How Investors Can Profit From the Death of Cash
I was standing six feet behind the man in front of me.
We were both in line at the pharmacy to pick up our medications.
The pharmacist brought him four pill bottles, told him the total was $84 and held out his hand to accept the man’s $100 bill.
He took the cash, put it in the register, pulled out some change, and handed it to the customer.
Certainly, this doesn’t seem like an odd transaction. These things happen every second, every minute, and every hour. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how those paper bills could be covered in COVID-19.
I know it sounds crazy. And maybe it’s just because of the state of paranoia so many of us are dealing with, but after seeing that transaction, I had an epiphany: I’m never using cash again.
Physical cash has always been dirty.
Not in the sense of it coming from a sketchy place. Although that argument could easily be made.
But what I’m talking about is the literal germs that are crawling all over our cash.
As reported by Scientific American, studies have piled up in recent years describing exactly how filthy — specifically how bacteria-laden — our dollars and cents can be:
Fecal bacteria and other pathogens may have hitched a ride from someone’s hands, nose or apron onto our cash. And yeast or mold might have taken hold, too. The result could be a durable risk to our health whenever our money changes hands.
While I suspect most folks already knew this, it probably never registered. After all, how many people have really ever gotten sick after handling money? And honestly, how many people will really get COVID-19 after handling paper money?
I’m not suggesting I know the answer to this question. But what I know is that it doesn’t matter.
People are scared and are willing to go the extra mile to keep themselves far removed from any chance of infection. If this weren’t true, you wouldn’t see so many people walking around with masks on their faces and rubber gloves on their hands.
I don’t say this as a criticism, by the way. I was wearing my mask when I went into the pharmacy the other day.
Our analysts have traveled the world over, dedicated to finding the best and most profitable investments in the global energy markets. All you have to do to join our Energy and Capital investment community is sign up for the daily newsletter below.
This is merely an observation of truth.
No one wants to catch this virus, and even after the threat of it wanes, the fear will remain. Fear leads to behavioral change, and one of those changes you’re going to see going forward is fewer people using cash.
In fact, as reported in Forbes, cash use is quickly evaporating:
In Britain, cash use halved in a handful of days last month as stores were shuttered and people fretted notes and coins could be transmitting the virus, the U.K.'s largest ATM operator reported.
Stores around the world, including some supermarket and grocery store chains, have opted to go card only, refusing cash. It's a change they say is only during the coronavirus crisis but seems unlikely to ever go back to how it was before.
Again, I don’t know if actual cash really presents a huge risk to the general health of the population. But that doesn’t mean millions of folks will continue to use it. And given the technology we have available to us today, do we really even need to use cash anymore?
Besides just basic credit cards, there’s also Venmo, Zelle, Apple Pay, and several other new mobile payment services that are now coming to the market. And they’re cleaning up!
Truth is, if you’re looking for an opportunity buried deep within today’s COVID-19 crisis, you needn’t look much further than the transition away from cash.
Fortunately, back in January, when we first learned about the coronavirus, my good friend and colleague, Chris DeHaemer, predicted this would happen. He put out a special research report about this situation, too, complete with a list of stocks that are already benefiting from this rapid move away from physical cash.
You can access that report here.
While I’m certainly not trying to be a fear monger, I do know that this pandemic is going to change a lot of consumer behaviors. It already has. And the one change that we can definitely profit from is this rapid move away from cash.
Don’t sleep on this one.
This is going to be big.
To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...
@JeffSiegel on Twitter
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.
Energy Demand will Increase 58% Over the Next 25 Years
After getting your report, you’ll begin receiving the Energy and Capital e-Letter, delivered to your inbox daily.