Clients and Friends,

November was a much a do about nothing month overall if you look at returns in stocks which were relatively flat. There was a continuation of a lot of the same themes we’ve seen with respect to rising inflation, port delays and concerns over valuations in most asset classes. A lot of the highly valued COVID themed companies like Docusign, Zoom and others saw declines followed by much steeper declines during December. Omicron continues to spread and we’re likely to see a surge of cases over the coming weeks and months here in the US.

One area I wanted to highligh and which is growing rapidly is buy now, pay later (BNPL). The premise is simple: buy a product for a fraction of its cost at checkout and pay the rest of it off over weeks or usually months. A recent stat I found said 1 in 5 Americans used one of these services in the past year, with US spending on BNPL increasing 230% since 2020. By 2025, global BNPL spending is expected to reach $680B. I recently got engaged over Thanksgiving and when buying a ring online, I was offered such a program for 0% interest.

BNPL is big business. Australian firm Afterpay was acquired by Square in August for $29B. Affirm, a BNPL firm in the US is currently valued at $31B at the time of my writing this. Swedish BNPL firm Klarna is expecting to fetch $50B at IPO in the near future.


And check out these juicy fees!

But one question remains; is BNPL debt? The answer all depends on who you ask. Companies and merchants are touting these as convenient payment options but regulators and some consumers view them as loans and believe they should carry the same protections as credit cards or other forms of consumer debt. Right now, BNPL is not regulated in the way that credit cards are. That means there are no standards for disclosures on fees, amounts owed, credit reporting and payments. Even the due date of a “buy now, pay later” payment is not as clear as a credit card with a consistent payment date.

There’s no disputing the momentum behind BNPL. The next phase of this trend is we likely brands themselves like Target, Macy’s and other push their own BNPL programs.

Market Charts

As I said a few months ago and for fear of showing the same charts, I’ll leave you with one. This chart shows the inflow to stocks on a rolling 12 month period. The inflow to stocks for the past 12 months ($1.1 trillion) exceeds the combined inflow over the past 19 years.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Just as working out without a spotter can be dangerous, investing without an “investment spotter” can be equally detrimental. I’m available if you need a spot.

I hope you found this month’s update helpful and informative.

Best Regards,

Jared Toren
CEO & Founder

Most Used Sources: Edges & Odds, WSJ Daily Shot, 361 CapitalSteve Blumenthal’s On My Radar

Proper Wealth Management’s (“Proper”) blog is not an offering for any investment. It represents only the opinions of Jared Toren and Proper . Any views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or inducement to invest. Jared Toren is the CEO of Proper, and is a registered representative of Apollon Wealth Management, an SEC registered investment advisor.   All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Opinions expressed in these reports may change without prior notice. Information contained herein is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed. This material is based on information that is considered to be reliable, but Proper and its related entities make this information available on an “as is” basis and make no warranties, express or implied regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, for any particular purpose. Proper will not be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or injury resulting directly or indirectly from the use of the information contained in this newsletter caused in whole or in part by its negligence in compiling, interpreting, reporting or delivering the content in this newsletter.  Opinions represented are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument, nor is it advice or a recommendation to enter into any transaction. The material contained herein is subject to change without notice. Statements in this material should not be considered investment advice. Employees and/or clients of Proper may have a position in the securities mentioned. This publication has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Proper Wealth Management is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Nothing contained in this material is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities, financial or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. The general information contained in this material should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax or investment advice from a licensed professional.