Is Now the Time for You to Digest, Pivot and Profit?

Scientific revolutions. Peak equity. Machine learning tools. Fertility declines. Drowning nuclear plants. Location. Location. Location.

That’s all well and good, but don’t burst my bubble when it comes to the health benefits of red wine.

What’s next? Attacking my Dove dark chocolates? That’s just going too far!

Insights and implications curated from The Journal of 2020 Foresight  in time for you to digest, pivot and profit.

Economic Trends

With A Recession Looming, Is Now The Time To Sell Your Home?   Whenever it happens, the recession will likely usher in a buyer’s market, in terms of housing. And as buyer’s gain the upper hand, home values will start to stagnate, pushing down the potential profits of would-be sellers. To gauge what types of homes would be most likely to retain and lose value in a potential recession, real estate brokerage Redfin recently analyzed home prices on 111,000 properties both before and after the Great Recession. According to the findings, single-family homes held their value better than townhomes or condos, as did older properties—specifically those built before 1940. 

Technology Trends

What Are The Biggest Machine Learning Trends Of 2019?   The most notable trend right now in machine learning is the rapid growth in machine learning developer tooling and how that changes the process of building, deploying and managing machine learning.

Curated by Steve Howard in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight,” the Know Laboratories’ digital magazine.

Medical Science Trends

A cardiologist revealed the truth behind red wine’s health benefits   Humans have been drinking wine since the Dark Ages. The ancient Greeks even worshipped a god of wine. It wasn’t until the 20th century that we started asking ourselves, is red wine good for us? And that question is now more relevant than ever. After all, Americans have never consumed so much wine in their lives, but recent studies have shown that no amount of alcohol is good for you, and it seems pretty absurd that after all of this time, something so ingrained into culture could suddenly be bad for you. What if 10,000 years of human history has been wrong?”

Scientific Trends

Could An Incompleteness In Quantum Mechanics Lead To Our Next Scientific Revolution?   This is called the principle of locality, and it holds true in almost every instance. But in quantum mechanics, it’s violated all the time. Locality may be nothing but a persistent illusion, and seeing through that facade may be just what physics needs.

Climate Trending Wildcards

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change   According to a Bloomberg review of correspondence between the commission and plant owners, 54 of the nuclear plants operating in the U.S. weren’t designed to handle the flood risk they face. Fifty-three weren’t built to withstand their current risk from intense precipitation; 25 didn’t account for current flood projections from streams and rivers; 19 weren’t designed for their expected maximum storm surge. Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle.

Sperm Study Increases Concern That Climate Change Will Kill Off Species  “’Our study is consistent with current evidence that the production of sperm and mating behavior are sensitive to developmental temperature, and, in an era of global warming, further research in this area — examining both male and female fertility — is vital,’ co-author and University of Lincoln evolutionary ecologist Graziella Iossa, Ph.D., said.

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

 

Is Doing What You Already Know Ever Enough? New Possibilities. More Choices.

“Handle today with an eye to the future.  Accept full responsibility for your part in creating it.”

Vitality follows those on the edge of the known.  Anyone doing what they know they can do is playing it too safe to feel successful. Knowing about new possibilities gives you more choices.  

Economic Trends

Recession “So, without fanfare, here is a straightforward look at what is going on, and why the coming recession itself is NOT the issue for you.  It is how you prepare for it.  Because if you do, you actually have a chance to profit from it.

Technology Trends

AI predicts your expiration date.

Curated by Steve Howard in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight,” the Know Laboratories’ digital magazine.

“Scientists recently trained an AI system to evaluate a decade of general health data submitted by more than half a million people in the United Kingdom. Then, they tasked the AI with predicting if individuals were at risk of dying prematurely — in other words, sooner than the average life expectancy — from chronic disease, they reported in a new study.”

Medical Science Trends

Cancer. Will this breakthrough upset AI’s prediction?

The team then tested it on 11 patients with advanced stage lymphoma as part of a clinical trial, where some experienced full remission for periods ranging from months to years. Buoyed by these promising results, the researchers have already kicked off clinical trials for lymphoma, breast, head and neck cancer patients, and lab tests are continuing on liver and ovarian cancer. 

Startups and Innovation

What about the 94% failure rate?

Group work produces more feasible ideas while individual work produces more original ideas. To get both original and feasible ideas, you need to combine individual time with group time as the researchers did in the hybrid structure.

Science

STEM? Why does it matter? Then what?  

Science knowledge can help you navigate a variety of everyday situations — “such as making health care decisions or deciding what to eat. Communities can benefit from higher levels of science knowledge, particularly as they make sense of potential health hazards in their environment.

In 2030

If your AI expiration date is delayed by a decade, how will your world change?

Homes: By learning your preferences and your habits, and automatically adjusting the light, heat, even your TV channels, before you have to ask. “It’s about how that home reacts to you and makes you comfortable. 

Ease of Changing Reality: Solving fake news requires rebuilding the news ecosystem, and educating people to critically think and be more responsible on the social networks.

Genome Editing: Presumably different cultures will find different approaches and applications ethical. So it’s going to be a very complex future.

Memory: working on how we encode memory as electrical signals in a part of the brain called the hippocampus.

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

Is It Too Late to Stimulate Your Creative Juices?

Reconnect the dots in new and different ways to uncover hidden opportunities for your career and personal life.

Consider the case study about the builders of the “Doomsday Seed Vault”  and the horror they must have felt, when they realized the genius of their deep-future planet-saving food-bank scenario failed to include the present day risk of Arctic Warming.

Oops, now what?

What if …

What are some of the other consequences triggered by the continuing change in the ocean conveyor built, especially at a time when we may be reaching “Peak Indifference” on climate change?

Curated by Steve Howard in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight,” Know Laboratories’ digital magazine.

Or, what about the second and third degree rippling effects?

What are the implications for the cost of your insurance premiums?

Which industries will boom and which will decay if the first graphene-based device is real, and available for market before the end of this year?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

As a consumer, a citizen or a power plant operator, what are the implications of the patent filed by Tesla to bypass the Electrical Grid?

Or, what if science gets it right and can turn abundant seawater into hydrogen fuel bypassing the need for hybrid-vehicles?

How will your life change, or the life of someone you know and care about, if the science of deep brain simulation becomes available?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Or, what are the unintended consequences of Harvard’s discovery of a DNA gene-controlling switch for whole-body regeneration? 

Game, set, match?

And, finally a little bit closer to home.

What about the so-called “Economic Singularity”?

Snooze alarm.

How realistic is it,  if what futurists fear the most, robots come and take our jobs away.

Yours, mine, theirs?

Forever?

No need to be an alarmist, here.

But, what if …?

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

Consciousness, Disruption and Chaos. It’s All Good!?

But that happened over several generations and centuries. We are going to see that kind of upheaval in many industries in half a generation.

 

“The results can have a tremendous impact on our understanding of how the immune system functions and how the incidence of some of the most serious illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, might be avoided,”

Economic Recovery

Journal of 2020 Foresight

The Coming Recession Will Be Different

“Markets and most businesses will figure out how to survive. New businesses will keep launching. New technologies will thrive. We will continue to need food, shelter, transportation, communication, and all the things we think of as normal today. This will all happen while technology “eats” jobs faster than it creates them. It was all well and good when we went from 80% of the workforce on farms to 1% today. But that happened over several generations and centuries. We are going to see that kind of upheaval in many industries in half a generation. Can you blame frustrated workers? People wishing that they can have their jobs protected? Wanting the government to do something? In the coming decade, I think politics will be more important to markets than ever before. That is not to say investors can’t figure it out. Recovery from the Great Recession was the slowest on record. The next recovery will be even slower.” John Mauldin Contributor, Markets forbes.com Photo- Getty

Technology-Driven Disruption

10 Industries On The Cusp Of Technological Disruption

The experts of Forbes Technology Council are often ahead of the curve when it comes to tech trends. Below, nine members share their insider perspectives on the industries and services that are on the cusp of tech disruption in the near future.

1. Doctor’s Office Visits. 2. Financial And Legal Services. 3. Healthcare Diagnostics. 4. Education. 5. Data Protection. 6. Customer Service. 7. Insurance. 8. Automotive Industry. 9. Security. 10. ‘Paper Pushers’. Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council.” forbes.com Photo- Getty

Memories of the Past

How the Brain Creates a Timeline of the Past

The brain can’t directly encode the passage of time, but recent work hints at a workaround for putting timestamps on memories of events. Invigorated by empirical support for their theory, he and his colleagues have been working on a broader framework, which they hope to use to unify the brain’s wildly different types of memory, and more: If their equations are implemented by neurons, they could be used to describe not just the encoding of time but also a slew of other properties —  even thought itself. But that’s a big if. Since the discovery of time cells in 2008, the researchers had seen detailed, confirming evidence of only half of the mathematics involved. The other half — the intermediate representation of time — remained entirely theoretical. Until last summer.” Jordana Cepelewicz, Staff Writer quantamagazine.org  Photo Cydney Scott for Boston University Photography (Howard); Courtesy of Karthik Shankcar

Consciousness Frontiers

How we identified brain patterns of consciousness

“Research like this has the potential to lead to an understanding of how objective biomarkers can play a crucial role in medical decision making. In the future it might be possible to develop ways to externally modulate these conscious signatures and restore some degree of awareness or responsiveness in patients who have lost them, for example by using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial electrical stimulation. Indeed, in my research group at the University of Birmingham, we are starting to explore this avenue. Excitingly the research also takes us as step closer to understanding how consciousness arises in the brain. With more data on the neural signatures of consciousness in people experiencing various altered states of consciousness – ranging from taking psychedelics to experiencing lucid dreams – we may one day crack the puzzle.” Davinia Fernández-Espejo theconversation.com Photo whitehoune/Shutterstock

Chaos and Serious Illness Prevention

Immune system found to tap into chaos theory to regulate itself

“This isn’t just a system that tolerates chaos either. As the levels of NF-κB swing up and down, the activation of certain genes increases, meaning the protein is working at peak efficiency when there’s a healthy amount of chaos in the system. “The results can have a tremendous impact on our understanding of how the immune system functions and how the incidence of some of the most serious illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, might be avoided,” says Mogens Høgh Jensen, co-author of the study. “For example, we know that cancer is related to a failure of signaling within the body. So, to avoid cancer, it is imperative to have the right dynamic at work in cells.” Michael Irving newatlas.com Credit: agsandrew/Depositphotos

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

Which forces have peaked or are reversing themselves?

Turbulent changes in the current of our life – its pace, pattern and scale – challenge our notions of what is real.

 

Since beginningless time people have wanted to know where life will take them. 

 

Today you and I are in one of those periods that occur every 200 or 300 years when people don’t understand the world anymore, when the past is not sufficient to explain the future. 

Turbulent changes in the current of our life – its pace, pattern and scale – challenge our notions of what is real. 

How do you stimulate your own powers of foresight?

Consider the following thought provokers. 

Ask yourself, in following categories 

  1. What are the brand new trends and forces? 
  2. Which are the ones growing in importance? 
  3. Which current forces are loosing their steam? 
  4. Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? 
  5. Which are the “wildcards” about to disrupt us in the future? 

TECHNICAL thought for food: 

Electronics, 

Materials, 

Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, 

Manufacturing (techniques), 

Agriculture, 

Machinery and Equipment, 

Distribution, 

Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), 

Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), 

Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), 

POLITICAL thought for food:

Post-Cold War, Third World, 

Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), 

Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 

Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), 

Taxes, 

Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, 

Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, 

Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, 

U.S. Prestige Abroad. 

SOCIAL Thought for food: 

Labor Movements, 

Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, 

Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, 

Generations: Elderly, Boomers, X, Y, Z 

Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, 

Affluent vs. Poor, 

Neighborhoods and Communities,

ECONOMIC Thought for food: 

Unemployment / Employment Cycles, 

Recession, Balance of Payments, 

Inflation, 

Taxes, 

Rates of Real Growth, 

Distribution of Wealth, 

Capital Availability and Costs, 

Reliability of Forecasts, 

Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, 

Global versus National Economy, 

Market versus Planned Economies, 

Planned or Organic Growth.

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

When’s the Next Recession? Will You Be Ready This Time?

Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

 

Get an early handle on the potential for a major recession, consider the potential impacts on you, your career, your organization and respond sufficiently ahead of any expected economic downturn.

 

Source: Shaping Tomorrow’s AI Robot, Athena. 

Forecast: The Fed will tighten too much and tip that curve into recession territory sometime next year.

Trend: Economic, Political

Sector: Financial

Insight and Source: Economist who helped discover predictive powers of bond market says there’s no sign of recession right now   Ron Insana | @rinsana

 

Forecast: Developed countries are badly equipped for another recession, both economically and politically, and central banks should be wary of raising interest rates just to control inflation.

Trend: Economic, Political

Sector: Financial

Insight and Source: Summers Warns the Biggest Economies Are Not Prepared for Another Recession Christopher Condon , Joao Lima , and Paul Jackson

Forecast: Many economists now expect a mild recession in the U.S. by 2020 at the latest.

Trend: Economic, Political

Sector: Financial

Insight and Source: IDC Forecasts Worldwide IT and Telecom Spending to Slow After Last Year’s Rebound; Economic Risks Have Increased

Related Forecasts:

  • “The U.S. central bank forecast one or two more hikes for 2018.
  • Assuming no additional stimulus in 2020, the fading of the U.S. fiscal sugar-rush after 2018-2019 could lead to withdrawal symptoms that could exacerbate a cyclical slowdown.
  • The U.S. could target an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, followed by another $300 billion – bringing duties on a total of $550 billion Chinese products, which is more than the $506 billion the U.S. imported from China in 2017
  • In the US, headline inflation is projected by the IMF to increase to 2.5% from 2.1%.
  • The IEA predicts the U.S. will add 1.7 million barrels per day in 2018, followed by another 1.2 mb/d in 2019.
  • Being well overdue for a recession in the US, the unbridled optimism of global investors will eventually end, once they consider the plethora of rising risks.
  • Achieving policy objectives will become more challenging from 2020 amid a technical recession in the US and a faster deceleration in Chinese economic growth rates.
  • In the next three years, a rising amount of bonds maturing within one year entails rollover risk if financial conditions tighten abruptly.
  • A recession in the US will cause economic growth in Canada to slow to a little above 1% in 2020.
  • The risk of a recession really picks up after a year, or sometime in 2020 because that is when you start to see the fiscal stimulus start to fade.
  • One change from recent years is that corporate car rental prices in North America are expected to rise by as much as 5 percent in 2018 due to operator issues.
  • The US stock market is on the brink of an imminent crash that could trigger another global recession.
  • Borrowing costs climb to a four-year high just as investors begin to anticipate a downturn in the global economy.
  • US rate hikes risk triggering a recession in 2019 or 2020 by putting the brakes on growth.
  • With unemployment at 4.1%, inflation fears are rising: Typically, the Federal Reserve starts to increase interest rates to slow the economy and push inflation back into its lair – but in doing so, the Fed raises the risk of recession and pushing down already lofty stock markets.”

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

Appreciation

Why swim upstream, if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction, right?”

Using economic cycles and bubbles, demographic shifts and a way of sizing up quality-of-life communities to live and invest in.

 

An excerpt from Book Two in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you make more money from a lifestyle businesses you’re truly passionate about.

Peak around the corner.

About the time of my own mid-life crisis I discovered the author Harry Dent.

Bubbles Bursting

He introduced me to economic cycles and bubbles, demographic shifts and a way of sizing up quality-of-life communities to live and invest in.

Any Poehler’s Leslie Character

Amy Poehler’s fictitious Pawnee, Indiana didn’t grow on me until season five when neighboring Eagleton, an ultra-affluent town, was written into the script.

In the sixth season the town of Eagleton, involved in a longstanding rivalry with Pawnee, goes into bankruptcy and is absorbed by Pawnee.

Fictitious Pawnee, Indiana

An effort spearheaded by Leslie after she sees no other way to save the town.

Having lived in a small Indiana college town on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River for four years and, then in another rural college town for my masters degree, I sought higher quality-of-life choices in a region that wasn’t so topographically flat.

But where?

  • And what if I discover after I move that I don’t like it?
  • What do I need to know ahead of time?
  • What if I chose a new Eagleton somewhere else and it files bankruptcy?
  • That can’t be good – except for Amy Poehler, right?
  • Nearly anybody can forecast the future.

How do you know which ones will come true?

I set up “The Journal of 2020 Foresight” after researching the top 100 trends and predictions from a variety of technical, economic, social and political sources.

And, knowledge labs to monitor key indicators in 5-year timelines –

  • 2003 to 2008,
  • 2009 to 2014 and
  • 2015 to 2020.

Why swim upstream, if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction, right?

The first knowledge lab, conducted during the 5-year timeline between 2003 to 2008.

Top Forces, Trends and Predictions

We began tracking some of Dent’s forecasts, especially the following four out of our original 100:

“4 – Basic innovation in communication technologies is allowing more people to relocate their homes to small towns and exurbs, and telecommute to business. 

3 – The baby boomers are moving into their vacation-home-buying years, which, in combination with the first trend, will stimulate demand for property in attractive resort towns. 

2 – The echo baby-boom generation is now moving into its household formation years, which will stimulate demand for apartments and rental property in the cities, and has already caused commercial property in these areas to appreciate, 

1 – There is a broad geographic migration towards areas of the country with warmer climates. You can expect the first three trends to be accentuated in the southwestern United States. “

Back to Harry Dent’s economic cycles and bubble forecasts.

He included a bubble wildcard as a fifth forecast.

The mother-of-all depressions, arriving sometime in the 2009 to 2015 time horizon.

Which presented itself as the mother-of-all Great Recessions.

More on that later.

The Warm Migration Trends
  • But, let’s say you decided to investigate opportunities triggered by the warm climate migration?
  • How do you explore the possibilities?
  • How do you go about it?

Dent borrowed from innovation, growth, and maturity product lifecycle curves to describe the potential for community growth and real estate appreciation.

S-Curve of Growth

You might say he spoke my language coming from my career in high technology.

  • Innovation – .1%, 1% to 9%.   
  • Growth – 10% breakout to 25% and from 50% to 75% and 
  • Maturity then to 90% – 99% percentiles.

What if the lifecycle model could be applied to resorts – estimating investment appreciation and community growth?

How does that work?

“The time it takes for an idea to move from a .1% idea to a 1% prototype, and finally to a 10% niche in the marketplace (Innovation), is roughly the same amount of time it takes for that niche to accelerate up the curvilinear curve of market acceptance through 50% to 90% (Growth).”

In the innovation stage, the risk is high and the potential reward could be astronomical.

If you found a small pristine mountain community at this stage and moved or invested in a vacation home on a lake, you may see your small down payment and mortgage pay off handsomely decades later.

Or not.

  • No guarantees.
  • Buy low, sell high.
  • As an investor, you’d want to find that goldilocks moment.

You wouldn’t want to invest too soon and wait forever, but definitely not too late when it is way too expensive to buy.

Pick sometime in the early growth stage but before the late growth phase turned into maturity.

When everyone else has heard of the premier destination.

As the mix of community residents begins to shift from High Country Eagles to Wireless Resorters.

You might find Pawnee attractive, but you probably missed the golden opportunity to move to Eagleton.

And by “season six” you’d be glad you did.

In priority order for finding the first three driving trends in one place – broad communications, Baby Boomer vacation-home buyers and echo-boom (Gen-Y, Millennials) entering the rental market, he lists:

  • Resort Towns
  • Small College and University Towns
  • Classic Towns
  • Revitalized Factory Towns
  • Exurbs
  • Suburban Villages
  • Emerging New Cities
  • Large-Growth Cities
  • Urban Villages

What if you’ve already built your mobile knowledge company, “Mobile KnowCo” and weren’t bound by your current fixed location?

How would you know if you found a town to fit your needs?

On your next vacation Harry Dent said to keep your eyes open for:

  • “A new look that includes intelligent town planning for increased human interaction; and abundant open space; 
  • flexibility in home design; 
  • planning for safety; shared facilities; and high-tech communications infrastructure.”

With those criteria in mind, we initiated coverage of “Resort Towns” in western United States like…

And, continued to aggregate lists of “Best Places” that fit Dent’s other eight categories of towns and cities.

Southwest Region from Wikitravel

From those thousands, we focused on and curated only those from six western and island regions:

  • Hawaii and other Tropical Regions;
  • Texas Regions;
  • Southwest Region (Arizona, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico);
  • Pacific Northwest Region (Washington and Oregon);
  • California Regions; and of course my favorite
  • Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming).

But guess what?

All vacation destinations aren’t equally attractive and the reasons why aren’t obvious until you dig in and find out for yourself.

So, the only real question becomes, which one is right for you?

Especially if you longed for a fresh start.

Or were forced to take one.

(22) Selectively evaluate the best quality-of-life communities to live in and weigh the tradeoffs of risk and rewards for accruing real estate appreciation along a progression of rural and small towns that meet what your pocket books can afford.

Millennials and Boomers Shape the Economy

If you review the 2009 to 2014 timeframe, the financial experts suggest a simple investment strategy. Find the stocks that performed horribly, lagging far behind the market leaders.

Stock Market Performance
“You want to buy stocks of the companies where that extra income is going to be spent. That could make technology, for one, a big beneficiary, as well as healthcare and entertainment.”

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part Three in a 3-Part Series.

Part One: Tomorrow

Part Two: What Lies Ahead?

Please remember.  Check in with your financial planner as the following trends and opinions change and may have before you read this.

Rules of Thumb

Is there a rule of thumb you can count on going forward?

You know like “buy low, sell high.”

As they say in my family, it’s all relative.

 

If stocks earn 4% a year, but cash in the bank earns just 1%, stocks still win by a long shot.

  • So Baby Boomers will have to stay in the stock market for a portion of their portfolio.
  • For Millennials who invest on a regular basis in an IRA or 401(k) plan, and who won’t need to tap into their funds for two decades or longer, just buy and hold.
  • Unlike the Baby Boomers who fear a significant loss over the next five years, don’t fret about bad financial news.

In fact, root for falling stocks, because you’ll be getting more shares for your money.

If you review the 2009 to 2014 timeframe, the financial experts suggest a simple investment strategy.

Find the stocks that performed horribly, lagging far behind the market leaders.

Tracking Winners and Losers

While the market leaders run out of steam, the laggards will probably …

beat U.S. returns over the next five years by buying low to  eventually sell high. But psychologically, it’s hard to buy losers.

 

Losers like:

  • Foreign stocks and bonds.
  • Emerging-market stock funds .

They’ve lost 5.8% a year.

“We’re expecting to raise our positions there in the back half of 2016.”

Understand the risks, though.

In a world where a stronger dollar and weaker currencies depress the returns for American investors in foreign markets it may be time to nibble here and there.

Bears vs. the Bulls

“It will never be obvious when the markets, or their currencies, have hit bottom. next five years.” 

  • In a reversal, financial advisors and economists expect China’s share of global growth to fall to 21%.
  • But, they expect emerging economies’ share to climb to 34%.
  • And, previously out of favor European and Japanese stocks will continue to benefit from their central bank policies aimed at keeping interest rates at rock bottom to support growth.

But there’s no getting around the fact that …

“the world will face a financial crisis rooted in mammoth debt levels.”

  • In 2016 a pivot in pay increases will be welcome news in the U.S. households.
  • But, maybe not for stockholders as promotions and bonuses usually come at the expense of corporate profit margins.

And, the grass is greener.

Getting Ready for Musical Chairs

The percentage of talented employees voluntarily quitting their jobs for better opportunities is the highest since early in the Great Recession.

Typically though …

“It takes a long time for people to realize they’re in a better bargaining position.”

That can change quickly thanks to the Internet and social media.

Once trading places begins, Millennials and savvy Gen Xs can take advantage of a powerful means to discover which companies are good ones to work for and which to avoid.

Consumer Behavior Influencing Stock Performance

It won’t take long for workers who feel under appreciated to make the jump.

And, that’s great, right?

“In a perfect world, rising wages would spark a ‘virtuous circle’ where workers would boost spending, driving up demand for goods and services. That would lift business sales and earnings, in turn allowing companies to continue raising wages.”

 

A virtuous circle takes time to develop in a less than perfect world like the one you and I live in.

But, here’s another simple rule of thumb.

Changing Tech Leaders
  • Where the real economy may influence the stock market.
  • Where consumer spending by Millennials and Baby Boomers may figure into gains in your portfolio.

As one expert put it.

“You want to buy stocks of the companies where that extra income is going to be spent. That could make technology, for one, a big beneficiary, as well as healthcare and entertainment.”

 

Steps:

(6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

(17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year time frames.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

What Lies Ahead?

So, the forecast remains turbulent with plenty of volatility

Market Cycles
Harry Dent years before even predicted the “Mother of all Depressions” lasting well into the decade beginning in 2010 and lasting until 2020.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part Two in a 3-Part Series.

Part One: Tomorrow

Please remember.  Check in with your financial planner as the following trends and opinions change and may have before you read this.

What about the 25 year old Millennials?

Many, if not most of the college educated are burdened by student loans and high rents that eat up a huge share of income.

Good news for landlords, probably not so much for the starter home demand, yet.

But, for those who successfully found good employment with a fresh start on a career path, even if their pay rises they’re reluctant to  spend — or take a chance on a new job — so, don’t count on a broad positive impact on the economy just yet.

Their risk aversion may be one of the biggest overhangs from the Great Recession.

Look, they witnessed the financial woes their parents or friends endured after the 2008 crash.

While the demographic trends probably aren’t as negative for growth, you should account for them and prepare to adjust in any long-term scenarios you construct.

Obviously they’re the early adopters for companies including Airbnb and Uber..

And as another expert cautioned …

It’s impossible to know in advance how many business ideas will spring up to disrupt or even replace existing industries.

The period after the 2008 financial crash turned out to be pretty decent for the U.S. economy.

Many economists and financial news channel pundits peddled dire forecasts in 2009 and 2010.

Harry Dent years before even predicted the “Mother of all Depressions” lasting well into the decade beginning in 2010 and lasting until 2020.

Instead, by the end of 2015 …

  • The official unemployment rate is back to 5%. 
  • Corporate earnings reached record highs. 
  • And a venture capital boom has funded thousands of promising start-up companies.

But, what lies ahead?

Have we celebrated too soon?

  • The contrarian message appears more reasonable.
  • The economy and markets face challenges that could make the next five years very different.

Like what?

  • Don’t expect more than “low single digit returns on stocks and bonds.”
  • The annualized investment returns will be lousy as the January 2016 steep plunge foreshadowed.
  • Were talking 4% to 4.5% roughly half of what wealth managers plan for their clients.

And, that’s through the end of the decade

So, the forecast remains turbulent with plenty of volatility.

News at 11.

Will we ever return to tried and true savings vehicles for the Baby Boomers hitting retirements like their parents swore by?

One economist says don’t hold your breath,

“As for bonds, with yields so low it’s mathematically impossible for fixed-income securities to earn high returns.” 

How is that possible?

Five years ago a 10-year U.S. Treasury note was paying 3.5% in annual interest. 

Now, new notes pay 2.11%. The drop in yields means older, higher-yielding bonds have risen in value, boosting their “total return” — interest plus principal change.

Yeah, so?

But with the Federal Reserve’s decision in December to begin raising short-term interest rates from near zero, it becomes more difficult to imagine longer-term rates declining significantly, barring a new recession or global shock. 

Here’s what hurts my brain when wrapping my head around bonds.

  • If longer-term rates stay where they are, all you earn is the interest. 
  • And if market rates rise, older bonds will fall in value, offsetting some or all of your interest earnings.

Steps:

(6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

(17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year time frames.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

Tomorrow

“It’s impossible to know in advance how many business ideas will spring up to disrupt or even replace existing industries.”

Nest Egg
Seared into their brains is a haunting future in which they outlive their next egg, not having saved enough money for retirement.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One in a 3-Part Series.

Please remember.  Check in with your financial planner as the following trends and opinions change and may have before you read this.

Aging Baby Boomers

Sometime in 2015 Millennials overtook Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation.

Most everyone older and younger than the Baby Boomer generation grew tired of living in its shadow.

Thanks, Baby Boomers

And hearing about its impact on the economy, real estate, and well, you name it.

The oldest Millennial was born in 1981 and the youngest  in 1997

So doing the math for you, it works out like this.

Millennials (ages 18 to 34 in 2015)  numbered 75.3 million while the Boomers (ages 51 to 69 in 2015) dropped slightly from the decades long, popular estimate of 75 million to 74.9 million.

One estimate projected  75.4 million Boomers lived in 2014.

The bottom line?

Ain’t No Spring Chickens

They aren’t babies any longer.

Fewer and fewer of them will be around each advancing year.

In between, as you recall, lies the Gen X population (ages 35 to 50 in 2015.)

Sandwiched Gen-X

They get no respect.

  • And they’re already sick and tired reading or hearing about the older and younger generations.
  • But, they’ll have to get used to it since the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million when the Millennials reach 56 years of age
  • By 2050 there will still be a projected 79.2 million Millennials.

Generation X became the “middle child” of generations.

Their ages spread out over 16 years compared to the 17 years of the Millennials

Knight Rider Kids

Though the oldest Gen Xer is now 50, they shouldn’t give up.

They can still become number two, if they try harder, or at least eat healthier and workout more often.

Actually, they can just wait until 2028 to outnumber the Boomers.

There will be 64.6 million Gen Xers and 63.7 million Boomers.

Gen X population will peak at 65.8 million in 2018.

Now back, to Baby Boomers.

They were all that.

The largest generation since the 1950s and 1960s having peaked at 78.8 million in 1999.

The Lone Ranger on Black and White TV

By mid-century, the Boomer population will dwindle to 16.6 million.

Talk about a boom, then a bust!

Let’s examine how the two huge generations will impact the rest of us.

Aging Boomers and coming-of-age Millennials will accelerate changes in the economy.

No question.

Housing Regrets

But, not everything is rosy or the same for both generations.

  • Both Baby Boomers and Millennials  will increasingly feel squeezed financially.
  • Roughly 150 million Americans feel squeezed, so they’re not alone.
  • But, chances are they both account for most of the 150 million citizens.

Just compare the median ages of both generations as of 2015.

Baby Boomers, age 60.

Millennials, age 25.

The 25-year-old Millennials, having lived through the Great Recession, find themselves either unable or unwilling to spend.

While the 60-year-old Boomers (parents or grandparents of Millennials) have been playing savings catch-up.

Seared into their brains is a haunting future in which they outlive their next egg, not having saved enough money for retirement.

Nest Egg

Which may last as long as 35 more years.

Or, as one financial expert tells them,

“You’re just going to have to live with lower rates of return.”

Steps:

(6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

(17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year time frames.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.