Biggest Tech Surprise of 2020
As the end of this unforgettable year draws nearer, the Tech Profits Daily team is hard at work preparing our forecasts for 2021.
In order to accurately project the potential for certain things to happen in 2021, however, we must fully understand why technology stocks marched relentlessly higher in 2020. Only then can a forward-looking analysis be effective.
Given how dynamic the conversations among my colleagues Ray Blanco and Jonas Elmerraji have been, I thought you’d appreciate some of the most interesting questions posed to me from readers about 2020… and my responses to those questions.
Question: What’s the most surprising technology breakthrough of 2020?
Telemedicine, by far.
Quite simply, telemedicine’s arrival has changed our lives forever.
For thousands of years, doctors and patients have shared intimate, in-person relationships. In the wake of COVID-19, however, routine checkups and follow-up appointments are now being conducted over the internet.
While it’s true that adoption rates of new technologies have been accelerating for years, the world has never witnessed a force like telemedicine.
Consider: It took 60 years for the radio to achieve an 80% adoption rate… it took automobiles 50 years to hit 80%… it took the internet 15 years… it took smartphones only eight years. But telemedicine could achieve an 80% adoption rate in less than a year, which would vault it atop the list of historic breakthroughs. The only reason it’s not already above 80% is that some folks haven’t needed a doctor yet.
Previous to COVID-19, of the 600 million primary care visits in the United States each year, roughly 1.5% were performed using telemedicine platforms. The odds of us ever seeing such growth again in our lifetimes is slim.
Question: What was your best prediction of 2020?
I’ve had a really solid year in terms of identifying investment trends. Yet given how technology stocks have defied gravity in 2020, any run-of-the-mill blogger could’ve done well. Therefore, the bar must be set higher for trained experts.
With that in mind, my bullish call on solar technology was spot on.
On June 12, I gave our readers three compelling reasons to buy solar stocks… 1) solar has reached a tipping point where it’s now an economically viable alternative to natural gas, coal and oil… 2) in some applications, solar is already cheaper than conventional energy sources… and 3) recent advancements in solar technology will drive prices lower still.
The Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) was trading for $35 when my prediction published…
It’s now pushing near $80, and a handful of small-cap solar stocks have rocketed even higher over the last four months.
Question: How about a prediction that hasn’t come to fruition yet?
Oh, that’s easy…
I still believe Apple will announce plans to enter the augmented reality (AR) market through the launch of iGlass. Although Apple has been extremely secretive on all of its AR initiatives, I remain spectacularly bullish on iGlass happening.
See, the fact that iPhone is now a fully mature technology makes Apple vulnerable.
The only thing standing between Apple and irrelevance is a scenario where another company radically reinvents the telephone… designs it in spectacular fashion… commercializes it on a massive scale… builds an entire ecosystem of other products around the phone… and underpins the entire ecosystem with a single operating system.
As far-fetched as that scenario may seem, history tells us that a replacement technology will eventually exist. That’s why Apple is preparing to strategically kill off its own iPhone during the 2020s. In fact, Apple’s painful, exhaustive, relentless, capital-intensive process of creative destruction has already begun.
The product set to replace iPhone is (drumroll, please)… iGlass.
By the middle of the decade, I predict that iGlass will have integrated voice and phone capabilities, thus marking the beginning of the end of the iPhone era.
Question: Were there any technologies that did more harm than good in 2020?
Absolutely. Despite its virtually limitless potential to do good, social media continues to be a societal pain point. It exploits the greatest weaknesses of humankind — i.e., our need for approval, validation… and even a twisted desire for negative reinforcement. For example, how many people log on to Facebook every day for the sole purpose of experiencing “Trump rage”? Too many, I’d say.
Yet just like cigarettes and alcohol, breaking an unhealthy relationship with social media is extremely difficult… if not impossible for younger folks. Worse still, as an opinion-based platform — one that negates virtually all civil discourse and healthy debate — social media inspires irrational groupthink. Such was the case earlier this year when 5G was blamed for the spread of COVID-19.
“5G radiation weakens immune systems, thereby allowing COVID-19 to easily infect the body. Otherwise, coronavirus wouldn’t be a big deal — just another strain of flu,” the angry mob asserted on Twitter and Facebook. Believers acted upon the conspiracy, too — more than 100 5G towers across the globe were set ablaze.
In response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had to release a definitive statement, calling it “a worldwide online conspiracy theory that does NOT cause coronavirus.”
I honestly don’t know if the “social media genie” can be put back into the bottle.
Question: Could a fifth company break into the “trillion-dollar club,” joining Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google as the only companies worth $1,000,000,000,000?
Yes! I believe another company is destined to join the club… and it could easily happen before the end of the year. For my full analysis, including the company’s ticker symbol, click here.
Onward and upward,