’s because our value is priceless :)
For past weeks’ financial gossip, click here.
[All gifs by Giphy]