The new decade is upon us, and it is vitally important to review and reflect upon what transpired in the previous decade to better prepare ourselves for the next.
Here are the top trends which I believe have transpired in the last ten years.
Without a doubt, the 2010s should be known as the technological decade.
We see it even now, where the President of the United States can wake up and fire off a dozen tweets, all while in the comfort of his bed.
Even now, ask yourself – what is the first thing and last thing you do each day? We are hostage to our phones and the apps and services that we rely on.
This also translates into the emergence of the elite superpower tech companies. The FAANGs which dominate how we search, view, work, relax and interact with one another.
At the beginning of the decade, Apple was a leading global power, Google dominated the search engines, Amazon was starting its run-up in e-commerce and Facebook was the social media platform (Netflix of course, was beginning to find its feet in the streaming world).
Fast forward today, and these companies are the top in their field, and are using their position to leverage into other markets.
This decade saw the emergence of the shared economy. From inviting strangers into your house, to giving strangers rides in your car, to lending money directly to other strangers, the shared economy is here to stay.
However, revolutionary as it has been, we have not seen many shared economy businesses been a roaring success, yet.
Although the business model of relying on investor capital to carve out a sustainable “moat” has seen many start-ups hopelessly under-performing. Uber has yet to turn a profit, as has Lyft. And the less said about WeWork the better.
The 2010s was also the time of the emergence of China as a global superpower, both in technology and in politics.
From household names such as Alibaba, WeChat, TikTok to the future of the New Silk Road, China is challenging the status quo of the new world order, and will likely accelerate its progress in the next few years.
Being a tech superpower is a necessity in today’s society – and China is already that and becoming so much more with each year.
The blockchain became a household name in the latter part of the 2010s, in part due to the crazy speculation which saw riches made overnight.
However, beneath the headlines, it has emerged as a powerful medium that can solve some of the internet’s most difficult issues.
With the rise of Bitcoin and decentralized money, it has paved the way for the Blockchain to be properly integrated into the web and mobile application, ways in which control can be given to its users.
Just like the introduction of the internet, the blockchain’s potential has the power to revolutionize the way we connect with each other.
The decade of the very poor and the super rich
According to Axios:
“The rate of extreme poverty around the world was cut in half over the past decade (15.7% in 2010 to 7.7% now), and all but eradicated in China.
A tipping point was reached in 2018, with more than half the world in the middle class or above for the first time in history.
The rich in already rich countries plus an increasing number of superrich in the developing world… captured an astounding 27% of global growth”.
But there are losers for every winner – the losers in the 2010s were lower middle class and middle class people in the developed world whose incomes stagnated or fell.
It is no secret that technology played a role in all of this. Many of the superrich obtained their wealth through technology business interests. Likewise, poverty standards have improved due to improvements in technology as well.
As for the income stagnation of the lower middle and middle class? A large part would be due to technology becoming more and more automated, which will accelerate in coming years.
So those are what I think the biggest trends which we saw in the last decade. It is no surprise that technology played a huge part in what was a very transformational decade.
However, the smart money would be on it continuing to play an outsized role in all of our lives in this coming decade.
By being more aware of how it affects us, we can position ourselves better for 2020 and beyond.
Disclaimer: The information above is for educational purposes only and should not be treated as investment advice. The strategy presented would not be suitable for investors who are not familiar with exchange traded options. Any readers interested in this strategy should do their own research and seek advice from a licensed financial adviser.