Something Positive to Think About
The market news lately has been very pessimistic which in turn has led to very negative investor sentiment. Think about it, when was the last time you talked to someone who was extremely positive about stocks?
In the face of this pessimism I decided to start writing about some of the positives. The first positive is the Millennial Generation. Yes, this term does come with some stereotypes, but this group has a lot going for it.
“The Millennials are our youngest adult generation. They’re America’s most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever. They’re social media wizards and highly educated. Millennials are also the nation’s most dogged optimists. They believe their own best days are ahead – and so are America’s.” - -Pew Center Research
One of the best things about the Millennial Generation is the number of them.
The Millennials are already the largest generation in the labor force and will grow significantly over the next 20 years. This will have a dramatic effect not only on the labor force but also on consumption which tends to grow as a generation joins the workforce, buy homes, and create families.
Below is a chart of the Labor force participation rate. You can see the dramatic increase in Baby Boomers from the mid 1970’s until 2000. Then from 2000 until 2015 the labor force participation rate declined over 7.2%.
When looking at the chart above it would make sense that the economy and the markets performed well as the Baby Boomer generation grew from the early 1980’s until 2000. At that time Generation X moved into the workforce and the Boomers moved out. The workforce declined and the markets and economy struggled post 2000.
The final chart shows how the Millennial generation is now the largest in the workforce.
As the Millennial generation grows and continues to make up for the loss of the Boomers, the labor force participation rate can grow dramatically. If this has the same impact that it had for the Boomer’s, then the markets and the economy may be in for a very positive outcome over the following number of years.
Some may argue that a growing population numbers does not necessarily mean a more positive outcome for the markets and the economy but, in a consumption led economy, I would rather see the number of consumers growing versus declining.
With all of the negatives and pessimism in the news lately, I decided that I would refocus the blog for a while on the positives. The first is about the amazing Elon Musk.
Most people may have heard about Elon Musk because of his car company Tesla. But Musk may have no modern day equivalent and hopefully, his impact on society will be immeasurable.
Musk was the co-founder of PayPal. PayPal was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion. Musk took his earnings and instead of resting on his success started 3 companies, Space X and Tesla and Solar City.
Musk wrote his first master plan for Tesla 10 years ago which consisted of the following:
1. Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
2. Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
3. Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car
4. Provide solar power.
I for one was not aware that Musk’s first Master Plan was to create the base that would allow him to move forward with his plan to significantly alter our society. From Musk. “The point of all this was, and remains, accelerating the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good.”
Here is Musk’s Master Plan Part 2:
1. Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
2. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments (Buses and Semi’s)
3. Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
4. Enable your car to make money for you when you aren't using it
Musk talks about turning the factory into a product itself so it can improve with each iteration.
All the while, SpaceX is launching rockets and landing them on a floating platform in the sea. It’s amazing to see someone with such future vision and a willingness to risk it all to move towards it. Musk is the type of person who will continue to push the country forward to a life that “still is good”