☀️☕️ The Grey Dollar: An Overlooked Fountain of Economic Youth

📊 Also: The Nikkei hits an All-Time High, finally!; Europe also ATH!; Nvidia ignites Nasdaq and S&P 500 to ATHs! 🎓 The Nikkei, Japan’s Dow

📈 Market Roundup [23-Feb-24]

US large-cap S&P 500 closed 2.11% UP ▲▲

Tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed 2.96% UP ▲▲

Pan European STOXX Europe 600 closed 0.82% UP ▲

HK/China's Hang Seng Index closed 1.45% UP ▲

Japan's broad TOPIX closed 1.27% UP ▲

📝 Focus

  • The Grey Dollar: An Overlooked Fountain of Economic Youth 

📊 In the Markets

  • The Nikkei hits an All-Time High, finally!; Europe also ATH!; Nvidia ignites Nasdaq and S&P 500 to ATHs!

📖 MoneyFitt Explains

  • 🎓 The Nikkei, Japan’s Dow

💸 Personal Finance Corner

📝 Focus

Ageing. Ten months ago, our guest writer Steve Conley contributed a fascinating piece on “The 100-Year Life: A Blueprint for Longevity and Fulfilment”, and more recently, we have written bleakly about China’s demographic challenges, including its ageing population. Our writer today takes an entirely different spin on the topic!

The Grey Dollar: An Overlooked Fountain of Economic Youth 👵👴

In the race to capture the latest market trends, one demographic is often overlooked—the "Grey Dollar." This economic powerhouse is driven by our global ageing population and is quietly transforming economies from the U.S. to Asia.

Over 50s control over half of U.S. spending power, making up an economic cohort larger than millennials, according to the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey. But this isn't just an American trend. In Asia, seniors are projected to control nearly 40% of spending by 2030, according to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Grey Dollar isn't just about spending, either. It's an engine for innovation and progress. Tech firms like GreatCall are creating products tailored for this market, leading to an $800 million acquisition. The travel industry is also catching on, with companies like Road Scholar providing enriching trips for the silver set.

And many seniors are choosing to work longer, start businesses, and continue contributing economically. 92-year-old Betty White said it best: "Retirement is not in my vocabulary." 

Group hug for the grey dollar (with Betty White in the middle) - Image credit: The Golden Girls (1985-92) / NBC via Tenor

The influence of the Grey Dollar will only grow over time. By 2050, the global 60+ population will double to 2.1 billion, according to UN population projections. In Asia, to nearly 1 billion elderly, according to the same projections.

As we stand on the brink of this demographic shift, the Grey Dollar represents a huge economic opportunity. It's time to embrace our ageing population as a catalyst for innovation and progress. The Golden Girls are bringing silver linings.

So the next time you notice a touch of grey, think of the Grey Dollar—it's not just behind the times; it's driving the times towards brighter, bolder economies!

Guest writer: Dr. Christina Chua: SVP in Wealth Management, Where Finance Gets Serious, and Fun Gets a PhD. This article is for information only and not investment advice. The writer may have long or short positions in the companies mentioned above. All opinions are hers and hers alone. Please see the important disclaimer at the bottom.

Please see Dr. Chua’s original LinkedIn post here

She can definitely carry her own weight in society - Image credit: Tenor

📊 In the Markets

The benchmark S&P 500 shot up 2.1% to close at a record high on Thursday

The rally was broad, but led by semiconductor stocks, which surged on another massive burst of bullishness over artificial intelligence and tech in general after Nvidia’s blowout earnings after the bell the day before. Nvidia was the best performer, gaining 16.4% to reach a record high of its own, adding $273bn in market value, the largest addition in market history, and is now just 3% from hitting the $2 trillion mark.

Somewhere inside there’s a Taiwanese-American man in a black leather jacket - Image credit: Tenor

The results pulled other chipmakers up too, with Advanced Micro Devices and Broadcom up 11% and 6%, sending the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up 5%. 

The Nasdaq Composite added 3 per cent, to close a ridiculously tiny 0.1% off its November 2021 record high, with all other Magnificent Seven stocks also making decent gains. 

Chipmakers around the world were on fire, with foundry TSMC up 3%, designer Arm Holdings up 4% and equipment manufacturer ASML up 5%.  

With its tech subindex jumping 3%, the pan-Europe Stoxx 600 index closed 0.82% higher at 495.1, squeezing past its previous record close of 494.35 set in January 2022. 

Eurozone business activity in February showed some improvement. Manufacturing contracted, but the services sector returned to growth. Nobody cared. 

Japan’s popular benchmark Nikkei 225🎓 index finally managed to touch at a record intraday high of 39,157, surpassing by all of 0.6% the previous record high of 38,916 reached in 1989. 

The index closed 2.19% higher at 39,098.68, set 34 years ago. 

The broader Topix index of the whole “First Section” of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was also up. Not at an all time high, but not too bad, closing at its highest level since February 1990. 

Business activity data was dismal, though. The Jibun Bank flash purchasing managers’ index for February fell to 47.2 from January's 48.0, with the sub-50 readings indicating ongoing contraction in private sector activity. It marks the ninth consecutive month of decline, with new orders sharply decreasing and production shrinking at the fastest rate in a year.

Nobody cared.

📖 MoneyFitt Explains

🎓 The Nikkei, Japan’s Dow

Japan's headline index is the Nikkei 225, though most professional investors benchmark against the all-market TOPIX or other indices like the MSCI Japan index, with (not by coincidence) 225 constituents, covering about 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalisation in Japan. 

Almost no ETFs track the Nikkei, though almost all newspapers do, given its heritage and history, as it was originally developed by Dow Jones in 1950 as the Nikkei Dow Jones Stock Average. 

As a result, it shares one key defining characteristic with “The Dow” in the US: Price-weighting, i.e. companies which have a higher share price will have a greater weighting in the index (which doesn’t quite make sense to many investment professionals.)

Unlike the TOPIX, the S&P 500 and most other major indexes, the Nikkei is not weighted by market capitalisation (share price X number of shares), but calculated by summing up the stock prices of its 225 component stocks… The total is then divided by a divisor to maintain the historical integrity of the overall index. (The Dow has a similar but different formula-based divisor.)

Addendum: “Nikkei” doesn’t quite rhyme with “pay” but is closer to that than to either “eye” or “see”, with the first part closer to “knee” than “Nick.”

💸 Personal Finance Corner

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