Last night we celebrated one of my very good friend’s birthday with a 90s themed party – everyone arrived in their 90s best attire and danced the night away to 90s-only music. With every hit song (which I surprisingly still remembered every single word to) ranging from Whitney Huston to Brittany Spears, Boyz II Men, MC Hammer, the Fugees (and, you get the idea), I experienced pleasant flashbacks of slap bracelets, scrunchies and Tommy Hilfiger overalls while reminiscing about Walkmans, supermarket sweep, Tamagotichis, Polaroids, Tetris, Word Art, rewinding a VHS tape and sipping on cherry coke.
It always amazes me when I think about how much has changed in our day to day lives in such a short period of time. So many of our favorite gadgets, hobbies and foods have become obsolete within a timeframe that feels like it was just yesterday – and we continue to advance at exponential rates. I reminds me of a conversation I once had with David Picton (Canadian industry veteran and lead Portfolio Manager at Picton Mahoney Asset Management) as he spoke about our current economic climate and market risks – and referenced Ray Kurzweil’s bold prediction that 40% of the S&P 500 will become obsolete within the next 10 years – and as such, we must change our outlook on investing & our saving habits to stay ahead. Click here for Ray’s TED Talk on what the future holds next.
Think ahead to stay ahead
My colleagues at RBC Capital Markets are constantly challenging us to be different by providing unique perspectives. They aim to add value for our clients by distinguishing our firm as thought leaders across all the industries they cover in the Research Department by encouraging debate and diverse perspectives, not for the sake of merely being provocative, but because we believe it fosters a more comprehensive discussion.
With their latest Imagine 2025 framework, RBC Capital Markets has gone further by thinking beyond the typical investment horizon. They incorporated the concepts of exponential change and disruption into their process to provide a creative construct for future investment. Together, we are encouraging clients to be more inventive as they think about the evolution of the state of commercial advancement. 2025 is a time period beyond most peoples’ current investment horizons, but not too far in the future that the world would be unimaginable as we know it today.
In other words, while we remain cautiously optimistic about all of the noise today, there is much more to be excited about in the future – especially if we focus in the right areas. To help define these areas, RBC Capital Markets embarked on an ambitious six-month study of the global drivers of parabolic change. They began by identifying a fairly large number of “change forces” that we believe will catalyze a metamorphosis of the world around us. Such forces include Social, Political, Technological, Economic and Environmental Change. These change forces encapsulate some of the major technological advancements that are becoming more pervasive every day, such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cyber Security, Autonomous Cars, etc. They also include plenty of societal changes that are becoming more universal, such as the Rise of Women, Urbanization, Climate Change, and Resource Shortages. The six themes that emerged from this work – The Calibrated & Augmented Self, The AI Race, Collective Action, Escalating Uncertainties, The Agility Imperative and In Cloud We Trust – formed the outline of Imagine 2025. In Imagine 2025 we envisioned some significant advancements that we believe will become the status quo in the (not-too-distant) future.
Click here to request the comprehensive 236 page report – it’s a very lengthy read but worth the investment in more ways than one. If you don’t feel like reading the report, you can always call me for the Coles notes.
Now you are in-the-know with Word on the Street.
Enjoy the long weekend and Happy Canada Day!
Investment & Wealth Advisor
Chaaban Wealth Management Group