In search of the next big thing….

Wednesday, 11th July 2018

In search of the next big thing….

Late on Friday night, I watched the Drone Champions League on Freesports….

I happened on the coverage thanks to a bit of channel-surfing….

But I stuck around to digest the peculiar spectacle of grown men, boys and even young girls engaged in high-speed drone racing along obstacle courses – with the pilots wearing first-person-view (FPV) goggles that provide the view from the drone’s ‘cockpit’….

  • Something new….

They were flying the small craft under bridges, through inflatable hoops, negotiating sharp bends. All at high-speed….

There was some genuine skill on show. Some young kids were smashing the adult fliers. This is a sport where being 10-years-old is no bar to becoming the big star….

I won’t become a fan of the sport. It’s not my thing….

But it was interesting to see how a sport that didn’t exist 10-years ago has gained traction and is starting to attract huge participation rates and a growing audience….

It’s a good lesson for an old fuddy-duddy….

Nothing stays the same. What was is not forever. There’s always something new coming along….

  • Looking for the next big thing….

Investors are always looking out for the next big thing….

For opportunities to invest on the ground-floor of nascent businesses, industries or technologies that have yet to fully catch-on, but which will rocket in value when they achieve mainstream take-up….

Do you remember what mobile phones looked like in 1994?

Not like they do now. And they didn’t do what they do now. They were as big as house bricks and you just made and received calls on them….

Some had telescopic aerials that you whipped out for better reception. They were more like army field radios than the smartphones we carry now….

Back in 1996 just 16% of UK households owned a mobile phone. In 2018 that figure has risen to 95%. And that’s just the UK….

Mobile phones were science-fiction devices when I was a teenager….

Now, they are ubiquitous ‘can’t-do-without’ life-tools – enabling payments, providing instant access to myriad services and limitless information, taking pictures, storing videos and all the rest of it….

Investors who put capital into the mobile phone industry and the technology driving it back in the early 1990s have enjoyed huge gains on the back of that burgeoning and fast-developing market….

  • Easy to spot – in hindsight….

The next big thing is easy to spot – at least in hindsight. We all saw the mobile phone revolution coming – after the event….

Spotting these things ahead-of-time is not so easy. And the waters are muddied by financial journalists obsessed with being the first to plant a footprint on the surface of a virgin planet….

Look back to the first-half of 2017, for instance….

You couldn’t visit a financial website or open the business section of newspaper without encountering a ‘March of the Robots’ or ‘The End of Humanity’ headline….

The financial publishing industry had lit onto the idea of artificial intelligence, machines that think and robots….

And it didn’t hesitate to peddle the idea that these things were about to change the face of the workplace – displacing humans, depriving them of jobs and condemning them to a lifetime of poverty and uselessness….

That was the appeal to FEAR at work….

The appeal to GREED followed on with a blizzard of headlines like these: ‘How to Invest in Artificial Intelligence’ or ‘The best 10 AI companies’ or ‘The top 15 Artificial Intelligence ETFs’….

Of course, that’s the job of the financial publishing industry. It needs to keep its reader coming back for more….

Identifying the next big thing – and how to profit from it – is a surefire way of meeting that objective….

  • On to the next big thing….

AI is coming. It will change things. For better and for worse. It will create as many new opportunities as it removes….

Will AI be the next big thing for investors? Here at Money Truths, we don’t know….

All we can tell you is that the financial publishing industry wrung-out that AI theme for all it was worth, before discarding it like a dishrag and moving on to the next big thing – Bitcoin….

The financial publishing industry devoted the entire second-half of 2017 to cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin primarily….

And it was a golden time too. Back then everybody was getting rich quick in a parabolic market that was heading to the moon – and before the end of next week….

Every financial website and publication in creation set out to make hay. Millions of pages were devoted to chatter and advice on how to buy crypto and how to make sure you didn’t miss out on this 21st century gold rush….

Then, at the end of 2017, it all went wrong. Thousands of investors sucked into the market by promises of easy profit – few of whom knew anything about cryptocurrencies or the technology behind them – got stung….

It might turn out okay. The Bitcoin price is still well-above where it was this time last year. But – for now – we’re not hearing quite so much from the financial publishing industry about Bitcoin….

Instead, we’re on to the next big thing….

  • And the next….

Cannabis is the next big thing. The GREEN gold rush….

Uruguay was the first to legalize it for recreational use. Canada just followed suit….

Many US states are going the same way. Big drinks and tobacco companies are positioning themselves to cash in on a new multi-billion-dollar industry….

In Britain, William Hague and the Chief Constable of Durham have called for legalization. The Institute of Economic Affairs says the UK cannabis market is worth £2.6 billion and worth £1 billion to the Treasury if legalized….

Money talks – especially to politicians. We could be on the verge of great change – and an opportunity to profit….

That’s the story and – like a hungry bloodhound – the financial publishing industry is onto the scent….

My email box – once crammed with Bitcoin promos – is now filling up with junk-mail telling me that NOW is the time to get in on the upcoming Cannabis bonanza….

Who knows? Maybe the people writing these emails are correct….

Or maybe they are just going through the motions – peddling a message that pushes a product or service that will soon be replaced by the next big thing….

  • My idea of the next big thing….

Maybe a basket of shares and investments focused on artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and cannabis is the way to go….

But I can’t help wondering if the best way to invest in the next big thing is to figure out what the next big thing is before people in the world of financial publishing start telling you en masse what that next big thing is….

It seems to me that if you’re reading about it all over the place – and everybody else is reading about it too – the cat is already out of the bag….

The real early-players are already positioned. And that’s where you really want to be….

You must be ahead of the curve….

You must be in front of the journalists….

You must be ahead of the whimsical financial publishing industry….

You need to be correctly positioned by the time they catch-up, catch-on and start selling the next big thing to their audience….

Easier said than done, of course….

But I think I’m onto something. I think I see the next big thing – or at least one of them – coming over the far-distant horizon.

And the journalists are not writing about it. At least not yet….

I’ll reveal all next week….

That’s how it looks from here….

All the best,

Dave Gibson

Money Truths