The future can be seen as radical and random. Who could have seen the oil prices should drop, for most that came as a surprise? There is also predictability in the future. I will list potential investment possibilities, that have a linear curve to the future and potential for further growth.
1. Waste management
Waste is what we all produce. Recycling and green values are something that has become mainstream during the last thirty years. Trash means work and there’s a lot of that. The public service sector has an obligation to handle waste disposal which means loyal customer relationships with waste management companies. Waste Management (NYSE:WM) is North Americas largest supplier of waste and recycle solutions. Waste Management operates in waste collection, landfills, and energy. Stericycle (NASDAQ:SRCL) operates on healthcare and commercial sector providing hazardous-waste managing internationally. Early 2016 Stericycle acquired Shred-it, Information disposal business. Stericycle estimates strong growth for the year 2016.
2. Green energy
Production of energy is going through a change. Energy production is moving from large units to smaller. The power grid is no longer one direction, transferring energetic from provider to consumer. Modern power grids are dynamic and multidirectional, transferring resources to all directions. Households and smaller businesses can produce electricity with alternative power sources like solar and wind. The excess energy can be sold back to the grid. There opens a lot of potential in solar and wind power and energy distribution. The lower oil price has made solar and wind power less attempting and stocks are now cheap compared what they were a year or two years ago. I think this is only temporal and alternative energy sources still have a bright future ahead.
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) produces solar panels and system internationally. Panels are known from high power density and quality. Another big solar manufacturer is SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR). SunPower produces solar systems for residential homes. Wind turbines are coming common view on the coasts of Europe. Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems (COPENHAGEN:VWS.CO) made their best quarter on Q1/2016.
Robotics is evolving and is an intriguing future opportunity. In a short period of time robotics have moved to almost all sectors of life from cleaning to transportation and assembly lines.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquired Boston Dynamics 2013. Boston Dynamics is known from engineering and development projects for the military. Another well-known robot manufacturer is iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT). iRobot manufactures Roomba cleaning robots. An interesting alternative to investing in robots is Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) which makes the da Vinci Surgical System. If you want to take a broader approach you can invest in robotics and automation by buying Robo Global Robotics&Automation ETF (NASDAQ:ROBO).
4. Artificial Intelligent
A lot of resources is put in the development and research of AI. The benefits of working AI is usable on many sectors and even small development is beneficial. The research makes results although the outcome is not humankind intelligent. AI has many aspects: computer vision, speech recognition, cognitive learning.
Most patents involved artificial intelligence is owned by IBM (NYSE:IBM). IBM is the best known from chess computer Deep Blue and cognitive system Watson. Watson competed on the Jeopardy TV show, where it won the human opponents. Today Watson is a cloud platform for companies to implement Watson into their businesses, with capabilities to be used for data analytics and intelligent system via natural language.
Other interesting companies in Artificial intelligence is Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Google has a lot of data, collected from its own services like Google Photos and Google Search. Data can be seen as raw material for the development of artificial intelligence.
Facebook and Microsoft have both different broach to AI compared to Google, by developing bots that can be used as a part of other systems like a social network like Facebook or operating system like Windows. The AI would be more of an intelligent personal assistant.
5. Electric cars
Electric cars are a popular topic on news and media, mainly because of Tesla. Electric cars have many advantages compared to the normal combustion engine cars. Electric cars are more ecological, use fewer resources and are easier to maintain.
One problem is a large number of players, multiple car manufacturers are developing electric cars. There are few manufacturers that stand out from the crowd. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is well known electric car manufacturer. Tesla has a lot of patents involving electric cars and plans to produce a middle budget electric car for the masses late 2017.
One big player is Toyota (NYSE:TM). Toyota has a lot of experience from electric cars and has produced first really successful hybrid car Prius. Toyota has a lot of resources and big brand behind to push products on the market with less effort compared to smaller businesses like Tesla. There is also other players with electric cars. General Motors (NYSE:GM) with Chevrolet Volt. General Motors may feel as an underdog after Tesla moved attention of the automotive industry from Detroit to San Fransisco.
One interesting car manufacturer is the Volkswagen (XETRA:VOW3.DE). After having problems with emission scandal, Volkswagen may try to change its course by making more efforts on electric cars.