May 12, 2019

SoFi unveils new gig economy-themed ETF

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Financial startup SoFi isn't just about lending you money to refinance your student loans. It wants to invest your money too — and to that end it unveiled this week a “gig economy”-themed exchange-traded fund, trading under the ticker symbol GIGE.

By the numbers: The actively managed fund comes with an expense ratio of 0.59%, unlike SoFi’s first two ETFs, which have a zero expense ratio.

  • At launch, GIGE has 44 stocks, many of which aren't obviously related to the gig economy. Apple, Alphabet and PayPal might have enabled the existence of companies like Lyft and GrubHub, but it's hard to see how they themselves are gig economy stocks.

We asked SoFi to explain why some of them made the cut:

  • Workday, Box, Cloudera: These companies’ software can be used by individual entrepreneurs (or “solo-preneurs”) to run their businesses, says SoFi.
  • MongoDB: Because its foundation is open-source database software, it can be helpful to freelance developers.
  • Camping World, Thor Industries: These companies sell RVs, which relates to the gig economy because they provide workers with geographic flexibility.
  • Stratasys: This company makes 3D printers that can be used in an office to make prototypes — which solo-preneurs can theoretically use to compete with bigger companies.

The bottom line: SoFi's on-trend new ETF is being branded as "Gettin' GIGE with it." But if you really want to invest in the gig economy, it's far from clear that the best way to do that is to pay an extra 0.59% per year to buy RV stocks and Apple shares.

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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