On Thursday, June 18, Axios business editor Dan Primack and media reporter Sara Fischer hosted a live, virtual conversation on millennials and how they'll shape future financial trends with WeWoreWhat founder Danielle Bernstein, NerdWallet CEO Tim Chen and Olympic medalist and CFP® Lauryn Williams.

Lauryn Williams discussed the long-term impact of the pandemic on millennials and the student debt burden.

  • On how people are using student loan deferrals: "Most people are stockpiling money to make sure that they have it available, as opposed to paying down debt."
  • On the importance of emergency funds during economic turbulence: "An emergency fund is three months of take-home pay if you have a stable and regular job. If you have children, you want to extend that out a little bit further, getting closer to six months...That gives you the bare bones minimum."

Danielle Bernstein highlighted millennial spending trends around socially-minded companies.

  • On being more deliberate with where people spend money: "[Customers] want to support direct to consumer businesses that are tied to amazing companies and organizations that are helping people most right now. If they are going to spend their money, they want to spend it in a way that will also give back."

Tim Chen discussed the rising interest in financing and purchasing new homes, as well as trends in investing.

  • On the biggest change in millennial behavior with financial services: "We've seen a pickup in three areas: unemployment, investing and refinance."
  • How coronavirus is impacting trends in home ownership: "I think a big driver of [interest in purchasing new homes] is the lowest interest rates we've seen in a long time. A lot of people are thinking about moving out of the city. And so there are forces that are driving that change."

In a View from the Top segment, Axios CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei spoke with SoFi CEO Anthony Noto about how people are weathering financial uncertainty.

  • On these unprecedented times: "High achievers for the first time in their lives are making no money, whether they're doctors or lawyers or beauticians or plumbers or entrepreneurs or small business owners, at no fault of their own. They have no income."

Thank you SoFi for sponsoring this event.

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Updated Sep 22, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: How cities are preparing for an increasingly digital economy

On Tuesday, September 22 Axios' Erica Pandey hosted an event on how cities are building stronger, more efficient operations to support an increasingly digital economy, featuring Dunkin' Brands CFO Kate Jaspon and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

Kate Jaspon discussed trends in Dunkin' Brands' customer digital transactions and how they're promoting their brand across younger social media platforms like TikTok.

  • How coronavirus has accelerated the move towards a contactless food experience: "We're seeing a lot of guests shift away from cash and actually move to these contactless payments."
  • On the company’s successful partnership with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio: "We've seen a significant number of app downloads and perk memberships come from her demographic and her following, as well as an increase in our cold brew sales since we launched."

Jessica Rosenworcel unpacked the future of smart cities, how new technology can be better integrated into public spaces, and the need for the federal government to better collaborate with city mayors.

  • On cities being able to predict things like fires, safety hazards: "Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we knew those kinds of things well in advance, if we had a predictive ability that exceeds what we have today because we are looking at patterns at a scale that previously we haven’t been able to do? I think that those things are real and they are not so in the far-off future."
  • On partnerships between the federal and local governments: "We've got to figure out how to be partners with mayors and town councils...I think right now they see federal authorities as someone who wants to take their power away and prevent them from having a say and where communications infrastructure goes on their streets in their backyards."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Visa Chief Product Officer Jack Forestell who discussed changes in digital commerce and what this means for the economy.

  • On digital shopping experiences being the new norm for small businesses: "What we have seen with the pandemic is a sharp uptick in digital commerce...But what we're seeing now is that the new set of digital commerce behaviors is really sticking. The implication is that small businesses, Main Street businesses, really need to get digital."

Thank you Visa for sponsoring this event.

Ina Fried, author of Login
25 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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