Technology hasn’t just improved over time; it’s also matured its users. Today, the average child gets his or her first cellphone at age 10.1 In past generations, 10 was about the age when parents finally let their kids use those creepy crawly bug makers that required a heating device.
These days, one of the biggest growth trends in IT is wearable technology, such as medical and fitness devices. As much of the nation continues on its prolonged health kick, companies have adapted to consumers’ needs by rolling out wearable technology. The U.S. has accounted for the largest share of these medical and fitness devices that encourage improved health and activity.2
New products are constantly rolled out with a variety of everyday applications, such as cloud delivery services, digital entertainment/gaming, location-based services, increased digital security and big data analytics.3
The bigger and better the breakthrough, the more expensive the product sells for in stores. Just as you would do your research and shop around before buying a fitness wristband or new TV, we believe it’s important to apply the same level of scrutiny to your financial strategy. If we can help you create a retirement income strategy utilizing both investment and insurance products, please give us a call.
Technology developed specifically for the financial industry has fostered a new generation of smaller, more nimble and virtual companies. For the first time in history, smaller banks now have the opportunity to compete with large ones. Taking out loans and withdrawing and depositing money has become a do-it-yourself industry thanks to online services.4
In terms of investments in the technology industry, there’s a growing trend for start-ups to remain private, and they are increasingly able to generate investor money in doing so. In 2015, 146 private tech companies achieved valuations upward of $1 billion in private markets — which is twice as many as the year before. By contrast, some technology companies that underwent initial public offerings (IPOs) over the past four years have performed poorly; since 2011 over 40 percent are flat or below their final private-market valuations.5 Please remember that investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
Clearly, technology is an industry that will continue to grow and adapt. Not only is it innovating for businesses and consumers — young and old — but even in the way it funds and sustains business operations.
What’s interesting is that the creepy crawler machine of yesteryear is coming back on the market. Mattel is reintroducing a 3-D printer version this fall that will retail for $299.6 The high-tech twist on this classic toy is a prime example of how technology will affect younger generations moving forward, while the price tag puts the potential cost of a 10-year-old’s cellphone in perspective.
Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications
1 Influence Central. May 20, 2016. “Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today’s Digital Natives.” http://influence-central.com/kids-tech-the-evolution-of-todays-digital-natives. Accessed May 20, 2016.
2 FOX8live. May 17, 2016. “Global Wearable Technology Industry 2016 Market Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Research, Forecast, Trends, Opportunities and Challenges: QyResearchReports.” http://www.fox8live.com/story/31994070/global-wearable-technology-industry-2016-market-analysis-size-share-growth-research-forecast-trends-opportunities-and-challenges-qyresearchreports#.VzwC_w5_Hkc.twitters. Accessed May 20, 2016.
3 Steve Andriole. Forbes. Dec. 15, 2015. “Technology M&A in 2016: Macro and Enabling Trends Predictors.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveandriole/2015/12/21/technology-ma-in-2016-macro-and-enabling-trends-predictors/#7def80b95e11. Accessed May 20, 2016.
4 Business Insider. April 14, 2016. “The fintech industry explained: The trends disrupting the world of financial technology.” http://www.businessinsider.com/fintech-ecosystem-financial-technology-report-and-data-2016-2. Accessed May 31. 2016.
5 Begum Erdogan, Rishi Kant, Allen Miller and Kara Sprague. McKinsey&Company. May 2016. “Grow fast or die slow: Why unicorns are staying private.” http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/grow-fast-or-die-slow-why-unicorns-are-staying-private. Accessed May 20, 2016.
6 Edward C. Baig. USA Today. Feb. 13, 2016. “Mattel resurrects ThingMaker as a 3D printer.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2016/02/12/mattel-resurrects-thingmaker-3d-printer/80236104/. Accessed May 20, 2016.
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