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News From the Control Tower - 8/17/2023 Thumbnail

News From the Control Tower - 8/17/2023

News from the Control Tower: Our weekly curated list of news stories affecting you and your finances.

There was a lot of noise recently over the Musk-Zuck non-fight. A nice contrast is from Lindsay Adler in the Wall Street Journal this week. She highlights the importance of the team player in her piece on Kansas City Royals pitcher Jordan Lyles. He literally takes one for the team: despite his losing record, he has the skill to pitch into deep innings, allowing other pitchers more rest time.

In contrast, a team that didn’t work so well together in business was the Jacuzzi family. The New York Times tells a great story on the origin of the Jacuzzi was to treat their child suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The boy recovered, but family in-fighting ultimately led the company to be sold.

Speaking of noise: A.I. I keep a critical eye, especially when things get hyped up like this. What’s real versus what’s just people trying to sell things?  This podcast episode does a great job of diving into what’s real and what’s not when it comes to A.I.

What’s not hyped is the interest rates people are getting on their cash. This Wall Street Journal article gives a great overview of how some retail investors are thinking through what to do with their cash. As a financial professional, though, I have to point out what many people are failing to appreciate: reinvestment risk. We plan to dive into this more in our upcoming webinar on August 24.

Finally, it’s great that inflation is decelerating, but not so for streaming services.

This week’s reads include:

1.       He Eats Innings, Surrenders Runs and Loses Games—Which Makes Him Very Valuable

By taking the ball every five days and working deep into the game, the Royals’ Jordan Lyles is an example of a lost breed that helps his team win in the long run by losing.

2.       The Frothy Saga of the Jacuzzi Family

An immigrant story, an American dream, a machine that defined bourgeois sensuality.

3.       Streamflation Is Here and Media Companies Are Betting You’ll Pay Up

The average cost of watching a major ad-free streaming service is going up by nearly 25% in about a year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

4.       The Great A.I. Hallucination

Is the hype (and doomsaying) around generative A.I. programs like ChatGPT obscuring what the technology actually does—and its genuine limitations and dangers?

5.       Everyday Investors Are Thriving in a World Awash in Yield

Cash-like investments are offering their highest rates since 2001, offsetting rising interest costs.