"In this business, if you're good, you're right six times out of ten. You're never going to be right nine times out of ten." — Carl Icahn
Good Morning! Private equity is kicking off 2024 in a sell now, buy later mode. Tesla hit a bit of a snag, missing their Q4 revenue target and warning of lower volume growth. Startup founders are starting to ghost investors to dodge the dreaded 'down round.' Plus budgeting and productivity hacks from the Excel world champion, and 3 tips to cut out unnecessary workplace drama.
Today’s edition is brought to you by hear.com, introducing the world’s first-ever hearing aid with dual processing for those seeking clearer conversations.
SQUEEZ OF THE DAY
Rough Bonus Season
There’s some bad news if you recently got a year-end bonus - it probably shrunk from 2022. The average U.S. worker’s cash bonus was down 21% to $2,145.
And it's not just isolated to one or two industries; this trend is impacting a wide range of industries.
Not only are the bonuses slimmer, but some workers aren’t even getting one. A new study found that in 16 out of 22 industries, fewer workers even got a bonus. It’s surprising since some industries are in desperate need of talent.
What’s behind the lack of bonuses? Businesses aren’t hiring like they used to, says the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Plus, after two years of inflation and a job-quitting spree, companies are feeling a bit light in the wallet. With job-switching confidence on the down-low, employers aren’t feeling the pressure to dish out bonuses.
Takeaway: In the financial services industry as a whole, average bonuses dipped to about $13,255 – down from $15,000. But even with the economic rollercoaster, pay hikes are still above pre-pandemic levels. Bonuses are usually the first to feel the pinch when the economy gets shaky, but it could be worse - you could be one of the Bank of America investment bankers who got a $0 bonus!
SPONSORED BY HEAR.COM
A New Standard For Hearing Clarity
Discover unparalleled speech clarity with advanced, state-of-the-art hearing aids. Immerse yourself fully in crystal-clear sound, with features like Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity.
Take comfort in knowing that you're choosing a hearing aid that people genuinely enjoy wearing.
Bill Ackman bought nearly a 5% stake in an Israeli stock exchange (CNBC)
How hedge funds would trade Red Sea supply disruptions (Reuters)
Citi will pay laid-off employees through April (YF)
Tesla misses Q4 revenue and warns of lower volume growth this year (CNN)
Startup founders ghost investors to avoid dreaded down round (BB)
Klarna to debut $7.99 monthly plan ahead of IPO (CNBC)
Private equity dealmakers bemoan exit woes as price gaps persist (BB)
Microsoft briefly crosses $3 trillion in market cap (CNBC)
High-income Americans are feeling really great (Axios)
Fidelity, BlackRock dominating Bitcoin ETF flow race (YF)
Private equity firms begin 2024 in sell now, buy later mode (BB)
Stocks closed higher because of bullish chipmaker sentiment.
(+) Netflix ($NFLX) +11% after the company reported a subscriber, revenue surge.
(+) ASML ($ASML) +9% after Q4 results surpassed expectations.
(–) AT&T ($T) -3% because the company lowered its full-year earnings forecast.
Bilt Rewards, a credit card provider for renters, raised $200 million
Instagrid, a portable battery systems developer, raised $95 million
BillingPlatform, a revenue lifecycle management platform, raised $90 million
Monta, an EV charging startup, raised $87 million
Accent Therapeutics, a precision cancer therapies developer, raised $75 million
International Battery Co., an EV battery developer, raised $35 million
For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.
BOOK OF THE DAY
Genius? Tyrant? Power broker? Enzo Ferrari is the impressively researched, fully detailed biography of one of the most powerful men of the twentieth century.
Brock Yates penetrated Ferrari’s inner circle and reveals everything, from his early days in the town of Modena to his bizarre relationship with his illegitimate son.
From his fanatic passion for speed to his brilliant marketing of the famous Ferrari image; from his manipulative but enormously effective management tactics to his own frustrated dreams.
Fast, fun, and scandalous, Enzo Ferrari more than lives up to its remarkable subject.
“The sweeping biography of the enigmatic racer and sports car mogul who built the Ferrari brand.”
Colors exert a profound influence on our thoughts and behaviors, shaping everything from our mood to taste preferences. An intriguing case involves the use of pink in prison cells, inspired by a 1970s study suggesting its calming effect on aggressive inmates. Despite its widespread adoption, subsequent research in 2015 failed to replicate the results, underscoring the intricate nature of color psychology.
Beyond emotions, colors prompt specific actions. Studies indicate that a hitchhiker in a red shirt is more likely to be picked up, aligning with the Berlin-Kay Theory's evolutionary perspective on color. Moreover, colors extend their impact to our senses, with preliminary findings suggesting a structural connection between lighter shades and perceptions of softness. Whether influencing taste, touch, or decision-making, colors play a nuanced and potent role in shaping human experiences.
In the business realm, the influence of colors is leveraged for strategic purposes. Marketing and branding professionals meticulously choose color schemes to evoke specific emotions or associations in consumers. For instance, the use of red in fast-food logos aims to stimulate appetite and urgency.
Additionally, product packaging often exploits color psychology to convey qualities like freshness or sweetness, impacting consumer expectations. The business world recognizes that understanding and harnessing the power of colors goes beyond aesthetics; it's a subtle yet impactful tool for shaping consumer perceptions and behavior.
Short Squeez Picks
Memes of the Day