1998. In some ways, it doesn’t seem that long ago. Tyson and I had just graduated from college, were starting our careers, and both had hair. Yet, in other respects, the last 25 years seem like a century ago when you look at the world around us and how we live our daily lives in 2023. For instance, in 1998, we were all learning about this new email and cell phone business, a company named Google was founded, and Amazon was still just a river in South America. Much has changed, and it isn’t all in our technology.
We were fortunate to have some incredible mentors when we started in this industry. They taught us about investing, the value of a dollar, and most importantly, about genuinely listening to our clients. However, it was still the age of stocks, bonds, and brokerage accounts. Most of the focus was on the money and how much could be made.
We're Just Getting Started
As Tyson and I gained experience and clients of our own, we quickly realized that while the money is important, how one uses it to live out their life’s goals matters most. We strongly believed helping in this pursuit would take more education and deeper skill sets, so we set off to gain a better understanding of helping you, our client. And, as this world has and continues to change, we seek to adapt for the better, and we are just getting started.
Looking ahead, we have an incredible amount of optimism and look at the future with anticipation. Close to 8 billion of us human beings wake up every morning worldwide, seeking to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. And despite what your favorite media outlet may be saying, news worldwide continues to improve. Below are a few trends worth noting.
- Ending Extreme Poverty: The decline that has been witnessed in extreme poverty since the early 1970s is staggering. It has declined to such an extent that the UN recently announced a goal to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
- Universal Literacy: In 1820, just 10% of the world’s population was literate. Today, the world’s literacy rates are surpassing 90%.
- Growing Middle Class: The world’s middle class continues to grow. Credit Suisse estimates that the global middle class will increase by another 1.7 billion by 2030
- Consumer Choice: With that rise in the middle class, the goods and services needed and desired by those citizens will pivot increasingly to their home countries. Local manufacturing and services will open further employment opportunities, and wage increases will follow.
- Be Happy: As the trends above continue, researchers are finding a correlation to rising levels of overall happiness
As the world’s population continues to live longer, become more educated, and build wealth, it looks toward the future with greater anticipation vs. apprehension. When that happens, trends for the data points above and others continue to grow toward more positive and sustaining outcomes.
Innovation & Discovery Continues
To us financially, that means the world’s best companies will continue to innovate and bring the best products and services at the most competitive price to the world’s consumers. And we will be here to participate in that choice of products/services and invest in the ownership of the companies that lead the way to provide them. Today it’s Amazon and Samsung, Caterpillar and Boeing, Chase Bank, and Visa. Tomorrow? Time will tell, and we will continue to discover them together.
Finally, as we learned from some incredible mentors, Tyson and I have intentionally begun to grow the FORM team and are working to become mentors ourselves. We know this profession isn’t fully understood with licensing and credentials. It is through meetings, client stories and being given the opportunity to learn firsthand, where the depth of knowledge is truly reached. We are optimistic and confident about those we have on this team, and we will continue the humble journey of mentorship to help equip the next generation of advisors.
Equally Invested In Each Other's Lives
25 years. As some may relate, it has gone by in a flash. It seems like just yesterday we were getting started with many of you. Yet in reality, we have shared many conversations over 20+ years and have become equally invested each other’s lives. Thank you for allowing us to help you navigate the critical financial points of your lives. Thank you for introducing us to your family and friends so we can help them, too. Thank you for your continued trust in helping you live a better life.
The next 25 years may go by in a flash too, but from the trends above, it looks to be an exciting and wonderful time to be alive.