I don’t know if they should be called trends, technology innovations, transformations or something else. It is not really all that important what you call them, but I do think it is important to think about them deeply, and at least try and make a few speculative bets – if you are into that sort of thing – to try and profit from them. As a retired guy, I have quite a bit of time on my hands to think about these things, study them, read all kinds of books, articles, listen to podcasts and study different areas that I believe will be very big opportunities in the next decade or so.
The areas that are the most interesting to me and potentially groundbreaking IMO, in no particular order, are – gene therapy, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, and the nearly complete digitization of nearly everything. These are general categories, and all of them have some overlap with each other in interesting ways.
The future is going to be an almost unrecognizable place. Children born today will look back at this time and view it as oddly as we look back at the earliest days of the industrial revolution. They will remember it as a time where people dangerously drove their own fossil fuel polluting cars, a time where humans actually used hand-held scalpels to open up and operate on other humans; a time where real people actually did jobs like picking apples, mopping floors, flipping hamburgers and all kinds of other silly “jobs”. They will look back at rare genetic diseases and cancers similar to how we now look back at medicine pre-germ therapy.
The combination of massive cheap computing power, highly reliable and very fast wireless broadband connectivity, machine-based learning that allows devices of all kinds to make intelligent decisions, robotics that can precisely and gently perform the most intricate of tasks, tied together with the complete mapping of human DNA and increasingly sophisticated methods for altering and editing that DNA will make for a bold new world that we can only just begin to comprehend.
This new world will bring opportunities across a wide spectrum of industries and companies. It will also disrupt and destroy many companies. There will be winners and losers. It will be hard to predict. The speed of change will likely come in bursts, but it will also be exponential and mind-boggling. It will impact every facet of life, how we work, play, and interact with our families. It will dramatically change how we take care of ourselves, our money, and how we spend our time. If you think a lot has changed in the past 20 years, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Because this blog has always been focussed on investing and achieving financial freedom, I will be looking at these trends through the eye of trying to profit from these changes. It is impossible to predict how all of this will play out for humanity, and while that is also an interesting topic, I will spend little to no time on it. We all will have to live in this new world, and like the industrial revolution, and the information – or Internet revolution, there were financial winners and losers. My hope is to be on the winning side of all of this and maybe I can help a few readers do the same.
To be clear – it is likely that there will be far more money lost than gained for most investors in these areas. There are many hucksters, dreamers, and pie-eyed Stanford hotshots that will crash and burn companies like they did their first cars. Investing in these kinds of companies is not for the faint of heart. And if you can’t afford to lose it all on one or more of the stocks I will be suggesting in the coming months, you absolutely should not play with this kind of fire. This is my last disclaimer. Investing in these companies is like gambling. Do your own research. Don’t bet what you can’t lose.