12 Mar CHANGE SPEAKERS: THE SHIFTING SHAPE OF FINANCIAL MARKETS
Being change speakers and key note presenters, our team of futurists and consultants is frequently asked to weigh in on disruptive innovation, change management initiatives, and the ever-shifting shape of different industries. We were recently asked to take a look at the world of finance, financial products, and insurance – and how cryptocurrency, decentralized finance (DeFi), fintech, and other new advancements and technologies were impacting the field. That said, as change speakers and futurists, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that there remains ample reason to stick with several time-tested investment options. For example:
Stocks – Stocks are shares of companies that are bought and sold on the market, which (in most cases) anyone can own and trade. As stock prices go up in value and appreciate, you can sell them for a profit. Certain stocks may also make regular or periodic dividend payments as well, which can help boost your income. A 7% or greater annual return is typically enough to double your money in 10 years, though certain indexes may return even greater gains, depending on yearly performance.
Bonds – Bonds are loans made to governments and large corporations. A form of fixed-income asset, as change speakers frequently remind, owners earn interest on their money in the form of regular income payments. While interest rates vary based on bond type, term, length, and risk, as well as who issued the bond (government, corporation, city, etc.), they’re often sought as a source of predictable and steady income. A well-rounded investment portfolio often consists of a mix of growth-minded stocks and bonds, which can present less risk and be used as a way to hedge your bets against risk and uncertainty.
Real Estate – Defined as property consisting of land or buildings, houses, apartments, condos, and the like, even wild acres of forest or vacant lots all hold value. That’s because they can appreciate in worth and desirability over time and/or be rented out to those in need of a roof over their head. Commercial real estate properties such as strip malls, retail outlets, industrial warehouses, and office buildings are often of interest to investors as well, as they’re often rented by companies at higher rates. Real estate varies in investment returns based on geographic region and market demand, and can sometimes convey considerable tax benefits (which you can roll into other properties) upon the sale of your holdings. You can also buy portions of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real-estate company stocks if you’d like to spread your risk across a range of property types.
In effect, our futurists and change speakers think it’s worth mentioning – even in a world of new innovations and advancements, it still pays to look at historical solutions sometimes.