By Matt McCallMar 29, 2019
Making predictions is one of the most fun parts of my job. It’s also one of the most important.
I’m not talking about those internet quizzes that predict the first letter of the person you’re going to marry. And I’m certainly not talking about a stranger on the phone who claims to have all the answers to life’s questions.
I’m talking about analysis-driven predictions based on the past and the present that help us see where the world is headed.
This is critical for investing success. You may have heard me quote hockey great Wayne Gretsky who said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”
To get to the puck before everyone else, I take into account everything I have studied and learned over the years and apply it the future.
What trends are set to explode and which will have turned into fads and fizzled out? What industries are clearly moving into their next generation? What major catalysts will occur?
The answers to these questions fuel my investment ideas. But I also like to hear from some of the world’s greatest innovators and thinkers.
Today, I want to focus on Bill Gates – the genius behind Microsoft (MSFT). You know who he is.
Gates was asked by MIT Technology Review to create a list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies that would change the world as we know it. They didn’t necessarily have to be innovations making waves today, but ones that will do so in the years ahead.
The article, which he wrote, is titled “How We’ll Invent the Future,” and I agree with a lot of it. I have little doubt that each of the technologies Gates identified will find their way into modern society. Today I want to talk with you about the six that stood out to me the most. And guess what? Four just so happen to fall into one of the next-generation mega-trends we’re following in my investment newsletters.
The ability to predict premature babies.
A pill that probes your gut.
Custom designed cancer vaccines.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) that you can wear on your wrist.
Just one of those technologies would propel healthcare into the future. So imagine if we could accomplish all four.
1. Predicting Preemies
One out of every 10 children is born premature. That’s a staggering statistic to me. While care for preemies has improved dramatically, there is still little we can do to prevent mothers from delivering early when their body tells them it’s time.
But the advancement of genomics – the study of genomes, or a complete set of DNA – has allowed for more accurate, less expensive, and vitally important blood tests.
In fact, a bioengineer from Stanford, Stephen Quake, created a startup called Akna Dx to commercialize a $10 blood test that will screen genes commonly associated with pre-term birth. It is estimated that this or a similar test will be available in the next five years.
2. Gut Probe in a Pill.
This is exactly what it sounds like. You simply swallow a small device that captures images of your insides. The device would then be pulled out using something similar to a string, sanitized, and reused in another patient. No need for anesthesia.
The technology, which is being developed by a pathologist and engineer at Massachusetts General Hospital, is currently being used in adults and will begin testing in infants this year.
Think about how much earlier doctors could diagnose problems, thereby raising the odds of treating them successfully. I especially love this idea because the gut is the area that doctors typically focus on when attempting to pinpoint a disease – even mental health issues have been related to the gut.
3. Custom Cancer Vaccines
A German startup called BioNTech is working with Genentech to commercialize the first personalized cancer vaccine that would incite the body’s natural defenses to destroy sick cells. And it would leave healthy cells completely alone! That is the biggest problem with traditional chemotherapy.
I talk about the coming wave of personalized medicine a lot in my Early Stage Investor newsletter. Treating everyone the exact same is insane. Every person has a different genetic makeup, so drugs and vaccines with have varying effects – good and bad. Tailoring treatments to each individual will lead to much higher success rates.
This, my friends, is the future of healthcare – gene-based treatments and vaccines. There is even a technology that allows scientists to “edit” genes. Simply delete or change the bad genetic code and the disease is gone. We’re all over this trend in my newsletters.
4. ECGs for Your Wrist.
Think of an Apple Watch or Fitbit fitness tracker as a true medical device. At the moment, these wearables currently only have a single sensor. An electrocardiogram that you receive from a doctor has 12.
The benefits of the extra sensors are extreme. Not only will your smart watch monitor your steps, heart rate, and sleep schedule, it will also keep an eye out for atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, and other cardiac issues. This is all about preventive medicine.
We are well on the way. Startup AliveCor received FDA clearance in 2017 for an Apple Watch-compatible band that can detect atrial fibrillation. In 2018, Apple received FDA clearance for an ECG feature that is embedded in its watches. And Withings, a health device company, has also released plans for a similarly equipped watch.
Clearly this will be a competitive market, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple (AAPL) quickly become a major healthcare player based on its advancements in the technology.
The bottom line: Genomics and gene editing are two areas that will change healthcare in the next decade. And I am very excited to see how things play out. My subscribers have gotten into this space early and stand to make a lot of money as the technological breakthroughs continue in the years ahead.
Another one of Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Technology predictions was Robot Dexterity. Robots can do a lot of things for us. They can order our groceries, clean our floors, build complex machines, and even help doctors perform surgeries.
But they have to be programmed to specifically do these things. If we alter variables within the given scenarios, they’re left completely dumbfounded.
As artificial intelligence continues to improve in the years ahead, it will lead robots to be able to perform the functions they are currently lacking. For example, industrial robots won’t just act as an assembly line. They’ll be able to move like humans in short, accurate movements.
A lot of this will be powered by sensors, which is an investment theme I am following closely in Investment Opportunities. My subscribers are invested in one of the key players in the space. It’s down right now, so there’s still plenty of time to get in ahead of what I believe is huge upside in the years ahead.
Imagine a cow-free burger.
Some of you may be wondering what in the world I am talking about. Others may have already jumped on the bandwagon.
According to the United Nations, 9.8 billion people are expected to be on the planet in 2050. They will consume 70% more meat than they did in 2005. Raising animals for human consumption is already believed to be one of the worst things for the environment, so how would we feed the world’s population?
In the future, we’ll have lab-grown and plant-based meat alternatives that not only taste like real meat, but also possess the same nutritional value.
Plant-based diets are already becoming more popular, and two of the biggest players in the space – Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods – could IPO this year. (Bill Gates just so happens to be an investor in both).
Great minds must think alike – if I may say so – because this just so happens to be a prediction I also made at the start of this year.
I think it is safe to say that the future is coming quickly, and 2019 is already shaping up to be a great year for innovation.
But this is only the beginning.
Think of how different life and the world would be to someone born 100 years ago – there are more centenarians around now thanks to advancements in medicine and health. The pace of change has accelerated, and frequent MoneyWire readers know that I believe the next 30 years will see similar breakthrough changes.
We sit on the verge of a transformation very similar to the technology boom in the 1990s. Right now, there are a handful of innovations in their early stages that will change our world in the way the internet did over two decades ago. The way we work, play, travel, bank, receive healthcare, and entertain ourselves will look completely different than they do now.
Smart investors stand to make gains similar to – and possibly even larger than – those fortunes made during the internet boom. Several transformational changes are lining up to produce what I believe will be the best investing opportunities of our lifetimes. The key is to get in early.
P.S. Mark your calendar!
For April 9 at 7 p.m. Eastern time…
That is the date I am revealing a market anomaly that is sending certain cannabis stocks up over 1,000%.
My team and I have been working on this strategy for the last year and could not believe what we discovered. It is now time to share this with you.
Keep your eyes open for an update next week when we give you a behind the scenes look as we prepare for the April 9 event.
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