By Haddon Libby
To understand where the economy is headed and how that may impact your job, 401k or retirement account, we need to get a feel for where the economy looks to be going. Beyond this, if we can understand the bigger picture issues or macrotrends, we have a better chance of choosing a profession that will not be outsourced to an A.I. algorithm.
For those saving for retirement, it is a lot easier to invest with optimism (or caution) if we can make our decisions on reason-based logic versus a hunch or a funny feeling.
With a job market that is as good as any period in the last fifty years, stock markets at all-time highs and interest rates at historic lows, what is one to make of things? Is technology creating unheralded growth or could this all be a mirage caused by governmental manipulations of the financial marketplaces?
Haim Israel is a futurist at Bank of America who has spent the last six years thinking about such things. Israel works with 700 security analysts in identifying opportunities and threats from the advance of technology.
The recurring theme that he is seeing is that there is a techceleration underway.
Techceleration means that change is occurring at an increasingly fast pace due to technological advancements. Changes happening in Neuroscience, Quantum Technology, Nanotechnology, renewable fuels, Genomics, Healthcare, Education and numerous other fields of study will fundamentally change the way that society operates over the next decade. While most of these advancements will improve our quality of life, they will also bring massive changes. A few of the more profound changes are expected to include autonomous vehicles, universal translators embedded in your earphones, cures to long confounding diseases like Alzheimer’s and many cancers, contact lenses that read digital information embedded in the landscape, drugs that enhance mental abilities and brain interfaces that may help the paralyzed to function normally in society.
When looking at the time periods with the greatest growth in wealth and the quality of life over the last 80 years, the Scientific Technical Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s created great prosperity and great leaps in healthcare. The Digital Revolution that started in the early 1990s did the same. Once the exclusive purview of science-fiction writers, Future Technology is here, accelerating and moving into every element of life. Future Tech advances are here, accelerating and moving into every element of life. Historically, periods like these create the greatest increase in global wealth and the quality of life. While massive change poses great challenges for the unskilled and skilled alike along with businesses or governments unable or unwilling to adapt to changing times, those who can adapt to the Techceleration that is underway may find this a golden era like no other.
What does this all mean for you and me?
Younger people should focus on getting the best educations that they can that focus on the STEM disciplines as there is a direct correlation between people with those degrees and prosperity.
Investors should see a prolonged period of above average returns due to the acceleration of technological advances. It is difficult to have a prolonged economic slump like that of twelve years ago when massive capital investment was being made throughout society.
What could trip up this rosy outlook? Natural disasters.
While some will not recognize it, climate change is real and happening faster than originally estimated. At present, many believe irreversible damage could occur to the planet as soon as 2030. Failure to act will put our rosy economic future at risk.
The good news is that China has embraced the move toward electric vehicles. Many believe that most new vehicles will be electric by the end of the decade. At the same time, one future technology can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via filtration systems for storage underground or in building materials like concrete.
Techceleration is underway!
Haddon Libby is the Managing Partner of Winslow Drake Investment Management. Winslow Drake operates to the Fiduciary Standard of Care in everything that we do, a level of care that less than 1 in 20 investment advisory firms’ follow. To understand how this level of care can benefit you, email Haddon at Hlibby@WinslowDrake.com or call 760.449.6349. For more information, please visit www.WinslowDrake.com.