Last week saw a slump across most stock indices worldwide. In addition to the Dow, FTSE and ASX the price of gold hit lows not seen since September 2010. Not to mention the AUD, which was smashed like a piñata at a New York Yankees birthday party.
For what it’s worth it feels like every good bit of news the markets take poorly, and every bad bit of news the markets take well. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But then again a lot of things right now don’t seem to make any sense, and that’s probably because there’s a lot to get down about. And if we look at one of the key drivers of markets, confidence and sentiment, you can kind of see what’s going on.
In short, too many people are living the life of a pessimist in a world full of opportunity.
Today we’ll explain there are actually a lot of things to be positive about, regardless of what the media tends to portray. These are the opportunities you often won’t hear about because it doesn’t sell papers and it doesn’t make ratings.
Let us explain…
There are two camps when it comes to looking at the future of this world.
One camp likely thinks the impending doom of the world is well underway with all financial systems ready to collapse. They see riots in Brazil as the first step towards martial law, and that the military will overthrow the government.
And in the bigger picture they fear machines will get smarter than humans, realise we’re no good for the planet and try to get rid of us all. In a sense if you sit in that camp, basically we’re all buggered.
Then there’s the other camp — the optimist camp.
If you reside here, you see perpetual opportunity and optimism. Your take is that things are actually looking pretty rosy right now. Markets might be wild but that means opportunity. Brazil’s demonstrations might lead to a better functioning government (and affordable public transport).
People like Snowden, Assange and Manning are modern day heroes, not criminals. And technology will help mankind explore new frontiers and open new markets and opportunities for investors.
If you haven’t gathered by now, we sit in the optimist camp. Because day in day out we get to find out about the breakthroughs and innovative work being done around the world. When you take the time to actually find out about the good stuff, you can’t help but be excited about the future.
But you probably don’t even know about many of these amazing technology breakthroughs. And for good reason.
Here’s a list of the major headlines from the weekend;
‘NSA Director: Snowden has caused irreversible damage to US.’ – The Guardian
‘Gold Wagers Slump as $54 Billion Erased from Funds.’ – Bloomberg
‘‘Climate Bomb’ warning over China Coolant release’ – Financial Times
‘Presidential plea fails to rein in rioters.’ – The Australian
If you paid attention to headlines like that it’s understandable you’d be pretty worried about what’s going on with the world.
But the reality is different. It’s actually a great time to be alive in the world. And we’re not just saying that as a throwaway line. We’ll show you proof in a moment. The world is at the beginning of a new era of medical and technology breakthroughs. The changes you’ll see in the next 5, 10, and 20 years will outstrip anything that’s come before.
The fact is for every negative story you hear from the media, there’s a shining light of technology to counter it.
Sure Edward Snowden is the US’s most wanted man right now. But imagine if there was no Wikileaks in the world. Without the internet and the belief that there should be freedom of information, people like Bradley Manning and Snowden wouldn’t have the platform to be heard.
Yes, there are riots in Brazil over corruption, but it all started with price hikes in public transport. And problems like that need solutions. And solutions for transportation are being tested and researched every day. Elon Musk’s purported Hyperloop could bring about free public transport should it come to fruition.
The point being that for every problem there are teams of researchers and technologists working on solutions. We live in a world where the tools we have at our disposal can actually bring about positive change.
With that in mind, it’s important to look on the bright side of things. Because now more than ever the speed at which the world is advancing is remarkable. Perhaps there are some other headlines from the weekend that you should be more concerned with than the ones mentioned earlier.
‘How the Large Hadron Collider Will Bring the Internet to Everything.’ – Wired
‘Study finds chemical behind cancer resistance in naked mole rats.’ – Phys.Org
‘Building a better robot.’ – BBC Future
‘Introducing Project Loon: Balloon-powered Internet access.’ – Google Official Blog
We could list more breakthroughs and world changing projects, but the list would be a bit too large for a daily eletter. But here are a few more anyway:
‘Ferroelectric-graphene-based system could lead to better information processing’ – MIT News
‘Better Home Networking could save $330 Million.’ – IEEE Spectrum
‘The Atomium 3D Prints Food in Any Shape You Can Imagine.’ – Inhabitat
Importantly we’re not on our own here at the offices of Port Phillip Publishing when it comes to the great opportunities the 21st century will provide us.
Our other resident optimist on the future is the editor of Revolutionary Tech Investor, Kris Sayce. He wrote about the advancement of the world in the Revolutionary Tech Investor weekly update, on 12th June.
Kris explained that, ‘economic output achieved in the 20th century is greater than all economic growth achieved in the previous 2,000 years.’ And this chart from The Economist proves it.
Source: The Economist
What this highlights is that the 21st century will see greater advancement in history than any other time. Already the first decade of this century has produced half as much economic output as the entire 20th century. And the 22nd century, for those that make it, will be even greater. And so on, and so on.
The future is bright, and that means great things for those who can filter out the negativity. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the bad things going on in the world, but it pays to put it in perspective.
What it boils down to is that technology will be the driving force behind the positive leaps and bounds over the coming years.
This will present you with two choices.
You can take the dim view of it all and watch the world pass you by. Or you can see the possibilities for what they are and be a part of this shift to a better world.
The choice is yours, and that’s the great thing about the world too. You’ll always have a choice. But be sure to look at both sides of the coin, and don’t always get caught up in the doom of it all.
From the Archives…
The Gold Bull is Dead. Long Live the Gold Bull!
21-06-13 – Greg Canavan
Marc Faber: People With Assets Are All Doomed
20-06-13 – Jason Farrell
The Holden Moment
19-06-13 – Greg Canavan
The Pressure is Building in China’s Economy
18-06-13 – Greg Canavan
3,000 Year Old Logic: Don’t Sell Your Gold
17-06-13 – Byron King