Intersection of Aging Science and Wealth
Creating the Wealthspan Fund was the natural progression of combining aging science and wealth. The demographics of our aging population has created a perfect opportunity to create a fund that is designed to grow wealth by concentrating on a sector of the US economy that is strong and growing now, but will become even more important as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age.
According to the US Census Bureau, by 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age. “The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. “By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18.”
The baby boomer generation has changed many aspects of the US economy as they have aged and healthcare is the next big change on the horizon as this generation all moves past the age of 65. With this change comes great opportunity to capitalize on the trends that will develop, the products that will aid an aging generation, the medical innovations that will be discovered, the wearable technology that will help monitor and improve health and the pharmaceutical breakthroughs that may lengthen healthy life.
The Wealthspan Fund was developed to recognize the companies that will be leaders and innovators in this area and invest in those companies as they make strides to improve healthcare, so that we can also improve and lengthen wealthspan for investors of the fund.
Four sectors of the economy will likely lead the charge in this area, so those are the four sectors that the fund will concentrate on when determining which companies will be owned within the fund. Listed below is an overview of each of the sectors and how they play a role within the framework of the fund and its goal to take advantage of changing trends in aging science.
Health Care is obvious. The sector encompasses two main industry groups. The first includes companies who manufacture health care equipment and supplies or provide health care related services, including
distributors of health care products, providers of basic health-care services, and owners and operators of
health care facilities and organizations. The second regroups companies primarily involved in the
research, development, production and marketing of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products.
The demographic bubble that will move through the age structure in the coming decades is a certainty, not a probability -- and it will be global. The prevalence of health conditions requiring the services from this sector can be quantified, and their increase will be dramatic.
Consumer Discretionary is interesting. The stretch to aging is a bit longer, but certainly possible. The Consumer Discretionary Sector encompasses those industries that tend to be the most sensitive to
economic cycles. Its manufacturing segment includes automotive, household durable goods, textiles and
apparel and leisure equipment. The services segment includes hotels, restaurants and other leisure
facilities, media production and services, and consumer retailing and services.
The fastest growing segment of the population is aged 65+, and an enormous and growing amount of global wealth is concentrated in this population sector, so all of the segments are likely to be influenced by aging.
Financials relate directly to the concentration of wealth in an aging population, and the inevitable transfers of cash and real estate between generations, among other links to financials including financial planning, retirement, labor force participation, etc. The financial sector contains companies involved in activities such as banking, mortgage finance, consumer finance, specialized finance, investment banking and brokerage, asset management and custody, insurance, financial investment, real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as companies engaged in real estate management and development.
There is a great deal of interconnection between financial institutions and the products and services that will become increasingly more important to an aging population. Things like health insurance, long-term care insurance and annuities are provided within this sector. This sector also provides the funding for condos or second homes for snow birds. As aging continues, funding will be available within this sector for independent living centers for seniors, as well as assisted living and skilled care centers for the growing number of people that will need access to these services.
Information Technology is the wave of the future of aging, and there is a growing economy around age friendly home and work environments and the growth of wearable sensors to monitor health, detect diseases, deliver wellness care through telemedicine, among many other segments -- all related to health, wellness, leisure, etc.
The information technology sector covers the following general areas: firstly, technology software and services, including companies that primarily develop software in various fields such as the internet, applications, systems, database management and/or home entertainment, and companies that provide information technology consulting and services, as well as data processing and outsourced services; secondly technology hardware and equipment, including manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment, computers and peripherals, electronic equipment and related instruments; and thirdly, semiconductors and semiconductor equipment manufacturers.
We can easily make a case for how each of these sectors will be influenced by shifting demographics, population aging, life extension, and health extension.
The Wealthspan Fund is created using a model-driven system to filter all of the stocks within the above four sectors and choose the top 50 stocks that meet the criteria established by the fund managers. A model-driven system removes emotion from decision making and helps improve the long-term success of the fund. The fund has a minimum investment amount of $50,000, but can accept any amount above that minimum.
This is a 100% stock strategy, so would be appropriate for money that is designed for growth, and not current income. Because of the likely investment in some smaller biotech and pharmaceutical companies working toward incredible breakthroughs, the portfolio may experience more volatility than a typical growth portfolio and would be considered an aggressive growth strategy. The fund would provide a complimentary strategy to the other positions you may hold in your current portfolio and may improve overall diversification, but should only represent a portion of your total investable assets and not a total solution. Planning is critical to determine the amount that would be appropriate for investment in the Wealthspan Fund.
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