I Can’t believe we’re at 100 already🤯
Hey there and welcome to issue number 100 of our weekly newsletter!!!!!
I can’t believe we’ve made it to issue #100.
I started this publication back in April 2020. At the time, we here in Barcelona were stuck at home at what was the beginning of a long, strange, and depressing trip.
The original idea came from a webinar a did for my friends at La Vaca Coworking where I had been a member for quite some time.
The idea then was to talk about what (the fuck) was going on with the economy during the pandemic, while giving us an excuse to meet up online and chat.
When we finished the call, I promised to write up what we talked about and give weekly updates.
From there, the newsletter was born, and to be honest, it’s been nothing but a joy curating it for you.
Since I began, I’ve challenged myself to think about finance and the economy in terms people without my background can understand.
Knowing what’s going on with the world around us is crucial for us to make better decisions.
Yet, the education we get from school pretty much leaves us unable to make sense of how money and human behavior around it dictates our lives.
I’ve also had a lot of fun writing it, too. Some of my favorite posts are:
- How NOT to get rich from Amazon (by investing in CFDs)
- The Bored Ape Unicorn Club
- The Suez Blockage Stinking Up the World Economy
- A Thanksgiving Turkey Story
- The strange way airlines are actually central banks
That last post is actually our most-visited piece of content. I’m not exactly sure why — especially since we’re not a travel blog — but I’ll take the traffic stats boost.
What’s more is that we consistently have an open rate of ~45%. That’s huge; especially since it stays that way as we grow.
I take that as validation that nearly half of you enjoy what I’m writing enough to keep opening it. Thank you so much for that.
So what’s in store for the next 100?
We’re going to take August off as we all need a bit of a recharge.
When we come back in early September, we’ll continue to deliver the same content, but, under the old “WTF is going on with the Economy?!” branding that we started with.
We also have some requests to do specific topics, like how to help Americans living abroad.
If you have any ideas, please let me know by replying to this email; I’d be happy to see what we can do.
Until then, I want to thank you for your time, support, and periodic encouraging words.
You make it worth it for me to continue writing.
Here’s to you! 🥂
co-founder & CEO of abroaden.
Before jumping into the news, I owe you an update.
Most of you subscribed to this newsletter when signing up for our early access list; some of which came over a year ago.
You’re also probably wondering why you haven’t received that invitation just yet.
In short, our way of delivering investment management services that cross borders as easily as you do involves tons of regulatory pieces.
Our goal is to not only make it so you can build your wealth without thinking about it, but also do so affordably, transparently, and with full legal protection for you as our client.
To that last point, we’ve learned that getting the right regulatory authorizations for a novel project like ours takes time and way more than we expected.
When we launch, we’ll work with a regulated broker who has all of the permissions to offer investment services across the EU and the UK.*
Getting that authorization in the EU is incredibly slow at the moment due to Brexit. Prior to the divorce, London was hands-down the best regulator in Europe for FinTech (Financial Technology, which is our industry).
Since leaving without any agreement for financial services, UK-registered companies scrambled to find a new home in the EU.
The problem is that no one left could adequately fill the role by the Financial Conduct Authority (the UK’s financial regulator).
That issue is slowly resolving itself, with Baltic countries like Lithuania working to meet this demand.
As the backlog clears, we expect our provider to have market access towards the end of the year.
When that happens, we’ll send out our first invites for beta testing to get you on your investment journey.
Believe me when I say that we’re more than ready to begin. Right now we:
- Have our product built and ready to go
- Continue to grow an amazing list of early-access sign ups (don’t forget to share it with someone you might know who needs it)
- Completed a FinTech incubation program and
- Graduated from a FinTech accelerator
- Count on an expert advisory board of mentors with deep experience in startups, expat taxes and investing, and FinTech to ensure everyone’s success
We’re as ready as you are for the next step, and you’ll be the first to know when it happens. (note that if you’re in Barcelona, you’ll probably hear us screaming for joy the instant all of this moves forward).
So voila, there you have it.
I’ll keep you posted as we progress.
* For our American friends out there: the pathway to us getting on the market for you is slightly different and more complicated, because, well, investing as a US expat isn’t exactly easy to begin with due to the taxes. We have some incredible advisors helping us on that end. We know you need our services and we’re working as hard as we can to bring it.
Our Instagram Contest
ICYMI: we’re having a contest on Instagram! We want to know your tips, tricks, and hacks to be more energy efficient (and save money)!
Share your techniques with us and we’ll post it to our feed. The one with the most likes will get a free 30 minute financial tune up call with one of our certified investment and finance experts.
Learn more and enter here. https://abroaden.typeform.com/to/BvJpy8GM
The ECB Raises interest rates
Last Wednesday, the European Central Bank announced that it was increasing its base interest rate by 0.50%.
This move took the current rate from -0.50% back to 0.00%
Interestingly, the increased amount took the markets off guard as the ECB previously signaled it was only going to raise the rate by 0.25%.
The market reacted a bit mixed to the news, with European stocks going up while the EUR lost some ground against the dollar.
However, the rate increase wasn’t the only policy change coming out of Frankfurt. During their press conference on Thursday, the ECB also announced the roll out of the “Transmission Protection Instrument” or TPI.
“What’s the TPI” you might ask? Great question.
Here in Europe, it’s no secret that there’s a big difference between the economies of Southern Europe and the North.
When countries in the north borrow money, they get much more favorable rates than their counterparts down south.
While it becomes more expensive for everyone to borrow when rates go up, weaker southern countries become more vulnerable to default. In turn, that risk causes the rates these states can borrow at to increase further still.
The ECB’s TPI tool will supposedly help minimize these risks by purchasing a set amount of bonds (loans) from European countries.
The idea is that by taking them off of the market and acting as a trusted lender, other investors will have more confidence in lending vulnerable countries money.
That way, they keep the borrowing costs between all eurozone countries closer together and more competitive.
It’s hard to say what success, if any, this program will have. However, until the EU becomes not just a monetary union but a fiscal one, we can expect these sorts of programs to continue.