Back to Basic

Welcome to the 62nd edition of Your Weekly Aura (formerly known as The Weekly Rundown), a newsletter featuring must-read money and mindfulness tips and tricks from Courtney & Kelsey. This week, we’re talking about the benefits of being basic. If you like the content in this newsletter, please share it with friends.

Back to Basic

Back in the 1800s, “basic” was used in chemistry to describe substances that were not acidic, and also formed the foundation of all other chemical compounds.

In the late 20th century, the term “basic” represented an largely innocuous term used to describe something easy, lacking in complexity – an otherwise sufficient, widely-accessible option or approach.

Then in the early 2010s, everything changed.

First they came for the pumpkin spice lattes, then the Ugg boots, and finally, the yoga pants.

A media-fueled, intergenerational (often woman vs. woman) war raged as tasty became tasteless, easy became lazy, and widely-appealing became shamefully unoriginal.

This was consumerism at its best.

After feeding us the value of all the basic comforts (probably with a 7% pink tax) and saturating the market for basic goods, the market saw an opportunity to turn around and sell the value of non-basic, originals.

Everyone’s getting played, while the players get paid.

It’s time to break the excessive consumerism cycle and take back “basic.”

Living in The Bahamas, I don’t have much use for Uggs or PSLs, but yoga pants are a staple of my wardrobe and after Covid, I know I’m not alone.

They are comfortable, cozy, and a happy compromise when you work from home, but common courtesy requires you to put pants on.

As an entrepreneur, I’d love for people to find my product basic. “Easy, accessible, and widely-adopted” sounds like an ideal product review.

That’s why when it comes to personal finance, we always recommend starting with the basics:

Step 1: Build an emergency savings

Step 2: Prioritize debt (payoff high interest debt first)

Step 3: Max out tax-advantaged accounts

Step 4: Invest in a values-driven brokerage account to grow wealth and achieve your financial goals

You are a magical unicorn with your own unique money story, and when it comes to your relationship with money, it’s likely anything but basic.

But when it comes to financial freedom, it pays to invest in the basics.

For Your Aura

Want to learn more about your money story and discover your Aura? Take our quiz to find out your money personality today.

The Star: 4 expensive tricks retailers use to make you buy more.

The Thinker: Do these 3 things to be happy (according to a Finnish psychologist.)

The Empath: Forgot to file your Taxes in 2019? You still can if you want a refund.

The Activist: Money can buy happiness.

Ask the Expert

What happened with the FRB this weekend?

Over the weekend, First Republic Bank (FRB) became the latest victim in the ongoing disruption of the banking industry and went into receivership on Friday. That means FRB failed and the FDIC took over the bank. By Monday, it was announced that JPMorgan Chase would acquire FRB’s operations and assets in a deal worth around $15 billion. That’s a pretty big discount given the bank was worth 22B in 2022 and 37B in 2021.

FRB was known for serving high net worth clients and its white glove service.

The deal is seen as a strategic move for JPMorgan, as it allows the bank to expand its reach in wealth management and provide more comprehensive services to clients. It also positions JPMorgan as a stronger competitor to other wealth management firms, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. JPM now controls over 10% of consumer deposits in the US – despite the 10 percent deposit cap (see Federal Reserve order).

JPMorgan has stated that it intends to maintain the First Republic brand and keep its existing management team. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the coming months, pending regulatory approvals.

Kelsey Willock, Aura Co-Founder & CEO


↗️ Ford earnings. The company posted stellar first quarter, with fleet and legacy truck divisions leading the earnings drive.

↗️ Layoffs on Wall Street. Morgan Stanley plans to cut 3,000 jobs.

↘️ TV Shows in LA. Hollywood film and television writers went on strike, demanding higher pay and protesting the impact of the streaming boom on the entertainment industry, shutting down late-night TV shows and protesting outside major studios.

↘️ Q1 Growth. The US economy grew at a much slower (1.1%) pace in the first quarter.


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This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Aura assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio. Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Aura does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome.

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