Monday morning briefing: Are NFTs the next Beanie Babies?

Could a higher capital gains tax be on the way in the U.S.? Bloomberg News reported U.S. President Joe Biden may propose an increase to the capital gains tax from 20.0% to 39.6% on the wealthy. Adding this to the 3.8% tax charged on investment income will take the total tax on investment income for the wealthy in the U.S. to 43.4%. This would make the total percentage of taxes paid by wealthier Americans on investment income greater than the highest tax rate they pay for both wages and salaries.

The proposed change is expected to be announced this week along with the release of further details about the American Families Plan (“AFP”). Higher taxes on investment income are expected to support some of the spending of the new AFP, while the impact the new capital gains tax rate might have on equity prices is still an unknown.

Economic/industry news

The BoC eases its bond purchase program: Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

Canada’s consumer prices rise 0.5% in March: Annual pace of inflation leaps higher in March to 2.2%, Statistics Canada says

According to Fidelity, traditional portfolios are changing: Advisors drift away from traditional portfolios, Fidelity says

The U.K. Treasury and BoE are exploring a digital currency: UK to explore issuing its own digital currency amid bitcoin boom

Could value outperform growth over the next 10 years?: Vanguard sees value trouncing growth by 5%-7% annually for next decade

Reasons for hope

Protecting UN peacekeepers: India donates 200,000 COVID vaccinations to protect UN peacekeepers around the world

On pace to reach President Biden’s 100-day goal: COVID cases, vaccinations remain elevated as U.S. nears Biden’s 200 million goal

Adapting your business

Study finds employees may be more productive working from home: Yes, working from home makes you more productive, study finds

Zoom fatigue is setting in, particularly among younger employees: 64% of younger employees suffer anxiety from excessive Zoom meetings, study finds

How to network in the current virtual environment: 4 ways to effectively network today

Planning a return to the office: How to plan a seamless transition back into the office

Canada’s fintech industry is thriving: A growth spurt for fintechs

Chart of the week: Are NFTs the next Beanie Babies?

Interest in non-fungible tokens (“NFT”) has exploded in recent months. An NFT is a digital piece of artwork, video, trading card or other digital good that can be bought and sold across the blockchain network. Many companies involved in the digital space are hoping to access this new market. Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co., a sports, entertainment and media company focused on professional football, recently partnered with Dolphin Entertainment Inc. to create an NFT that will allow fans to buy and sell professional football content. The stock prices and trading volume of both companies initially surged higher before pulling back. The partnership, and continued investor interest, demonstrates heightened enthusiasm for anything and everything NFT. What does the future hold for NFTs? Let us know what you think.
Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

Management and performance fees may rise this year: The biggest alternatives firms will make more money from fees in 2021

Hedge funds taking a larger position in the VC space: How hedge funds are leading the race to stake startups

M&A activity in the RIA space began to cool in the first quarter: RIA M&A activity pulling back from record highs, DeVoe says

Mutual fund sales and performance over the past two weeks: Mutual funds scorecard: April 21 edition

News and notes (Canada)

Asset managers purchasing ESG boutiques to access this burgeoning space: Canadian asset managers targeting ESG boutiques

Total assets in mutual funds and ETFs increased in March: Mutual fund sales outpace ETF sales in March

The OSC studied the experiences of self-directed retail investors: Many DIY investors shun advice as too expensive

A fee war is underway between the Ether ETFs: An Ether ETF isn’t even launched and already there is a fee war

A look at some of the highlights from the Canadian federal budget: Tax highlights from Budget 2021

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