🍋 Brace Yourselves, Wedding Szn is Coming

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"You pretty quickly run out of really effective ways to make yourself happier by spending money... I don't want a yacht." — Sam Bankman-Fried

Good morning! Guess who's back, back again. Garg is back, tell a friend. Better.com founder Vishal Garg is once again making headlines for letting employees go, this time offering voluntary agreements to leave the company. At least they got more of a heads up than the folks at Fast. The one-stop checkout startup went from being valued at over $500 million last year to being shut down. 450 people lost jobs and investors like Stripe and Index Ventures lost $120 million. Fed signaled they'll speed up rate hikes and bond runoff by $95 billion a month, which tanked markets.

Plagued by high labor costs and low margins, the $100B commercial landscaping market needs an overhaul and today's sponsor Graze is doing just that. Invest in Graze here before the investment round closes April 15th.

1. Story of the Day: Brace Yourselves, Wedding Szn is Coming

The summer brings a lot of joy to everyone. From vacations, to WFH by the pool, to couples committing to each other for tax purposes.... I mean for the rest of their lives! This year, jewelers are anticipating one of the busiest wedding szns ever. (Ushers pls start preppin)

In March alone, jewelry sales rose 78.8%, compared to pre-pandemic March 2019, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse. People had already been buying jewelry at high levels during the pandemic, but now that everyone's more comfortable gathering again, it's a whole different level. Plus, you'll want your boo thang to have a nice rock on her finger to remember you by, when she's back in the office with her work husband Gary (and you're grinding in excel.)

A record 2.5 million weddings are expected this year, the most since 1984, according to market research firm The Wedding Report. In 2021 and 2020 the numbers were 1.9 million and 1.3 million respectively.

CEO of The Wedding Report, Shane McMurray, said, "It's not really growth; it's actually just pent up demand." The bulk of the weddings will be between the summer and fall, but industry professionals are already feeling the surge. The Knot said couples spent $28,000 on average for their ceremonies and receptions, so this year could give a much needed boost to local businesses, and workers looking for gigs.

Short Squeez Takeaway: It's a big expenditure for the bride, groom, and their families, but it drains our wallets as well... Suits, tuxes, dresses, airfare, accommodations, it all adds up. If only there were an easy way to bail on your friends' special day... Well, it turns out they might have an insurance policy in place. Travelers Insurance says a $35,000 cancellation policy starts at only $300. So don't feel so bad if you have to fake an injury to get out of it, they might've been ready to do the same.

Source: Axios, CNBC

2. Markets Rundown

Equity markets were down as bond yields continued to go up thanks to the Fed's plan to speed up tightening. On top of that, German and Chinese economic data disappointed. Plus the war in Ukraine is still raging, and there are new COVID lockdowns in China. 

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Advent Technologies ($ADN) +80% as the company announced it's in a sales, tech assessment, and development agreement with Hyundai.
  • (+) Tufin Software Technologies ($TUFN) +43% on the news that Turn/River Capital is buying the Israeli company in an all-cash transaction for $13 a share.
  • (–) Hyzon Motors ($HYZN) -17% after Canaccord Genuity downgraded its rating to a hold from a buy, and reduced their price target to $6 from $12.

3. Top Reads

  • Musky is getting risky with new potential SEC fight on disclosure (BB)
  • NYSE Prez Lynn Martin says demand for IPOs hasn't waned (Axios)
  • But iFit withdrew their IPO after a postponement in October (MW)
  • Pandemic prompted millennials to purchase life insurance (WSJ)
  • Biden announced 2 nominees for the SEC (MW)
  • Fed minutes showed "many" officials want big rate hikes (NYT)
  • A repo shop shocked elite Wall Street bond club (BB)
  • Yellen yellin' about "enormous" economic repercussions from Ukraine situations (CNN)
  • Macro hedge funds soared in Q1 (BB)

A Message from Graze: Don’t miss the cut off! Invest in Graze Before April 15.

Labor costs for commercial landscapers are getting ridiculous, but Graze has the answer.

Meet Graze: the fully automated lawn mower that cuts labor in half, saves 75% in fuel costs, and boosts margins 5x. 

Now’s your chance to join Graze as they prepare to reinvent a $100 billion industry.

They’ve secured $32 million in commercial contracts already, and this is only the beginning.

The investment round closes April 15, so get your cut while you still can.

4. Book of the Day: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges.

For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life.

It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

“The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance. Once humans realized how little they knew about the world, they suddenly had a very good reason to seek new knowledge, which opened up the scientific road to progress.”

Introducing Short Squeez Insiders

We’re psyched to be releasing our premium membership: Short Squeez Insiders

Every week we’ll be interviewing leaders at top investment banks, PE firms, hedge funds, and VCs to pull back the curtain behind their:

  • Stock and crypto picks
  • Investment strategies
  • Portfolio structure
  • Career advice
  • And more!

The goal is to give you an inside view into what money and career moves the world’s best investment professionals are making.

For example inside the first few issues, you’ll discover:

  • Why a Goldman Sachs VP is going all in Ethereum
  • The #1 tech stock a finance manager at Amazon is buying after the dip
  • Why a tech CEO is  bullish on nuclear/uranium stocks, and what he’s buying
  • The best and worst career advice these folks received
  • And much, much more!

Plus, members will get access to:

  • Short Squeez Vault, a premium collection of resources including investing, compensation and recruiting guides, modeling courses, institutional research, e-books and full archive
  • Private community with access to Short Squeez founding team, investment and networking opportunities
  • Referrals and recruiting help for firms from Wall Street to Silicon Valley including investment banking, private equity, hedge funds and big tech firms

The first 250 Insiders to sign up before next Tuesday, April 12 will get 40% for 6 months.   

5. Short Squeez Picks

  • Gemini – the one stop shop for all your crypto needs. Buy, sell, store, and earn bitcoin, ether, and over 70+ other cryptocurrencies with Gemini. You can also earn up to 8.05% APY on your cryptocurrency portfolio every day. Use code WALLST20 and get $20 of bitcoin after you trade $100 or more within 30 days
  • An interview with author of "Just Keep Buying" (Video | 53 mins)
  • The two ways to look at your job

6. Daily Visual: Shortages Hit Baby Formula

Weekly average for 200 formula items at 20 major retailers (Jan 3, 2021 to Mar 13, 2022)

Source: Axios

7. Daily Acumen: Margin of Safety

“Life,” John Lennon said, “is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” We have seen ample proof of this in the last year.

However, here is a tool, a mental model, a practice that can help us minimize the shocks that the unknowns and unknowables of life render us from time to time.

It is called ‘margin of safety’ – a widely known but rarely applied idea – which is an engineering concept that is used to describe the ability of a system to withstand loads that are greater than expected. In simple words, it is a buffer between what you expect to happen and what could (and often would) happen.

Life may offer you a raw deal, sometimes when you least expect it. A wide margin of safety ensures that the effects of good decisions are not wiped out by errors, uncertainties, or simply bad luck.

8. Crypto Corner

  • What really happened in the world's largest crypto hack (Video | 10 mins)
  • Binance.US raises over $200 million at $4.5 million pre-money valuation
  • Yellen says crypto hasn't been significant for Russia evading sanctions so far
  • El Salvador president cancels appearance at Bitcoin 2022 conference
  • ESPN and Tom Brady's Autograph sign multi-year NFT deal
  • Market making to come to crypto?

9. Memes of the Day

                        

                                

       

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