Being a good investor is all about being able to read the markets and to some extent, predict the future. If you can tell what the ‘next big thing’ will be, then you can take any amount of money and turn it into a lot more money. And what’s even more exciting about this, is that you’ll be helping to shape that future that you envision as you invest in it.
As we head into the second half of the teenies (is that what people will call it?), we are finally entering into an age where it feels as though we’re getting the future we were promised. Technology is taking over to the point where it is truly ubiquitous and the power it wields is truly astonishing. The smart money is on tech then. But that doesn’t just mean investing in the hardware and software itself – it means investing in the people behind and understanding the way it will shape and alter the economy and the face of business. Read on to see where the next big investment opportunities will lie…
If you had invested any money in Oculus when it first arrived on the scene with its ‘Rift’ headset, you would already have made a nice little fortune. Facebook bought that company for a cool $2 billion dollars thank you very much, and if Mark Zuckerberg thinks that VR is the future, you can probably bet it is.
Other promising signs for VR, include the rush to create new headsets from companies like Microsoft (with the HoloLens), Sony (with the Morpheus), HTC (Vive) and even Samsung (VR Gear). More big names like Valve have pledged to support the medium and its promise and scope promises to go far beyond gaming. So the only question now, is which VR horse to bet on… though you can be sure they’ll all make some good money.
Wearable technology has been the ‘next big thing’ for a while now and Google Glass can be seen as something of a set back in the area. However, it seems that technology is finally catching up with the vision, especially now that Apply have officially thrown their hat into the ring with their own watch device. Microsoft’s ‘Band’ device has also proven very popular (Microsoft are generally one to watch right now) as have various devices from Samsung, Jawbone and Pebble. As technology becomes smaller and more powerful, the scope for wearable tech will only increase. Make sure you’re on board when it explodes.
Two of the companies we’ve mentioned have something in common. Both Pebble and Oculus began life as ‘crowdfunded’ projects: ideas that received funding and backing from the general public who wanted to see their visions fulfilled.
Crowdfunding is big news right now and Kick starter and Indiego go seem to be responsible for a new high profile success every other day. Investors can now get in on the act too though, thanks to something called ‘Equity Crowdfunding’. This is essentially what it says on the tin: a type of crowdfunding where you get equity.
With somany hot startups making waves thanks to the power afforded them through technology, there has never been a better time to get involved backing startups.
Sites offering this novel form of crowdfunding include Seedrs and Crowdcube. You can also actas a more traditional angel investor on sites like Angel.co. Here, a number of high profile names like Tim Ferriss share their investment decisions and you can even decide to view and follow them if you’re not so good at keeping your finger on the pulse.
If investing in startups doesn’t feel grassroots enough for you, then you can try being even more hip and investing in individuals. Sites like ‘Up Start’ make this possible, giving you the opportunity to help fund sole trader businesses or even college courses. From there, you then get a share of that individual’s wages and profits until they’ve paid you back with interest. It’s an interesting idea because it gives you
The Chinese Consumer Sector
Okay soit’s not specifically tech, but there’s certainly a lot of tech likely to be sold out here in the coming years. And China has been nothing but ‘up and coming’ for years now. This is an economy and market that continues to grow and if you want a really smart financial move you should consider learning the language too!
Nootropics are supplements that make you smarter. This has been a bit of a slow-burning underground movement on the web for a while now, but with the popularity of Bullet proof Coffee and with lots of executives admitting to their reliance on Modafinil and other ‘smart drugs’ this is becoming an increasingly viable commercial market. There are hundreds of plucky start-ups popping up online to sell nootropic pills and stacks, with some big successes such as CILTeP showing that it’s certainly possible to succeed. This is an interesting and certainly very space age area to invest in but make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing!
Even 3D printing is another buzz word that has been around for a while. But don’t think that it hasn’t been making big on its promise. 3D printers are continuously stealing the show at events like CES and they’re always getting more advanced. Today you can 3D print fun food and complex toys for relatively cheap. If you have a little more money and sway, you can print homes, replacement jaw bones and even satellites. In the future, you may well buy things online and then print them immediately right in your home.
POD publishing completely disrupted the publishing industry a while back and it looks like 3D printing might do the same for… all the other industries .
And we haven’t even touched yet on drones, on specific companies or on the gaming industry that only seems to get bigger. In general then, if you want just one piece of investment advice for the next five years, it’s invest in tech .