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2020 Predictions Every Investor Should Read

You May Not Like These 2020 Predictions

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted December 26, 2019

It’s hard to believe...

In six days, it’ll officially be 2020.

Although it’s quite common to say “can you believe another year has already gone by?” 2020 definitely has some significance. At least for me.

You see, 2020 has, for a long time, been the threshold for many of my predictions.

Take electric cars, for instance.

Back in 2007, I spoke at an Angel Publishing conference where I introduced those in attendance to a market that I believed would be very big by 2020 and make us a lot of money along the way. I even mentioned a company that hadn’t yet gone public but was, in my opinion, going to be a game changer in personal transportation.

That company was called Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), and I predicted that by 2020, it would be a household name, successfully competing against the major carmakers.

I was right.

I also predicted that if the company ever went public, it would make early investors a lot of money.

This is what happened:

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While I would argue that Tesla stock is currently overvalued based on technical analysis, the company remains a powerhouse of innovation and disruption. And overall, the electric car market continues to grow rapidly.

According to Bloomberg, in 20 years, 57% of total car sales will be electric. I think it’ll be more. In fact, my prediction for 2040 is that no less than 70% of total car sales will be electric.

The technology is moving so fast, and as more and more drivers realize the benefits of electric cars (not reliant upon petroleum, can “fill up” at home, far cleaner than internal combustion, better driving experience, far less to maintain with no oil changes, no tune-ups, brakes last much longer), electric car acceptance will happen faster than a lot of folks anticipate. We’re actually already starting to see evidence of this.

Truth is, you’d be hard-pressed to drive on any major highway these days and not see an electric car.

Coal Becomes Irrelevant

In 2006, I also predicted that by 2020, coal would lose market share to natural gas and renewable energy.

With the price of solar, wind, and natural gas rapidly declining, thanks mostly to technological advances and a growing social movement that would instigate legislation designed to support renewable energy integration, it seemed like a no-brainer at the time. But boy did I get a lot of pushback from that one.

In fact, I remember speaking at an energy conference in Montana, where I basically told a group of deep-pocketed coal execs that coal’s days were numbered. But despite their anger and mockery, my research was sound.

In 2006, coal owned about 50% of the electricity generation market. Natural gas owned just over 20%, and renewables about 8%, with most of that coming from hydro.

This year, coal’s share of the market hit 20% (averaging 24% for the year), with natural gas expected to come in at 37% and renewables coming in at 23%

I predict that in the next 20 years, coal’s share of the U.S. market will come in at around 5%, with natural gas topping out at about 40% and renewables delivering about 45%. Nuclear will own about 10% of the market.

Investors looking to take advantage of this would be wise to focus on new renewable energy technologies and battery storage.

From Illegal Drugs to Breakthrough Therapies

Back in 2015, I started writing about the legal cannabis market, predicting that by 2020, at least 30 states would have some form of legalization in place. This number currently stands at 33, with 11 of those states having legalized the adult-use of cannabis. That is, not for medicinal purposes, and no prescription required.

I predict that in 20 years, not only will every state in the union have some form of legalization in place, but the federal prohibition on cannabis will be lifted, and the industry will be treated no differently than the alcohol and tobacco industries.

And it won’t stop there.

Riding on the coattails of cannabis legalization, psychedelics are also going to become legal. Although not in the same way we’ve seen with cannabis.

It is unlikely you’ll see psychedelics available for purchase at regulated dispensaries, aside from, maybe, psilocybin, a.k.a. “magic mushrooms.” But for the most part, psychedelics are real medicine and are now being treated as such.

Three psychedelics companies have already been given “breakthrough therapy” designations by the FDA, which are designations designed to expedite the development and review of drugs that are intended to treat a serious condition and for which preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy on a clinically significant endpoint(s).

In 2040, don’t be surprised to see psychedelics, such as psilocybin, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA, being used in clinical settings, with full approvals by the FDA. And also don’t be surprised to see Big Pharma getting in on this action, too.

There’s a lot of new evidence that suggests many of these molecules can help treat addiction, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. There will be a lot more research happening in this market in the coming years, and you would be wise to pay close attention to it, as there will be opportunities to get in early on this market.

A Few More

Here are a few more predictions I have for 2040...

  • The U.S. will undergo a sort of infrastructure renaissance that will be forced upon us by a series of disasters that will leave us vulnerable to attack. I’m talking about things such as major cyberattacks on our outdated electricity infrastructure, forced closures of nuclear facilities that haven’t been maintained in a responsible way, and failing dams and levees. These new infrastructure projects will be funded by public/private partnerships but will still stick taxpayers with the lion’s share of the bill.

  • Driverless cars will become commonplace. Most of these will be run by companies similar to Uber and Lyft, most of the vehicles will be electric, and a 20% decline in car ownership will have most carmakers restructuring to sell future vehicles to ride-hailing companies instead of individual owners.

  • The continued results of climate change will force increased migration from historically hot and arid regions in the south to historically colder and wetter regions in the north. Large parts of Africa and the Middle East will be uninhabitable for most, coastal cities will flood and force a significant amount of relocations inland, and food diversity will be exceptionally difficult to maintain. The latter will likely instigate robust development of cellular agriculture and cultured meat, which will allow food to be grown from cells, in labs, instead of relying on conventional agriculture, which in many parts of the world is leaving the soil in a state of disrepair. Couple that with more heat waves, floods, and hurricanes, and you have the perfect recipe for food insecurity. Cellular agriculture and cultured meat could be the thing that keeps mass starvation at bay.

  • By 2040, China will become the world’s leading superpower. The U.S. will still be an economic force, but China will be running the show on a global stage. And, of course, with stronger economies come stronger desires for democracy. China’s communist system will not fall, but its society will be far freer than it is today. Ironically, the U.S. will become far less free, with more state-sponsored oversight of our daily lives. Privacy will be a thing of the past, the First and Second Amendments will be challenged more than we’ve ever seen before, and constitutional rights violations, disguised as homeland security, will leave all of us vulnerable to the dismantling of the system of government that our Founding Fathers fought so hard to protect.

  • By 2040, most manufacturing jobs will be completely outsourced to robots. But this won’t result in a massive unemployment problem. Instead, it will actually result in occupational transitions that will benefit workers who will no longer have to take on risky jobs and jeopardize their health just to make a buck.

A Little Pain, a Little Pleasure

From now until 2040, we will likely endure plenty of pain.

The threat of terrorism remains very real, and in many ways, it continues to be exacerbated by war-hungry bureaucrats who still think nation building is a good idea — despite all the blood and treasure we’ve spilled over the past 20 years.

The threat of climate change is also very real. Whether or not you believe it has something to do with humans is irrelevant at this point. This is happening, and it’s going to kick our biological urges for survival into overdrive.

The threat of new pandemics will continue to be an issue for which we will still have to be prepared. This kind of thing isn’t new, but it’s worth mentioning, as sometimes we tend to think we can outsmart diseases that can mutate a lot faster than we can treat them.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

From now until 2040, we will also experience a lot of new, positive developments.

Positive economic developments instigated from the acceptance of free market capitalism that will help more people break the chains of poverty.

Social and political developments that will help make a serious dent in human trafficking and slave labor.

Technological developments that will make our lives easier, our planet cleaner, and our collective consciousness more expansive.

Of course, that being said, 2040 is still a full 20 years away.

And I could be way, way off.

So if I am, feel free to reach out to me in 2040 and tell me all about it. :)

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a private investment community that capitalizes on opportunities in alternative energy, organic food markets, legal cannabis, and socially responsible investing. He has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.

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