MORNING WRAP

🗞️Merrill said no cold calls

Gaming with Netflix

How are you? I like this quote - to remind ourselves when things don’t turn out the way we expect: “If you fail, never give up. Because F.A.I.L. means FIRST ATTEMPT IN LEARNING.” 💪🏻


Morning Wrap your day:

  1. Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch banned its trainee brokers from making any cold calls.📵
  2. Ray Dalio: bitcoin > bond...why?
  3. Netflix is planning to step into video games now. Looking forward to it?
  4. What Airbnb did to welcome the incoming trips.

MARKET

Wall Street closed lower as reports showed US new home sales dropped and consumer confidence fell slightly amid inflation and unemployment concerns.


European closed flat on Tuesday, as a rally in tech shares was offset by losses in miners as China said it would strengthen price controls of key commodities.


Asia: China had its best day in 11 months as inflation fears eased, and foreign capital flowed into the A-share market thanks to a stronger yuan. Hong Kong also rose as inflation concerns eased. Japan edged higher boosted by a strong finish on the Nasdaq overnight.

BANKING

No Cold Calls, Please

Source: Giphy

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch wealth management is doing something transformative: It just banned its trainee brokers from making any cold calls.📵


Ugh? What’s wrong with cold calls?

It’s problematic 🤯 Last summer, Merrill’s trainee called someone on the “do-not-call” list – a cold call blacklist administered by The Federal Trade Commission  – when they were working from home and cannot approach prospective clients. This almost landed them into trouble.

  • In 2015, Merrill was fined in New Hampshire for cold calling someone on the do-not-call list. 😨

So, Merrill paused the cold call practice for trainees last summer… and turned it into a ban this week.


If no cold calls, how can they land new customers?

Just be more “modern”. Come on, we are in a digital world. 📱 The cold call is a technique carried forward from the last century, and the answer rate today is… less than 2% only. ☎️

  • Instead, Merrill would suggest its trainee brokers focus on internal referrals, or use an more contemporary way – LinkedIn messages.

+ Make sure you note this: Merrill Lynch refers to the investing and wealth management division of Bank of America. It is different from the investment banking arm BofA Securities (previously BAML).

BITCOIN

Ray Dalio: Bitcoin > Bonds

Source: Cointelegraph

It’s another busy day for Bitcoin - with comments from Ray Dalio and market-moving tweets from the technoking. 


What did Ray Dalio say about Bitcoin?

As the founder of Bridgewater Associates, Dalio said that he would rather own Bitcoin than a bond on Monday. 


A 180-degree turn: you sure it’s the same person? 😲

Emmm…He previously called Bitcoin “one hell of an invention”, and found it challenging to put a value on digital assets since investing in Bitcoin = recognizing the potential to lose about 80%.


Then why did he say he prefers Bitcoin than bond? 

  1. 👎 Investing in bond “has become stupid”: Probably because he doesn’t like investing in bond at the current moment, as it pay even less than inflation...though in reality he still put a large percentage of his firm’s fund into US Treasuries and other goverment bonds.
  2. 👍 He said he has “some Bitcoin” (we don’t know how much he owns), and it could be an attractive savings vehicle in an inflationary scenario.

But he also pointed out bitcoin’s greatest risk - its own success. US government could ban it altogether if it becomes too successful, i.e. becoming a larger asset class and poses a real threat to others like bonds.


Elon Musk, what did you tweet again?

A double-digit percentage rally was stoked by his new tweet, seeking to bolster Bitcoin’s green credentials. 📈 It retreated on Tuesday following a 16% jump on Monday. 


Such “Musk-volatility” can be a setback for this cryptocurrency. “The fact that it sees such wild swings to the tweets from one person takes away the legitimacy of the asset class.”

TECHNOLOGY

Airbnb is Ready for the Next Travel

Source: The Airbnb Blog, Morning Wrap

Airbnb is ready to welcome the next round of travel boost - by revamping the whole app and pushing 100+ updates on Monday.


What’s new? While the number 100 sounds quite a lot, the goal of these updates is clear: to make the home-sharing and booking easier so as to have more users...and revenues. 🤑

  • Be flexible: Travelers can now search with more flexibility. Instead of searching with a fixed schedule, we can press “search” with no destination, no dates, 
  • More hosts, please! Becoming new hosts and sharing our own apartment is easier now.

Though update #57 sounds a bit stretched… After booking, CEO Brian and his dog Sandy will pop up to celebrate the moment. 🤣 U serious? You call this an update?


👉 Check out the full list of 103 updates here

BIG TECH

Gaming with Netflix

Source: Daily Express, Morning Wrap

Are you a fan of Netflix’s Stranger Things 3: The Game or its interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch? If yes, this is for you - Netflix is planning to step into video games now. 


Expand into video games… how? 🎮

Netflix is reportedly in the progress of hiring a senior executive focusing on video games. Though its strategy is still in flux, the final product would be a paid subscription to Netflix game gallery… or "think of it as a smaller Apple Arcade".

  • The final launching date could possibly be 2022, or go beyond that… still, not decided yet.

Why are they tapping into video games?

Video games are Netflix’s competitor - Think in this way, if we play more video games, the time we spend with Netflix will be significantly shorter. Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings once regarded video game Fortnite as Netflix’s big competitor.

  • Netflix also needs a new growth driver: It’s subscriber base is growing slowly… new selling points needed!

Maybe this is more relevant to us: will it be free to existing Netflix subscribers? 🤔

WRAP UP

What’s Moving in the Business World?

🏊 Don’t go to Japan: US said Americans should avoid traveling to Japan, with much of the country under a state of emergency...only two months away from the Olympics. (more)


🔇 Avoid these 8 areas: UK government urged people not to travel into and out of eight areas hit by the Indian variant, but it’s criticized for changing the guidance without telling the public. (more)


✈️ More sanctions for Belarus: US backed EU’s decision to impose more sanctions over Belarus’s redirection of plane to arrest dissident journalist. (more


👏Well done Singapore. Singapore’s economy grew at its fastest pace for more than a year. (more)


😰 Kuaishou is having a hard time: Kuaishou, TikTok’s rival in China, dropped nearly 8% as its livestreaming business sinks and costs jump. (more


🏠 Red-hot real estate: US home prices surged the most since 2015, fueled by a shortage of properties to buy and low mortgage rates. (more) 

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