Why Don’t You Just Stay in Bed?

Nothing feels better than shamelessly shutting your eyes again after your alarm has gone off in the morning.

Your lids always seem to feel heavier when you have to leave, and dreams are always sweeter when you can’t continue them.

Like most things in life, the satisfaction that comes from sleeping is always more prominent when you’re not supposed to be enjoying it. And the fleeting periods in between blaring snooze alarms is truly the most blissful limbo known to humankind.

The Germans, ever astute, even have a word for that particular feeling.

Schlaftrunken — which essentially translates to ‘sleep-drunk’ — refers to difficulty of leaving bed after being curled up in dreamland for, ideally, eight hours or more. And the hazy, almost drunk state that your mind remains in while you try to heave yourself into consciousness.

Because unfortunately, for most of us, we eventually have to swing our legs over the edge of the bed and plant them firmly down into the reality of our 9–5 jobs.

But what if that forbidden 15 minutes of extra sleep didn’t have to end? And no, I’m not talking about being unemployed.

Rather, you could be working for yourself, by yourself, and if you fancy, from the comfort of a sea of bedsheets.

Your office is under fire

The drag of driving to work in congested traffic, sitting at a desk for eight hours, then driving home in even more congested traffic, five days a week, ad infinitum, isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time.

The traditional work structure that has been in place since Robert Owen campaigned for the eight-hour work day, back during the Industrial Revolution, has been working pretty smoothly since then. But, as the nature of work undergoes yet another shift, people are looking for alternative options.

Now, keep in mind that I’m writing this while seated at a desk in an open plan office. So the traditional model is far from dead. Nor is the appeal or working surrounded by people you (hopefully) like, and having the benefits of annual and sick leave.

However, there’s a lot to like about the flexible working conditions offered by the innovative businesses of the future. And whether out of choice or necessity, freelancing can be a lifesaver for those who aren’t currently in the labour force.

Take Uber for example.

As an Uber driver, you’ll be working as part of the ‘gig economy’. You set your own hours, working days, and don’t report directly to anyone. You also choose your own clients and the work you want to do, with no obligation to undertake trips you don’t wish to.

More than that, there’s also no dress code, office politics or any obligation to socialise.

These freelancing perks are also translating across other industries. And workers with a range of skills are choosing to leave the office behind for good.

In the UK, the number of freelancers has tripled since 2001, and they now comprise 15% of the workforce. The US is following suit with 57.3 million Americans, or 36% of the workforce, choosing to work in the gig economy rather than enter full-time work, according to the Freelancers Union.

And by 2020, this figure is expected to rise to 50%. 

As such, it’s not farfetched to assume that within our lifetime, freelance or contractual work will form the core of our economy. Overtaking the full-time model that is currently the norm.

If you’re comfortable with the elements of risk, instability and isolation, freelancing could be ideal. Particularly if you like the flexibility of working for yourself and reporting to no one. In many ways the isolation can be liberating. And the lack of structure, rejuvenating.

In our economic climate, and with the direction work is heading in, freelancing is increasingly becoming an appealing option for people young and old. Sure, you won’t get that gold watch after working at the same company for 25 years. But you’ll get the spice of life — variety.

And with many companies, particularly in creative industries, now preferring to outsource their work to freelancers rather than pay full time employees, the opportunities for flexible work have never been better. In fact, many companies don’t even have offices anymore. After all, why pay for rent and health benefits when you can have employees from all over the world working towards the same goal. Sharing really is all the rage right now.

Freelancers are by no means a drag on the economy, either. In the US, freelancers contribute $700 billion to the $14 trillion economy. And according to the ‘2018 State of Independence in America’ report, the freelancers aren’t doing too bad for themselves either — with one in five full-time independent workers in the US earning $100,000 or more in a year.

Looking at the figures, freelancing seems like a pretty sweet deal. And there’s really no better perk than not having to get out of bed.

After examining the evolving nature of work and the changing mediums through which we conduct labour, Sam Volkering, our in-house crypto-tech-small-cap expert, has come to a few conclusions.

After scouring the markets for stocks that are set to soar off the back of new forms of work, he has found three all-star small-caps, which among other things, are on the verge of being huge innovators in the gig economy. Like Uber, which is now valued at $40 billion, these virtually undiscovered small-cap stocks are set to be household names in the coming years.

To read Sam’s latest research report, and get in on the small-cap action, click here.

This week in Markets & Money:

On Monday, the FAANG’s lost their teeth. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google are beginning to pale in comparison to Chinese tech stocks like Alibaba and Tencent. And as Sam wrote on Monday, the US markets better watch out.

To read the full story, click here.

Then on Tuesday, Sam wrote about the ASX. In particular, how lacklustre its performance has been over the last decade. Although there has been some growth in the larger section of the market, it’s nowhere near what you can gain in small-caps…

To learn more, click here.

The mainstream financial press outlets are akin to heard of sheep. All following the same line of reasoning and echoing one another’s opinions. But as Sam wrote on Tuesday, if you really want to see some impressive growth in your portfolio, there’s one market area you should be looking in. And it’s not the one that the mainstream is recommending…

To read on, click here.

By now, we’ve all heard about Billy Caldwell — the 12- year-old boy who sparked a national debate in the UK about legal medical marijuana. After Billy’s cannabis oil, used to treat his severe epilepsy, was confiscated by UK authorities, the uproar that followed triggered a marijuana revolution. And with the UK set to update their regressive laws, there are plenty of investing opportunities to come.

To learn more, click here.

Then on Friday, Harje hinted at a medical revolution on the horizon. We’ve come a long way from the medical practices of old that we now view as barbaric. But there’s still a lot of room for improvement. And one company may have the solution to a lot the diseases that still plague us…

To learn more, click here.

Until next week,

Katie Johnson,
Editor, Markets & Money

Katherine Johnson, usually going by just ‘Katie’, is a member of Port Phillip Publishing’s editorial team, as well as the Editor of the Saturday edition of Markets & Money. Katie works with all of your editors to maintain the quality of their research and analysis. In her Saturday Markets & Money articles she specialises in cryptocurrency and technology stories, and brings you a recap of the week from your other Markets and Money editors.

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