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Frequently Asked Questions

Retail hasn’t been looking great lately – what’s your take on this space?

It’s no secret that big-name brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled recently. Stores like J. C. Penney (JCP), Macy’s (M), Nordstrom (JWN) and Kohl’s (KSS) have reported a dip in sales while Amazon (AMZN), on the other hand, is still seeing double-digit gains.

Online sales in the United States are expected to reach $523 billion in the next five years, up 56% from jut $335 billion in 2015, mainly driven by purchases on mobile devices.

I like Amazon (AMZN), too, but that’s where everybody else is right now. Instead, I would look to a company like Shopify (SHOP), which will be one of the biggest winners in the space, as it provides an ecommerce platform to retailers and individuals who are selling their products online.

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Aren’t things like robotics and automation technology still a long way from becoming mainstream?

Robotics and all those other science fiction-sounding technologies certainly sound futuristic and not a reality, don’t they? But the fact is, we’re already seeing them infiltrate the here and now. Think of precision surgery that can now be performed by a robotic arm – even from a completely different city – or precision manufacturing on a fast-moving assembly line.

What makes this sector so intriguing is that nearly every industry is increasing their exposure to robotics and automation. Manufacturing, healthcare, energy, agriculture, security, and others are already using robotics/automation to improve their businesses. As a result, unit sales of industrial robots are expected to rise 13% a year through 2019.

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How do ETFs fit into your approach? Can they be next-gen, too?

ETFs are a favorite tool of mine and fit right into my strategy. One of the hallmarks of next-gen investing is a multifaceted approach to making money, something Wall Street doesn’t offer. If you’re not familiar with ETFs (short for exchange-traded funds), they are great ways to play market trends because they give you exposure to multiple companies that are driving the action but don’t carry the same risk that can come from holding a single name.

Let me use the example of the Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL). In this ETF, social media’s biggest and most successful companies serve as its top 10 holdings. Not only does this give you instant diversification, it also gives you global exposure to a wide-ranging trend that you would not otherwise be able to get very easily.

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Do you really think there is a lot of money to be made off the millennials? They seem to march to their own drummer.

Yes, I do. And yes, they do things differently, but the numbers are overpowering and the trends are simply unstoppable. Remember, this is going to be the greatest transfer of wealth the United States has ever seen, and smart investors absolutely have to have it on the radar. There is a long way to go with as well, as the youngest are still in college. That said, the impacts are being felt already.

Consider consumer spending. The amount millennials spend is expected to double in just three years to $1.4 trillion annually. As millennials get older and form families, more and more houses will be bought. They already make up 33% of homebuyers, and we’re just at the beginning.

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Is the market rigged against individual investors?

I speak with investors regularly, and I also get asked some variation of this question all of the time. There’s a lot of distrust out there, and I get it, especially after two corrections in the last two years that scared a lot of people out of stocks altogether.

Here’s the truth: We all know that there is some gamesmanship that goes on and that Wall Street builds in some systemic advantages for itself. But the market itself is not rigged, and investing in stocks – and now exchange-traded funds (ETFS) – remains the absolute best way to grow your wealth. Nothing else comes close. If you want to achieve your financial dreams, the first step you need to take is to actually put your money to work making more money.

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