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Former Tesla CTO's battery materials recycling company announces US$700 million+ investment – Energy Storage News

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Published: 30 Jul 2021, 07:13

A lithium-ion battery pack specially designed to be easily recycled, made by a UK startup called Aceleron. Image: Aceleron.

Former Tesla battery guru JB Straubel’s materials recycling company Redwood Materials has attracted more than US$700 million in investment.

Redwood, which is currently developing processes to produce battery materials that can be resold into the supply chain, has partnerships in place with the likes of Panasonic, Envision AESC and Amazon. The company pledges to recycle any device with a lithium-ion battery including phones, laptops and power tools, although a major focus is being placed on electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The new investment will enable the company to significantly expand its capabilities and create new battery materials within the US, it announced on 28 July. In June, Redwood said it plans to increase the size of its facilities in Carson City, Nevada, to 550,000 square feet, and to build at another large site in Nevada at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. It also wants to recruit 500 more employees in the next couple of years.

A “carefully selected group of strategic investors” took part, including Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Baillie Gifford, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Fidelity, in a round led by investment management group T. Rowe Price Associates. Investors that also participated in a previous Series B round also invested again, including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund.

“We are excited to begin this investment in the talented and accomplished team at Redwood as they expand their pursuit of building a world-class sustainable, closed-loop battery supply chain for electric vehicles,” T. Rowe Price Growth Stock Fund portfolio manager Joe Fath said.

“In our view, the need for these materials will grow exponentially over time as we enter the era of decarbonisation. We believe Redwood is well-positioned to be at the forefront of tackling this emerging and critically important problem.”

Redwood CEO Straubel was one of Tesla’s co-founders and was chief technical officer at the company before founding his recycling venture in 2017. Straubel had hinted at the scale of the recent investment at an online event hosted by the US Department of Energy in June, telling Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and viewers that recycling can enable very high utilisation of materials, helping to solve a “pretty challenging supply chain problem” that lies ahead.

At that event, which was focused on the challenges and opportunities of creating an advanced battery manufacturing value chain within the US, Secretary Granholm asked Straubel what the investment — which at the time he said would be in the order of “hundreds of millions of dollars” — said about the recycling space today.

Straubel replied that it showed that recycling is already very economically competitive, with recycled materials actually able to compete on price with mined materials. He added that Redwood is finding feedstock from the EV and consumer electronics sectors to be abundant. However, he noted that the market for recycled materials is currently in China, where they are sent to be reused in new products, rather than in North America. This highlighted gaps in refining and synthesis value creation in the US, the CEO said.

What role will stationary storage systems have in the recycling landscape?

Energy-Storage.news has recently heard from two different companies involved in battery recycling in North America and Europe that stationary storage systems will play a significant role in the coming years.

Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum announced its own US$30 million investment into a battery materials recycling plant in June which it hopes to open fully in 2023, capable of recovering lithium-ion, nickel, manganese and cobalt through a hydrometallurgical process, adding to existing facilities the company has in its home country.

Fortum’s head of its battery business line Tero Holländer told Energy-Storage.news that while the largest volumes of batteries for recycling will come from the EV segment, the share of batteries from energy storage systems (ESS) will also be significant.

Similarly, Canada-headquartered startup Li-Cycle, which has facilities in Canada and the US, recently formed a partnership with battery life cycle management company Renewance aimed at cost-effectively and sustainably processing ESS batteries.

Li-Cycle chief commercial officer Kunal Phalpher told the site that the ESS segment has a “crucial role” to play, with EVs “far from being the exclusive point of focus for the industry”.

“Stationary energy storage is playing a crucial role in the big picture of battery recycling, especially in the United States which is experiencing rapid growth and is in need of finding efficient methods to recycle all of the batteries stemming from facilities being decommissioned and/or upgraded,” Phalpher said.

In September last year, analysts from IHS Markit told the audience at an event hosted by our publisher Solar Media that more or less every stakeholder in the lithium-ion battery supply chain will see it as being in their interests to establish an effective recycling industry.

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Bitcoin hovers near 6-month high on ETF hopes, inflation worries

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Bitcoin hovered near a six-month high early on Monday on hopes that U.S. regulators would soon allow cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETF) to trade, while global inflation worries also provided some support.

Bitcoin last stood at $62,359, near Friday’s six-month high of $62,944 and not far from its all-time high of $64,895 hit in April.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to allow the first American bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading this week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, a move likely to lead to wider investment in digital assets.

Cryptocurrency players expect the approval of the first U.S. bitcoin ETF to trigger an influx of money from institutional players who cannot invest in digital coins at the moment.

Rising inflation worries also increased appetite for bitcoin, which is in limited supply, in contrast to the ample amount of currencies issued by central banks in recent years as monetary authorities printed money to stimulate their economies.

But some analysts noted that, after the recent rally, investors may sell bitcoin on the ETF news.

“The news of a suite of futures-tracking ETFs is not new to those following the space closely, and to many this is a step forward but not the game-changer that some are sensing,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone in Melbourne, Australia.

“We’ve been excited by a spot ETF before, and this may need more work on the regulation front.”

 

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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These are the only times it's smart to make changes to your investment portfolio – CNBC

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Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners.

Recent market volatility has many investors wondering if now is a good time to alter their investments.

The short answer experts generally advise? It’s rarely actually a good time to make changes to your investment portfolio.

“Most investors who jump in and tweak their portfolios typically do it in response to market conditions and history has shown us this just doesn’t work out in their favor,” says Tony Molina, a CPA and senior product specialist at Wealthfront. “What often feels right when it comes to investing, is usually wrong.”

Though you may feel tempted to modify your investments when the market dips, you’re often better off leaving them alone for the long haul. The reality is, downturns happen but your money is safer if you ride out the storm. Just as quickly as the market can go down, it can also go up — and keeping your cash invested throughout these fluctuations is what helps your money grow over time. This is especially true when investing in index funds and ETFs.

But, we wondered, is there ever a good time to adjust your investments? Turns out, there are a couple conditions when it’s OK.

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When it’s a good time to make changes to your investment portfolio

While it’s typically best to leave your investments alone, you may want to change course if there has been a change in your investing goals’ time horizons, and consequently, your risk tolerance, advises Ivory Johnson, a CFP and founder of Delancey Wealth Management.

On one hand, you may find that you have extended the number of years until retirement and can take on more risk. Or, on the other hand, perhaps you’re retiring sooner than you thought and shortening that timeframe means that you need to put your money in lower-risk investments.

Using a robo-advisor is an effective workaround to avoid having to worry whether your investments match your risk tolerance. Robo-advisors have users fill out a brief questionnaire that helps them know how to best allocate your cash depending on your investment goals and the top robo-advisors will regularly rebalance your portfolio for you as needed.

Betterment, for example, will recommend a stock-and-bond allocation based on your goals and adjust automatically whenever you make a deposit, withdraw funds or change your target allocation. Betterment’s algorithms will also check your portfolio drift (how far you are from your target allocation) once per day and rebalance if necessary.

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The automated investing platform through SoFi Invest® automatically rebalances investors’ portfolios as well, but on a quarterly basis. SoFi is a good option for investors also looking for lending products as SoFi members receive a 0.125% interest rate discount on SoFi’s student loan refinancing and personal loans.

Johnson adds that he would generally change an investment allocation when a big event has taken place, such as a severe illness or a large economic windfall (like an inheritance). In both of these cases, an investor’s need for capital appreciation reduces, he says.

Molina agrees that a good time for investors to make changes to their portfolios would be in response to major life events. Specifically, he means events that put the investor in a position where they would need to access their investments in the near future (three or so years). Examples include marriage, a family emergency or as an investor nears retirement.

“This would be a good reason to reduce their investment risk or pull out their funds altogether,” Molina says.

Much of an investor’s decision to change their portfolio in this scenario depends on how soon they may need to withdraw their funds. “In general, if you need the funds within the next three years or less, you may want to consider changing your investment strategy,” Molina adds.

When it comes to investing in individual stocks, keep in mind that you should be using money that you are comfortable having tied up for at least the next five years. While individual stock investors are advised to hold for the long term (especially during times of volatility) in order to best maximize their returns, they may choose to sell a losing stock if it is more risk than they can handle and it generates significant financial loss. Investing in index funds and ETFs are an easy way to take on less risk and diversify your investments.

Bottom line

If you’re thinking of adjusting your investments, most of the time it’s probably not the best move for your long-term growth in the market.

The exceptions to this rule are if your time horizon and risk tolerance suddenly change. Another exception is if there has been a major life event where you no longer need your money to be invested, or where you could be better off financially with the cash accessible in your wallet.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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Cushman Investment in WeWork Rests on Successful Stock Listing – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Cushman & Wakefield Plc agreed to invest $150 million in WeWork Cos., contingent on the flexible work company successfully completing its forthcoming stock listing, a person familiar with the matter said. 

The investment was born of a partnership the two companies unveiled Aug. 9. They said at the time that they were discussing a potential investment but hadn’t signed a definitive agreement.

A spokesman for Cushman said the company was pleased with the progress of the WeWork partnership but declined to comment on the investment. A spokesperson for WeWork also declined to comment on the investment. WeWork is preparing to go public via a $9 billion blank-check merger in late October.

The companies cited the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as a catalyst for their accord. For many businesses, the return to the office has been a stilted process. Widespread vaccines in the U.S. brought some workers back, but the return stalled, along with vaccination rates, and outbreaks of new variants played a role.

“The partnership we announced with Cushman & Wakefield in August is a testament to WeWork’s long-term value proposition and we remain incredibly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we team up with one of the leading real estate firms in the world,” WeWork said in a statement Sunday.

The deal represents a marriage of old real estate and new. Cushman & Wakefied is more than a century old and one of the largest commercial real estate services companies in the world. WeWork is barely a decade old.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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