🤑 Finfluencer, the $500k dream job


September 21, 2021

The Hustle

Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, is restricting kids under 14 years old to 40 minutes per day on the app and banning nighttime use. If that happened in America, it would mean civil war. Kids vs. adults, that is.

Today’s rundown:

  • Speaking of TikTok… “Finfluencers” are making bank on the app.
  • Is China in trouble? Why it may have a “Lehman Brothers” moment.
  • Living up to their name: Fast-food restaurants are growing fast.

Let’s do it.

The Big Lead
finance phone apps

Influencers have come to finance — and they’re making bank

TikTok may be best known for lip-syncing and dancing videos, but the platform is also minting the hottest job in finance.

Finfluencers” are social media influencers that use platforms like TikTok and Instagram to make financial advice digestible for younger audiences, per Bloomberg.

‘Finfluencers’ are beneficiaries of a wider trend

During the pandemic, interest in finance and investing has skyrocketed. Since this time last year:

  • Finance app downloads are up 20%
  • Hours spent on finance apps are up 90%
  • Hours spent on trading and investing apps are up 135%

Millennials and Gen Zers make up a meaningful portion of these new users, and finance companies want their business.

Some ‘finfluencers’ are making $500k+ per year…

… which is more lucrative than many traditional banking jobs. Compensation can vary depending on the client and nature of the work.

For example, Austin Hankwitz, a 25-year-old “finfluencer,” is paid differently across 3 of his clients:

  1. Performance: BlockFi pays Austin $25 per person that he pushes to its crypto-trading platform.
  2. Flat fee + Performance: Fundrise pays Austin a flat fee to post 2 videos per month, and a monthly bonus depending on how many people he pushes to its real estate investment platform.
  3. Flat fee + Equity: Public.com pays Austin a monthly fee and company equity to use its stock charts in his videos.

The future of ‘finfluencing’ will depend on the platforms…

… which are already wary of financial advice and get-rich-quick schemes getting out of hand.

TikTok recently changed its rules to make sure all sponsored posts are labelled as such, causing some “finfluencers” to move their videos to Instagram and YouTube.

Regardless of where you watch your favorite “finfluencer,” be safe out there (not investment advice).

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SNIPPETS

Sweet dreams: Powered by increased demand for home goods during the pandemic, Mattress Firm filed for an IPO. #ecommerce-retail

Good news on 5G: A study from Qualcomm reported that 5G could enable sustainability. #clean-energy

TrueLayer raises $130m at a $1B+ valuation to build an “open banking” platform as an alternative to the existing card network. #emerging-tech

Curbing crypto: The Biden administration rolled out plans to make it harder for hackers to use crypto for ransomware payments. #privacy

Blockchain blues: Cryptocurrency prices fell amid worries that China’s Evergrande failure could push investors into safer assets. #fintech-cryptocurrency

The sleeper of streaming: YouTube’s chief business officer reported that the video giant is on par with Netflix for revenue. #big-tech

Chinese Financial Crisis?
cityscape

Is China about to have its own ‘Lehman Brothers’ moment?

Just over 13 years ago, US investment bank Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, sending global markets into a tailspin.

Now, a similar problem is brewing in China.

One of the country’s largest real estate firms, Evergrande, is on the brink of collapse.

A sinking ship

According to The Guardian, the property developer is weighed down by $300B+ in debt as China’s housing market slows (in August, national home sales were down ~20% YoY).

The real estate sector is 25% of China’s economy and has benefited greatly from China’s debt-fueled boom in the past few decades.

Evergrande accounts for ~2% of China’s real estate

It runs 1.3k+ projects in 280 cities across the country.

The rapid growth has extended into health care, theme parks, and (sure, why not?) electric car manufacturing, per The Wall Street Journal.

Even with sales hitting $120B in 2020, the operation has become too sprawling. Evergrande is so strapped for cash, it’s even paying suppliers with apartments.

Is China’s Lehman Brothers moment coming?

By the time this email comes out, Evergrande will likely have defaulted on 2 bank payments. The developer still has 1.4m+ unfinished apartments worth $200B that may never be built.

Analysts are concerned that due to its size, an Evergrande failure will drag down the rest of China’s economy and, potentially, global markets too (yesterday, the S&P 500 had its worst day since May).

As head of a 1-party state, China’s president, Xi Jinping, will have more direct control in Evergrande’s fate as compared with the Lehman example.

The world is waiting to see what he’ll do.

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Drive-Thru Stats
Burger King crown

Americans apparently loved Burger King this past year

Drive-thrus boomed last year as sit-down eateries closed or pivoted — but which ones grew in popularity the most?

Auto insurance company Confused studied search volumes and trends to see the most-searched-for restaurants in each state over the past 12 months. Here’s what they found:

  • Burger King grew most in popularity in 6 states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah, and Hawaii. In Hawaii, BK saw a 600% increase in searches.
  • In South Carolina and Alabama, KFC saw a 100% increase in searches.
  • White Castle’s tiny burgers won out in 5 states, including California, Nevada, Florida, and New Jersey. In Indiana, search demand was up 600%.

Restaurants that saw a decline in searches over the past year included Tim Hortons, Boston Market, and Starbucks.

But despite a decline in searches, Starbucks was still the top-searched drive-thru in 48 states in Confused’s study, netting an average of ~33.1k+ per month nationwide.

Pentagon Motor Group did a similar study using search data from February 2020 to January 2021. In that period, Starbucks reigned in 46 states.

Guess nothing beats that morning latte.

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AROUND THE WEB

On this day: In 2008, the final baseball game was played at the historic Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

🪄 That’s cool: A librarian found a story glued into the binding of a 15th-century book. Researchers have confirmed it’s one of the oldest Arthurian texts, detailing a meeting between the magician Merlin and the sorceress Viviane.

🙅‍♀️ How to: A lot of us say yes to things that stretch us way too thin. Here’s a guide to saying no after you said yes.

🎹 Wow: A man plays a tune on the piano using only the balls he’s juggling.

🚗 That’s interesting: It turns out that “new car smell” doesn’t come by accident. There’s a whole team of expert smellers behind the experience.

🥏 Aww: And now, a border collie attempting to get a man to play Frisbee. Unfortunately, the man is a statue of Abe Lincoln.

Meme of the day
investing meme

Hilarity from Instagram’s most popular finance meme account: Litquidity (Source: Instagram / Litquidity)

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