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6 Areas of Interest for Progressive Investors in 2023

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6 Areas of Interest for Progressive Investors in 2023

The last few years haven’t been kind to the stock market. Stakeholders face an uphill battle trying to find profitable investment opportunities as big tech, cryptocurrency, and other once-hot markets have continued to fall. 

2023 could bring a breath of fresh air to progressive investors, as these six areas of interest might take a leap in the new year.

  • Talent Development

One of the main reasons for the current supply chain stagnation and economic decline is a global labor shortage across the board. White-collar and blue-collar industries alike desperately need more experienced hands. Companies have responded by investing more heavily in talent development.

About 60% of supply chain professionals report struggling to find workers with operational experience, according to a survey of 350 businesses conducted by global logistics firm DHL. In response to their hiring struggles, these businesses have sought to bolster their talent pipelines in several key ways:

  • Laying out clear career paths for new hires.
  • Providing more education and training opportunities.
  • Partnering with expert talent development specialists.
  • Building a stronger company culture.

These development efforts indicate that cloud software, video conferencing applications, and other online collaboration tools will remain profitable. These tools helped remote and hybrid work become more widely available employment options, and they could do the same for talent development in traditional work environments.

Training the next crop of laborers will be crucial for supply chains to return to normal operations. 2023 looks to be a big year for talent development as businesses seek more drastic measures to get their workforces back to full strength.

  • Renewable Energy Storage

The shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is gaining momentum as we enter 2023. 

Government intervention has played an important role, with legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act. This new bill seeks to build a clean energy economy with solar panels, wind turbines, and battery manufacturing plants.

As the energy transition continues, investments in storage will expand by necessity. Solar and wind energy can be sporadic depending on the weather, which means we must find ways to save excess energy from these sources for future use. This is perhaps the greatest obstacle preventing the widespread adoption of renewable energy.

Additionally, the batteries required to power large-scale solar and wind energy systems are heavy and fragile. A robust storage system is essential for their long-term functionality. Energy storage companies and manufacturers who supply the materials will naturally grow in demand as more families and businesses install their own renewable energy systems.

  • Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles also have a promising outlook in 2023. Sales reached all-time highs in 2022 and market analysts project that EVs will make up a majority of vehicle sales by 2030. Investing in EV manufacturers, including Tesla, General Motors, and Ford, will be a safe bet as these companies continue to put out new and improved models.

However, there might be greater profit potential in a few other areas. The rise of eco-friendly commercial fleets offers a potential solution to our stagnant supply chains. Lithium stocks will become more profitable as lithium-ion battery production ramps up to meet the demand for EVs. The global charging infrastructure also needs major improvements.

  • Campgrounds

The swift rise in EV sales is also strong evidence of a widespread shift in consumer attitudes. People are more eco-conscious than ever, which means they’re spending more time doing outdoor activities. People are also investing more time and money in their physical and mental well-being in the wake of COVID-19.

A ripple effect of investment opportunities could happen as EVs become mainstream. With more people on the roads, profitable investments will emerge in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Shares in vacation rentals, hotels, cruise ships, and resorts all expect to see growth, especially in emerging markets overseas.

As a result of shifting consumer attitudes, the outlook for campgrounds and other outdoor recreation properties looks promising. 2022 showed definite signs of life, as 50% of surveyed campers booked a trip in the last year, and that number is expected to increase in 2023.

  • Machine Automation

Inefficient technology is one of the main factors holding back our supply chains. A digital transformation could be on the horizon, though, as investments in machine automation are ramping up. This trend is happening across a wide range of industries, from higher education to retail to the health care sector.

Emerging automated tools like order management software make transactions more accurate and time-efficient. Rather than manually sending out hundreds of POs and invoices, we can let the software do these menial tasks for us. Shipments can go out and deliveries can come in more quickly with minimal human error involved.

Machine automation also increases visibility along the supply chain. High-volume supply chains are prone to many errors, especially when they go international. AI-powered tracking devices can send status alerts across the world to notify businesses about any damage or delays. This technology helps managers make timely adjustments and keep their products moving.

  • Web 3.0

2022 has been a rough year for big tech stocks, losing almost 30% of their value on the Nasdaq. High inflation and interest rates are the main reasons for big tech’s poor performance, but another reason is more intriguing – a lack of public trust in large corporations. Fewer people are enthusiastic about the idea of Apple, Google, and Amazon controlling the digital world.

In an attempt to level the playing field, investments in Web 3.0 have ramped up. The metaverse, Web 3.0’s defining feature, could decentralize the internet and open up new online worlds in both employment and educational settings. Communication, teamwork, and productivity all can improve inside these virtual workspaces.

Other industries that contribute to Web 3.0’s infrastructure are also interesting investments. Semiconductor companies such as Nvidia and Qualcomm will see a spike in demand. Internet providers will stay busy keeping the metaverse’s systems running. Cryptocurrency declined in 2022, but crypto trading services will remain profitable so long as the metaverse exists.

Producers of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies will also grow as the metaverse becomes more advanced. These tools have already begun to revolutionize employee training, as they can simulate real environments and scenarios to bring new hires up to speed.

Once again, a variety of industries stand to benefit from the rise of the metaverse. Students can receive real lessons instead of lectures. Health care employees can perform mock procedures before attempting the real thing. Retailers and supply chain managers can virtually stock their inventories and identify the most efficient organization methods.

Big Changes on the Horizon in 2023

2022 wasn’t kind to most investors. Economic conditions got worse and stocks that were previously rock-solid have become vulnerable. However, big changes are on the horizon. Advancements in technology and renewable energy could bring new life to our supply chains, bring the workforce back to full strength, and give power back to the stakeholders.

How Millennials Are Changing The Investment Game

Millennials are on the verge of becoming big players in the investment field.

Baby boomers, according to Forbes, are about to pass an estimated $30 trillion in assets down to millennials within the next few years. This generational transfer of wealth gives millennials many options on investing — starting with the investment firms they choose.

Understanding millennials’ mindset on investing and, just as importantly, learning their personality traits, preferences and dislikes, are crucial to any investment firm seeking to help them allocate their assets. For starters, millennials’ approach to investing is distinct to previous generations, and they handle money and choose the people who they entrust with that money very differently, too.

Those factors will have several ramifications for how assets are allocated in the next three, five, 10, 20, and 30 years. That’s why discovering how to connect with millennials so that they feel confident enough to trust you with their funds is critical.

How do millennials differ from previous generations, including their investment approach? Here are some revealing distinctions:

They’re more entrepreneurial. Whereas their parents, baby boomers, valued job stability and scaling the corporate ladder, millennials are more inclined to build their own businesses and take greater financial risks. They’re confident that even if they lose some money, they can earn it back — facts firms should consider as they approach this generation and brainstorm investment solutions.

They’re wary of Wall Street. After the Great Recession, many millennials were forced to take on student loans because their parents couldn’t afford college tuitions. So if they’re not entirely warm to the idea of Wall Street, what do millennials trust? Where do they see themselves putting the $30 trillion they’ll one day inherit? This group of investors favors commodities and options and they’re also more likely to put money in exchange-traded funds than their baby boomer parents.

They’re impassioned about helping the world. Millennials want to serve a greater purpose to humanity. This common trait has given rise to the concept of “impact investing” — intentionally putting money in companies or organizations that offer a financial return but also contribute funds toward creating a positive social or environmental impact.

They often don’t trust advisors. According to a study, 57 percent of millennials don’t trust advisors, believing they’re in it more for self-serving purposes than for their clients’ best interests. What they want is someone who wants to build a relationship with them and works toward gaining their trust.

So knowing how millennials and their investment thoughts are unique, how should investment firms navigate this young crowd of investors and best position themselves to reap the business of this generation, both today and in the coming years? 

Create trust and be transparent. Investment firms can build a foundation to better serve the millennial generation by fostering relationships, customizing your advice, and being clear about fees. For example, millennials, unlike baby boomers, prefer flat fees over commission-based pay models; that’s what they’re most familiar with through the advents of Uber and Netflix.

Explore technology. Millennials like technology but they also like simplicity and convenience. Look for ways to leverage technology to make experiences simpler, more self-serving, and more convenient for millennial users. Robo-advisors and digital investment content platforms and tools are just the start of the options available to explore. If they find it inconvenient or complicated to do business with you, they’ll do it with someone else.

Be a great communicator. While technology and self-service drive them, millennials also appreciate a human touch in the investment space, meaning a hybrid of tech and human would be the ideal mix for them. Find out how your millennial client likes to communicate — by text, email, messaging via a digital investment content platform, or on the phone. And when you are communicating, remember to be an advisor, not a dictator. Millennials appreciate insight, but they still like to be the one controlling decisions that impact them.

Use data to customize recommendations. Track clients’ online activity to gather data about them and use this in conjunction with their personal preferences to send them customized investment ideas, alerts, and recommended products.

It comes down to this: Millennials and baby boomers are as different as rotary phones and text messages, and newspapers and podcasts. And they’re just as varied in their viewpoints of success and allocation of material wealth.

Therefore, if advisors truly want to stay relevant in the investment game, they’ll have to work hard to build rapport with this generation and show good will to retain them as clients both currently and into the future.

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Gui Costin (www.guicostin.com), author of the No. 1 Bestseller Millennials Are Not Aliens, is an entrepreneur, and founder of Dakota, a company that sells and markets institutional investment strategies. Dakota is also the creator of two software products: Draft, a database that contains a highly curated group of qualified institutional investors; and Stage, a content platform built for institutional due diligence analysts where they can learn an in-depth amount about a variety of investment strategies without having to initially talk to someone. Dakota’s mission is to level the playing field for boutique investment managers so they can compete with bigger, more well-resourced investment firms.