It’s Sunday and we’re back as promised.

And in case you didn’t notice, we have a name! Yup, it’s Finshots Sunny Side Up. It’s quite simple, fun, and catchy, no?

So who’s the winner of the Finshots goody bag? *Drumroll*…It’s SN Venky and Mishita Jain! Thanks for the suggestion folks and don’t forget to check your email about your goody bag. :)

(Sidebar: The most popular recommendations were Sunshots, Funshots, Sundae. Those who wrote in with that, you know who you are!!! )

If you missed the first edition, and you’ve just joined us, here’s what you can expect from our Sunday Editions — exclusive short stories that’ll make you think, colourful infographics, the inside scoop on content that didn’t make the final edits, and maybe some personal finance tips thrown in for good measure too.

So, what are you waiting for?

Here’s a soundtrack to get you in the mood 🎵

Raahein by Shadow And Light

Go get your favourite beverage, laze back on your couch, plug in your earphones and let’s get this Sunday started!

What caught our eye this week 👀

Is the chip shortage over?

21 passenger cars. 17 two-wheelers.

That’s how many new launches we’re going to see in this financial year. And such a blitzkrieg of launches is quite unprecedented in the annals of Indian automobile history!

But wait…what about the chip shortage? Is it finally over?

Okay, just in case you’ve forgotten, let us refresh your memory about these “chips”. At the start of the pandemic, there was this sudden rush for semiconductor chips — the kind that goes into laptops, mobiles, and even cars. As people worked from home, demand from tech companies for these chips went through the roof. They needed all they could get for the laptops and phones. And since no one was buying new cars, chip makers routed a lot of their supply to Big Tech. Car makers struggled to get their hands on chips. And that affected their sales quite badly.

But things seem to be looking up now. Demand for cars is back. Launches are in full swing. And it seems like the chip shortage is finally behind us.

Or is it?

Well, let’s look at what’s happening at Mahindra & Mahindra. The demand for their new models is zooming and they just can’t churn out enough SUVs. If you’re trying to get your hands on their SUVs like Thar, XUV700 and Scorpio-N, you might have to twiddle your thumbs for 18–24 months. Yup, that’s the waiting period.

Now you could say, “It’s the demand, silly. Everyone wants SUVs! It’s not really a chip-related supply issue”.

Okay, but hear us out. Last month, M&M quietly dropped a whole host of features from all variants of the XUV700. Things like adaptive cruise control that’ll slow the car down automatically if it senses another object. Or even follow-me-home headlamps. And while they haven’t specified the reason, auto enthusiasts believe it’s to do with the chip shortage.

So yeah, maybe you’ll find all those new launches could be skimping on features which require heavy-duty chips too. It’s happening in the US already and it could happen in India too.

Keep an eye out and let us know what you see.

Infographic 📊

This didn’t make the cut ✂️

A 20-year-old, a meme stock, and a $110 million jackpot

(While this isn’t a bit that got cut out from one of our stories, we considered it for a social media post.)

Meet Jake Freeman. A 20-year-old US-based college student who made $110 million by betting on a meme stock.

Wait…what’s a meme stock, you ask? Well, think of it as any random stock that gets a lot of attention on social media out of the blue and suddenly gains a cult-like following. It’s a hype stock. Remember the GameStop saga from last year?

Anyway, Freeman bet on such a stock too — a retailer called Bed Bath & Beyond. The company’s sales were falling, it didn’t have much cash left, and the stock price had slumped to below $5 in July. Freeman smelt an opportunity, swooped in and spent $27 million buying up its shares.

Most people thought he was crazy.

But Freeman was serious. He had a background in investments and he even wrote to the Directors of Bed Bath & Beyond outlining how to cut debt by riding the meme stock wave.

Even so, buying shares was the easy part. He now needed the price to go up. And for that, he needed others to believe that his bet was solid. So he hopped onto the infamous WallStreetBets forum on Reddit and GMEdd.com and cast his net. He started telling anyone who would listen why Bed Bath & Beyond would survive and thrive.

And it worked!

Meme stock enthusiasts pushed the price up. And when Ryan Cohen, an activist investor with a cult-like following disclosed he too owned Bed Bath & Beyond, well, the stock went to the moon and the price surged by 350%.

Now Freeman knew the meme stock game. He realised that the party would come to an end soon. So he headed for the exit early and pocketed all his winnings. $110 million of it!

His timing couldn’t have been better. Because immediately after Freeman sold his shares, Cohen announced he was selling too and the stock price tanked by 60%!

20-year-old Freeman made millions on a meme stock. But the unlucky others were left holding the bag.

If that isn’t a wild story, we don’t know what is!

PS: In case you were wondering where a 20-year-old got $27 million from in the first place, well, as per an article in the Financial Times, all Freeman said was it’s from friends and family. He’s playing the confidentiality card.

Money tips 💰

Financial Independence versus Financial Freedom

Ever heard the acronym F.I.R.E?

It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. The concept is simple — save, save, and save some more so that you can retire at 30 or 35 or maybe 40. Basically, amass enough money in the bank that you never have to work a 9–5 job again!

But it’s not easy and the road to FIRE is paved with sacrifices. Like giving up that beach holiday in the Maldives and watching travel videos instead. Or saying no to that anniversary dinner at the newly opened Italian restaurant and cooking some pasta at home with some scented candles (or plain ones since scented ones are at a premium). The sooner you save, the sooner you retire.

Does that sound like a bore to you? It does, right?

So how we do balance living life king-size with financial independence?

Okay, maybe a shift in perspective will help. Let’s frame this thing as financial freedom instead.

Wait…aren’t they both the same thing?

Well, technically they are. But why should we be bound by the shackles of what’s dictated to us, right? So let’s redefine financial freedom in our own way. Think of it as a state of mind instead of a numerical goal. And that basically means that money isn’t the first thing on your mind when you’re making any decision. Want to take a six-month break and attend a culinary school in France? Want to spend your days strolling across Central Park and nights being a waiter at a restaurant just to learn the tricks of the trade for when you open your own cafe?

And getting there is far simpler than you’d think. Imagine you save and invest 30% of your salary for this freedom. Within 3 years, you’re going to have a full year’s worth of income in the bank. Maybe more if you’ve invested this money well.

And voila, you now have the financial freedom to make your choices!

So yeah, sometimes, a shift in perspective is all we need to make ourselves happy.

Readers Recommend 🗒️

Last week, we asked for you to share about the books you’re reading, any new music you’re listening to, fun gadgets you’ve bought, literally anything you find interesting!

And boy did we get a massive response!

We rummaged through the hundreds of emails and picked out something one of our readers Zahid Hussain sent: “I would like to recommend a comic strip I have been reading called Zen Pencils. There are great quotes and there are great comics, and Zen Pencils is the confluence of these two — Gavin takes a great quote and converts it into a long-form comic strip that so beautifully covers the essence of the quote.”

Zahid sent us Zen Pencil’s comic strip of Robert Frost’s famous “The Road Not Taken”. Remember the poem from school days? Anyway, the artist Gav’s take on the poem is that whatever choice you make — the conventional or unconventional — can lead to fulfilling lives.

You can find the comic strip here.

Thanks for the recommendation, Zahid.

Everyone else, please keep your recommendations coming. And we’ll feature them here!

Anyway, that’s all we’ve got for this Sunday folks! Did you like this edition? Or did you hate it? Hit reply to this email (or if you’re reading this on the web, drop us a message: morning@finshots.in) and let us know.

And don’t forget to tell your friends and family about us.

See you next Sunday!

Also, here are the links to share this edition on WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Twitter