Daniel Hansen - Omnia - investment - invest - green energy - space race - Japan

Seeking out disruptive and challenging investment opportunities is my passion. At OMNIA, nothing is more important than making sure every investment opportunity is carefully selected and fully explored.

Imagine you’d invested in Alphabet, Amazon or Netflix at the right time. The phenomenal success of these companies has revolutionised entertainment, e-commerce and many other aspects of day-to-day life. But what’s up next? Here are five potentially viable new investment markets.

  1. New investment markets turn responsible

Responsible investment opportunities are becoming key for both large institutional and smaller investors. The importance of ESG (environmental, social and governance) in investment decisions can’t be overemphasised. We’re looking at maintaining the balance between a responsible investment approach and reaping monetary returns.

ESG investing considers traditional financial returns together with the impact of the target’s business. We saw a clear example of this in 2018 with the shift away from Facebook due to its continuing ambivalence towards data privacy and consumer rights.

This long, slow shift towards ESG investing means not having to choose between making money and caring about the impact of your investment. According to data from a YouGov survey, the number of assets managed using ESG has tripled to $13 trillion.

  1. The new tech investment

Ten years ago, only one of the top five biggest companies worldwide measured by market capitalisation was tech based – Microsoft. By 2018, only one of the five isn’t. Microsoft has been joined in the top five by three of the FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, which are the five highest performers in the stock market).

What about ten years from now? By 2028, we could see FAANGs fully replaced by the new technology portfolio, which includes cryptocurrency, robotics, artificial intelligence, automation and biotech. These are the technology sectors that are most likely to provide investment potential. We can’t know for sure which companies will dominate in a decade, but we can refuse to be sucked in by transient issues, such as potential regulation and taxation.

Tech companies rise and fall in fortune like no other asset class, and it can seem daunting to make investment decisions in this sector. But, think of the bigger picture and don’t get bogged down in regulatory worries or taxation. These won’t change the overarching seismic tech changes of the future. A good example can be seen with cryptocurrencies. The huge rise in value of Bitcoin, and its subsequent crash, gives rise to understandable scepticism in terms of investment. But look beneath cryptocurrency to the blockchain technology, and you’ll find sound investment opportunities as it continues to be used across all kinds of sectors.

  1. Look towards Japan for new opportunities

There are a few reasons to take a good look at Japan’s investment opportunities in 2019. A shrinking population has forced Japan to look at new ways to maintain the necessary workforce. This has led to it becoming a leader in robotization and automation. Combined with its move towards profitability, it has seen a recent boost in productivity. Its proximity to the fast-growing economy of China is also a benefit.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched a solid approach to economic reform in 2012, including high government spending, measures to boost structural growth and corporate reform. All of these improvements, along with the boost generated by the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics makes Japan an important investment hotspot for 2019.

  1. Green energy continues upward trajectory

The growing debate surrounding climate change is continuing to fuel a move away from oil and coal to renewable, clean energy. By investing in green stocks in businesses that are actively working on renewable chemicals and low-carbon energy sources (something’s missing here). In 2000, the US generated just 6 billion kWh of electricity using wind-power. Just over 16 years later, this stood at 226 billion kWh, all of which required investments of more than $150 billion. This has to be the one investment sector that is a sure bet, given the work necessary to support a growing global population in a world that is fast running out of resources.

  1. Get in on the next ‘space race’

NASA scientists have set a target of 2069 for the launch of a space mission to Proxima Centauri. The star is approximately 4.4 light years away from earth. While today, it would take the fastest space craft ever physically built around 18,000 years to get that far, NASA is currently funding research into craft designed to make the journey at 10% of the speed of light, which would mean less than 50 years to reach Proxima Centauri.

If that seems like light years away, consider the wider space travel market. Elon Musk is developing reusable rockets through his SpaceX project, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is spending $1 billion of his own money at Blue Origin to create rockets. Clearly, this is an investment opportunity that isn’t going away.

// Daniel Hansen, founder and CEO of OMNIA Global.

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