Electric vehicles are the talk of 2021 St. Louis Auto Show

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The mood at this year’s St. Louis Auto Show may have an electrifying impact on car buyers. Manufacturers are producing more and more electric cars.

There are more than a half dozen electric vehicles on display and show organizers expect that number to increase dramatically in the years ahead.

Doug Smith is the executive vice-president of the St. Louis Auto Dealer’s Association. He states, “That’s the future of the automobile it really is. There’s been a real push over the last few years to electrify the manufacturers’ fleet.”

Probably the best-known such vehicle is the Tesla. Susan Vickey owns a Tesla, “I think it would be wonderful if everybody drove an electric car.”

The local Tesla owners club proudly showed off their own vehicles.

There are different electric cars to see, Mustangs, Volvo had a model and so did Chevy.

Michelle Heinle was looking at new cars, “I’m a little hesitant about electric cars still, yes, she said.”

Top story: Central West End double homicide suspect has a violent criminal record
Just how far can you travel on one charge is a frequent question. Those who know say the range has grown from 70 miles to as many as 400.

Doug Smith said, “There’s different things going to affect that whether the ac is being used whether the heaters being used.”

Jonathan Rennard is a car enthusiast. He said electric autos are too quiet compared to a gasoline-powered V-8, “You get the thrill of the sounds, the noise, the gear changes the mechanics, people like that.”

If you want a quick charge you will probably have to make changes to your home electric system. And Missouri has a problem when it comes to charging stations. Smith added, “Public charging stations are a little bit scares right now in Missouri there are some efforts to increase that.”

People who love electric vehicles expect in just a few years, they will dominate the car show instead of gasoline-fueled autos. James Majerus is president of the Tesla Owners Club, St. Louis, “I think you’ll see a significant switch to electrification in the next five years just because the drives much better.”

Prices on electric vehicles are dropping. Manufacturers turn out more than 70 different models. The auto show continues through Sunday.

Gen I: What Investing’s New Class Looks Like

COVID-19 sparked a lot of change in the world in 2020. In fact, the effects of the global pandemic are still being felt in the workplace, the travel industry and the entertainment sector, among many other places.

That includes the stock market. COVID-19 might have triggered a mass exodus from stocks in February and March, but that dip (as well as a flood of stimulus checks) opened the floodgates to a rush of new investors. In fact, according to a new survey conducted by Charles Schwab, 15% of U.S. investors got their start in 2020 – a group it calls “Generation Investor,” or Gen I.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth and engagement among individual investors over the past year as a result of lower trading costs, new products and services aimed at greater ease and accessibility, and the investing opportunities presented by market volatility,” says Jonathan Craig, senior executive vice president and head of Investor Services at Charles Schwab.

The popularity of the Robinhood app drew attention to the hot stock-seeking trading tactics of Generation Z – those born in the mid-to-late 1990s through the early 2010s. However, Schwab’s data shines the spotlight not on any specific age group, but on a multi-generational group of people defined by when they started investing.

More than half of Gen I is millennial (born 1981-1996), 22% comes from Generation X (born 1965-1980), 16% is clustered under the “Generation Z” umbrella and 11% hails from the baby boomer generation (born 1946-1964). The median age of Gen I is 35, 13 years younger than the median age of those who began investing before 2020.

Sign up for Kiplinger’s FREE Closing Bell e-letter: Our daily look at the stock market’s moves, and what moves investors should make.

In terms of gender, the vast majority of Generation Investor is male – a similar trend seen in pre-2020 investors – though female investors are a larger component of this new investor set. According to Charles Schwab, 40% of Gen I is female, compared to 35% of women who already had a stake in the stock market prior to the pandemic.

Additionally, Gen I earns nearly $20,000 less on an annual basis than pre-2020 investors ($76,000 vs. $94,000). This isn’t too surprising given that 62% of people within this group were financially impacted by the pandemic, compared to 52% of those who had investments prior to 2020.

But, as Schwab points out, Gen I isn’t letting that stop them. According to the survey:

  • 43% of Gen I plans on investing more in 2021, versus 20% of pre-2020 investors
  • 72% of Gen I is optimistic about the U.S. stock market this year, compared to just 63% of pre-2020 investors
  • 57% of Gen I thinks the stock market is going to go up in 2021, while 44% of pre-2020 investors project additional upside for stocks this year
  • 30% of Gen I expects to actively manage their portfolios in 2021, versus 19% of pre-2020 investors
  • When asked about their main goals in investing, many in Gen I said they wanted to build an emergency fund and gain an additional source of income. Saving for retirement and purchasing a home were also important factors.
  • Eighty-two percent of respondents say they are confident they will reach their financial goals.

As far as the biggest surprise they learned during their first year in the market, 36% of respondents said it was discovering that investing was more about the longer-term gains versus the shorter term wins in stocks. Coming in at a close second for Gen I was discovering just how much time it takes to research what they were going to invest in and why. Some other important lessons were on diversification, capital gains taxes and risk tolerance.

But there’s still a lot for these new investors to learn. Despite all the information they digested over the last year, more than half of respondents say they are uninformed on investing fees and the tax-efficiency of their portfolios.

Going forward, Gen I is looking for a toolkit. According to Charles Schwab, 94% of respondents want tools to do their own research, with 82% interested in access to an investment professional to provide ongoing support and guidance.

“While it’s exciting to see this new generation of investors, the industry now has a call to action – to give this group the tools and services they need to be successful over time,” Craig says.

Zidane on Messi ahead of Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: La Liga needs him

Zinedine Zidane has said he hopes Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona, saying his presence is “good for La Liga” ahead of an El Clasico clash that could help decide the title race.

Real Madrid host Barcelona on Saturday with both teams looking to chase down leaders Atletico, with Barca just one point off the top and Madrid two points further back.

Messi has failed to score in the past seven Clasicos, last finding the net in the fixture in May 2018. He has yet to announce a decision on his future, with his Camp Nou contract expiring in June.

“I hope he stays at Barcelona,” Zidane said when asked if this could be Messi’s last Clasico. “He’s fine there, and it’s good for the Spanish league too.

“We know the player Messi is, that won’t change, even if he doesn’t score,

“But we play against Barcelona. It’s Madrid-Barcelona. They’re all really good. We’ll try to overcome their strengths, and we’ll try to play a good game with the ball.”

Madrid go into the match in arguably their best form of the season, having beaten Liverpool 3-1 in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg in midweek, and have gone nine games unbeaten in La Liga.

Barca’s unbeaten league run is even longer, stretching 19 games back to December, but Zidane denied that losing Saturday’s Clasico would see either side knocked out of the title race.

“Atletico have an advantage, they’re first,” he said. “Whatever happens, right until the end, we’ll all have to play for the league. Until the end, we won’t know. I don’t know how many points are left, but it’s a lot. Tomorrow they’re three points, the same as against Eibar or Cadiz or the rest.”

Zidane was also asked about reports linking long-term Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe with a move to the Bernabeu this summer, after Spain’s Deportes Cuatro reported that the forward had decided not to renew his contract at Paris Saint-Germain.

“It’s different [with Mbappe] because I know him, we know each other really well and that’s all,” Zidane said when asked for his reaction. “But he isn’t my player and I can’t talk about anything… Kylian is a great player, and what he wants to do in the future we’ll see. Right now it isn’t my concern.”