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Daily business and finance update 4th December 2023

Robinhood’s British entry

Good morning. Today we're talking about a US commission-free trading app entering the UK, Dr Martens’ tough 2023 continues and the passing of an investing legend.

Big Stories

Robinhood’s British entry

US online investment platform Robinhood has once again set its sights on the UK market, announcing plans to launch its commission-free trading platform in early 2024. This marks the company's third attempt to establish a foothold in the UK, having faced regulatory hurdles and operational issues in previous efforts. British customers will be able to trade over 6,000 US-listed stocks and American Depositary Receipts without foreign exchange fees and no account minimums, around the clock and out of hours. The UK online trading market is already crowded, with established players such as Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell dominating the industry along with newer entrants like Freetrade and eToro. Robinhood hopes that its focus on millennials and Gen Z investors, coupled with its innovative technology and user experience, will give it a competitive edge. The app, which launched in 2013, gained notoriety in 2021 when it became the centre of the GameStop retail trading frenzy in the US, when investors flocked to the platform to back so-called 'meme stocks'.

Dr Martens loses footing

Dr. Martens has issued its fourth profit warning of 2023, citing weaker-than-expected sales in the US and warmer autumn weather. The British bootmaker now expects full-year revenue to fall by about 8%. This latest profit warning is a significant blow to Dr. Martens, which has been struggling to regain its footing since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2021. The company's share price has plunged by over 70% since then, and it is now facing the prospect of its first annual loss in over a decade. The weak US sales are a particular concern for Dr. Martens, as the US is its largest market. The company is blaming the slowdown on increased competition from other footwear brands, a shift in consumer spending away from discretionary items and rising inflation.

RIP investing legend

Charles Munger, the right-hand man to billionaire investing guru Warren Buffett for almost 60 years as they transformed Berkshire Hathaway from a failing textile maker into an empire, has died aged 99. Munger helped Buffett develop a philosophy of investing in companies for the long term. Under their management, Berkshire averaged an annual gain of 20% from 1965 through 2022 — roughly twice the pace of the S&P 500 Index. As of this year, Munger’s net worth was $2.5bn. “Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom, and participation,” Buffett said in a statement.


Scaling back: EY is to cut a further 150 UK jobs as Big Four firms grapple with waning demand.

Joining forces: Uber announced it will start listing London’s famed black cabbies in its app.

Takin on the state: Tesla has sued the Swedish Transport Agency after postal workers stopped delivering licence plates connected to the electric car company.

‘Britcoin’ uncertainty: The benefits of a UK digital pound are still unclear and if it is launched there must be systems in place to protect cash access and privacy, a group of MPs has said.

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