Imagine the Future!

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Before you imagine the future, let us go back to 1995.

The defining moment for many was the birth of the internet.

How many of us would have been able to bet on the Internet?
How many of us would have been able to see the true power of the internet and all possible use cases?
How many were able to see search, social, ecommerce, platforms, and all possible use cases of the internet along with the evolution of the web?
Would you have been able to ever think that your son/daughter will one day become a YouTuber?

In case you are wondering if this is even serious, I can assure you it is.

Look at the visual below:

In a Harris Poll Survey, 2000 kids in the US and UK were asked – What do you want to be when you grow up?

As you can see above, 30% responded that they want to become YouTubers.

Forget YouTuber, even YouTube did not exist back in 1995 or even 2000. There was simply no way for us to even imagine. This is the brilliance of innovation as well as the pace of technology change. Technology advances far more quickly than our ability to understand it. The advances have an impact on the way people live, interact, and conduct business. New Business Models and New Businesses emerge.

Think of some of the Trillion- and Billion-Dollar businesses that did not exist up until 2000. Google (technically Google did exist), Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, Instagram (part of Facebook) and now Coinbase.

Was Mark Zuckerberg stupid to pay $1 billion for Instagram and $19 billion for WhatsApp? Absolutely not. Facebook just crossed the $1 trillion market cap. A 2% movement in Facebook will add $20 billion to its market capitalization. Facebook today has a population of more than India and several other countries combined. Its market capitalization is one third of the entire Indian Stock Market capitalization. Did anyone imagine this even 7 years ago? Nope.

The point I am making is that we are simply unable to imagine the future even though we want to imagine it. The possibilities are always far more than we can ever imagine. In fact, they are limited by our mindset. That is where it helps to cultivate a mindset of optimism and abundance.

Cultivating this mindset does not mean thinking nothing will go wrong. In fact, things almost always are likely to go wrong. The process of planning factors this and a new plan is made to reflect the new reality.

Staying away from gloom doom experts, perennial pessimists and financial pornography networks always helps to declutter our mind and is often the first step to clearly see the Signals that are right in front of us. Becoming an intelligent investor requires us to take care of our environment. This is the subject of another post that I will cover shortly.

So, coming back to the earlier part of this post, what does “30% children want to become YouTubers” signal to you?

Does this mean anything to you?

It means that technology is here to stay and will remain a huge part of our lives. It also means that there are other professions that will open-up in the future that we might not even be able to imagine today. Truth be told that there are many interpretations of this signal.

Likewise, there are many more signals that are right in front of us, some of which I have shared with you earlier.

Are you seeing the signals? Or are you looking at the noise?

One of the key signals that is evident despite all the corrections that can happen in the next 10-20 years is that equity markets as well as equity adoption in India is likely to go up. Read The Next 3 Trillion Post.

The other key signal in front of me is the adoption of Bitcoin and Crypto around the world as well as in India (I will share an interesting India data point in my next post). It is not just a signal but there has been tremendous Proof of Work (do not mean the consensus algorithm of Bitcoin) that can be seen in building this asset class as well as category. While there is a lot of garbage in the crypto world, there are real applications and use cases emerging beyond that of Bitcoin. It is a crazy world out there though and you must be super careful. We will not be able to see all of the applications today, but it would certainly help to learn more about it.

I would love to hear your thoughts.