This month, we will be exploring the next chapter, Future Trends, to give an insight into putting these principles into practice and observing some areas to apply them to.
This chapter is full to the brim of useful tips, stats and trends, so much so that I will only be able to share a brief oversight with you here to get you started.
What is a trend?
Firstly, let’s quickly discuss what we mean by a ‘trend’. In terms of data, a trend is any movement shown over a period of time. This includes growth, a decline or flat and plateauing figures.
Trends may also refer to what is current and what one may want to look out for to keep ahead of the curve. It’s this point that we should consider as business owners, entrepreneurs or as employees.
Keeping this in mind, here are three trends discussed in my latest book.
When writing the book, I split this area into two categories: renewable energy and food security. At the time of writing, Ukraine had recently been invaded by Russia and this raised questions around the West weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels. In 2021 the EU imported approximately 45% of it’s gas from Russia (roughly 155 billion cubic metres (bcm)), but since 2022 this has reduced by approximately 80 bcm.
Food security was also thrown into the spotlight as Russia and Ukraine combined produced approximately a quarter of the world’s wheat and half its sunflower products; food prices increased and the World Food Programme commented that the effects of the war would be disastrous for the world’s poorest.
Therefore, it seems prudent to include some information around these themes.
- Renewable energy
In the UK we utilise solar, wind and water energy in varying levels. Wind power makes up a quarter of our electricity needs. There are plenty of reasons to invest in renewable energy: it’s ethical, it’s possible that demand is only going to increase as we approach target deadlines, such as the government’s Net Zero plan, and we are already the global leader in offshore wind farms with more capacity than any other country.
But as always, it’s important to ensure any projects or firms you are investing in are regulated, as well as assessing your own risk tolerance.
- Food security
Innovation is currently at the forefront of technological advances in supporting sustainable food production and an ever-increasing population. While “blue foods” and lab-grown meats may play a part, the innovators behind these approaches will likely need investment to make such solutions viable.
Once again, ensure you are investing in regulated businesses and that your appetite for risk isn’t stretched beyond your comfort zone.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funds have increased in popularity in recent years and as society works to find more sustainable ways of living, this trend is set to rise.
The sustainable investment industry is reportedly due to grow by 43% between 2018 and 2036 and so far, overall performance in this field has been largely positive.
Social Media and Digital Marketplaces
Social commerce is growing. It found the right environment to thrive during the pandemic as more of us were at home and shopping online, and the trend is not abating. By 2025, it is set to become an almost $80 billion industry in the US alone.
As a business owner selling products or services online, it may be wise to take note of such a figure. Using social media to your advantage when it comes to finding and obtaining business is, in my view, already essential to keep abreast of competitors.
I hope you enjoyed this instalment of the ‘Your Path to Financial Wellness’ series. Next time, I’ll be taking a look the Pathway to Success.