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Taiwan president decries ‘rumours’ about chip investment risk on island

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By Ben Blanchard and Sarah Wu

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has decried “rumours” about the risk of investing in the island’s key semiconductor industry, saying the government was working hard to ensure such investments continued.

Taiwan, home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC, plays an outsized role in providing the chips used in everything from cars and smartphones to fighter jets, and is a major supplier to companies like Apple Inc.

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But the Chinese military’s menacing of the island to assert Beijing’s sovereignty claims, especially after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August, is causing the chip industry to rethink the risk over Taiwan.

Meeting Frederic Schneider-Maunoury, chief operations officer of ASML Holding NV, a key equipment supplier to chip companies like TSMC, Tsai praised the European company for its commitment to investing in Taiwan.

“At this moment when the world is paying attention to and is concerned about Taiwan, I am very grateful to ASML for investing in Taiwan with concrete actions,” Tsai said, according to comments published by the presidential office late on Tuesday.

“I believe that this also discredits rumours of excessive speculation about Taiwan’s risk,” she added.

Rick Tsai, the chief executive of Taiwan’s largest chip designer MediaTek Inc, told Reuters this month that US-China tensions are pushing some manufacturers to talk about expanding part of their supply chain beyond Taiwan, but it’s “incremental.”

ASML dominates the global market for lithography systems, which project light to create the microscopic circuitry on chips. TSMC uses ASML’s EUV machines to manufacture its most advanced chips.

ASML did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.

Tsai said that investing in Taiwan was “definitely a very correct direction” and the government will continue to provide support.

“I also look forward to Taiwan’s continued deepening of cooperation with democratic allies to build a safer and more resilient global supply chain,” she added.

The presidential office statement cited Schneider-Maunoury as telling Tsai that the company will continue to increase its investments in Taiwan, pointing out they already have five factories and employee more than 4,500 people on the island.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Sarah Wu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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How to Boost the Value of Your Emergency Fund

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Emergency Fund

A rate hike could impact your savings positively. At least, that’s what most banks said following the Bank of Canada’s latest rate hike, which increased the cost of borrowing last year. As a silver lining, the interest rates offered for savings accounts and investments typically rise along with interest on the debt.

Theoretically, they’re correct. But in reality, the interest rates most savers earn on their emergency funds haven’t changed yet. Most of the major banks pay roughly 1.5%–2.5% on deposits, which is a far cry from the year’s predicted inflation rate of 4.5%–6.5%.

All that is a fancy way of saying your emergency fund will continue to lose value this year. Here’s how you can prepare for another tough year for savings.

Resist the Stock Market

When you’re earning dismal interest on a basic savings account, you might be tempted to invest your savings instead. Over the long term, you’ll receive greater returns in the stock market. However, you are vulnerable to short-term volatility.

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In a year flagged for a recession, now may not be the time to invest in short-term savings. You could actively lose money in the stocks if your emergency forces you to cash out at a bad time.

Transfer Your Fund to a High-Yield Account

While basic accounts offer interest of around 1%, some online banks offer high-yield accounts. These accounts can earn between 3%–5% on your deposits. By switching banks, you might break even with inflation.

While shopping around, make sure you read through account conditions carefully. Sometimes, a bank will exchange high-interest rates for minimum balances, draw fees, and transfer delays.

Since your emergency fund should be easy to access, you should make these concessions carefully.

Have a Safety Net in an Emergency

No emergency fund is invincible, even when the rates are good. If your next emergency is more than you have tucked away, you can put the difference on an emergency loan or line of credit.

Before you borrow, it’s a good idea to research your options. As the lender Fora outlines on its website, there are a lot of emergency loans available online today. You can learn more about emergency loans through Fora before comparing the rates and terms of individual loans or lines of credit.

All this work reviewing your options can help you understand the cost of borrowing in your emergency. This will give you a chance to find the best option for your finances.

Adjust Your Savings Goal

Most financial advisors parrot the same-old advice for emergency funds: save three to six months of living expenses for the unknown. Usually, this gives you a reasonable amount of cash to use in an emergency — whether it’s an unexpected car repair or sudden layoff from work.

However, you’re living in unpredictable and challenging times. Not only are everyday items more expensive because of inflation, but economists also believe there’s a reasonable chance of a recession in 2023.

Increasing how much you squirrel away in an emergency fund may set you up for better success for a rocky future.

The Takeaway:

You’re living through an unusual moment. Your usual savings routine needs an update to reflect these times. Tweak your savings, get a line of credit, and lock in on a better savings rate. These small changes can help protect your emergency fund.

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Be cautious of financial advice on social media: Expert

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Li Zhang, the principal of corporate citizenship with Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA), said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Tuesday that it is very difficult to quantify the rise of financial advice on social media as there are so many different platforms and influencers.

However, Zhang said it is crucial to understand what credentials a financial influencer might have. She said it is important to understand if an influencer is qualified to provide financial advice and that people should understand how those dispensing advice get paid.

“All influencers have some way of deriving income from what they’re doing. So it’s super important to understand, especially when they’re finfluencers [financial influencers], how they’re being paid,” she said.

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“And then finally, if something feels too good to be true or it’s jumping on a trend, really ask yourself to get a second opinion.”

 

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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 2, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Alphabet GOOGL, Tesla TSLA, Shopify SHOP, Amazon AMZN and Palo Alto Networks PANW.

Which of These Stocks Has Been the Best Buy, Post-Split?

Stock splits have been a regular occurrence in the market over the last several years, with many companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares and knock down barriers for potential investors.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a split doesn’t directly impact a company’s financial standing or performance.

In 2022, several companies performed splits, including Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto Networks. Below is a chart illustrating the performance of all five stocks over the last year, with the S&P 500 blended in as a benchmark.

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As we can see, PANW shares have been the best performers over the last year, the only to outperform the general market.

However, which has turned in a better performance post-split? Let’s take a closer look.

Tesla

We’re all familiar with Tesla, which has revolutionized the EV (electric vehicle) industry. It’s been one of the best-performing stocks over the last decade, quickly becoming a favorite among investors.

Earlier in June of 2022, the mega-popular EV manufacturer announced that its board approved a three-for-one stock split; shares began trading on a split-adjusted basis on August 25th, 2022.

Since the split, Tesla shares have lost roughly 40% in value, widely underperforming relative to the S&P 500.

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers, and government entities worldwide.

PANW’s three-for-one stock split in mid-September seemingly flew under the radar. The company’s shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on September 14th, 2022.

Following the split, PANW shares have struggled to gain traction, down roughly 15% compared to the S&P 500’s 3.3% gain.

Shopify

Shopify provides a multi-tenant, cloud-based, multi-channel e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

SHOP shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 29th, 2022; the company performed a 10-for-1 split.

Impressively, Shopify shares have soared for a 50% gain since the split, crushing the general market’s performance.

Alphabet

Alphabet has evolved from primarily being a search engine into a company with operations in cloud computing, ad-based video and music streaming, autonomous vehicles, and more.

Last February, the tech titan announced a 20-for-1 split, and investors cheered on the news – GOOGL shares climbed 7% the day following the announcement. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on July 18th, 2022.

Alphabet shares have sailed through challenging waters since the split, down 10% and lagging behind the S&P 500.

Amazon

Amazon has evolved into an e-commerce giant with global operations. The company also enjoys a dominant position within the cloud computing space with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) operations.

AMZN’s 20-for-1 split was a bit of a surprise, as it was the company’s first split since 1999. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 6th, 2022.

Following the split, Amazon shares have lost roughly 18% in value, well off the general market’s performance.

Bottom Line

Stock splits are typically exciting announcements that investors can receive, with companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares.

Interestingly enough, only Shopify shares reside in the green post-split of the five listed.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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