Select your location

Who are you ?

Select another location

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Wer bist du ?

Wählen Sie einen anderen Ort

Qui êtes vous ?

Sélectionnez un autre emplacement

Who are you ?

Select another location

Who are you ?

RETIREMENT PLAN INVESTOR

Use your plan ID (available on your account statement) to determine which employer-sponsored retirement plan website to use:

IF YOUR PLAN ID BEGINS WITH IRK, BRK, 1 OR 2

Visit americanfunds.com/retire

IF YOUR PLAN ID BEGINS WITH 34 OR 135

Visit myretirement.americanfunds.com

Capital Ideas

Investment insights from Capital Group

Categories
Long-Term Investing
The world in 2030: Investing for the next decade
Martin Romo
Equity Portfolio Manager
Jody Jonsson
Equity Portfolio Manager

The world in 2030 may seem a long way off, but at Capital Group we spend a lot of time thinking about the distant future.

“Imagining life in 2030 is not a hypothetical for me,” notes Capital Group vice chairman Rob Lovelace, a sentiment echoed by many of his colleagues. “In the portfolios that I manage, my average holding period is about eight years, so I’m living that approach to investing.”

We asked our investment team to look in their crystal balls to envision how life may change by the end of the decade. Here are seven portfolio managers’ perspectives on the world in 2030, and how these shifting trends influence their investment decisions.

  1. COVID could be this generation’s Pearl Harbor

  2. Cash is an endangered species

  3. A cure for cancer may be around the corner

  4. Health care innovation reaches warp speed

  5. Renewable energy powers the world

  6. Electric and autonomous vehicles hit the fast lane

  7. What’s not changing? Successful investing

     

1. COVID could be this generation’s Pearl Harbor — Martin Romo


Ten years from now I think we will look back on COVID as our generation’s “Pearl Harbor moment” — a period when extreme adversity spurs innovation and behavioral changes to help address some of the era’s biggest problems. When Pearl Harbor happened, the U.S. artillery was 75% horse drawn. Let me say that again: In 1941, three quarters of our artillery depended on horses. Yet by the end of the war we had entered the atomic age. That incredible transformation sparked a period of innovation and growth in the U.S. economy that lasted for decades.


COVID could be the trigger that spurs us to tackle critical issues over the next decade, such as the cost of health care, education and housing. We’ve already seen an almost magically rapid development of COVID vaccines at a speed few thought possible. And we’re doing things in our daily lives we never imagined would happen this quickly.


In 2030 we may be living, working, studying and playing in a radically new world. Our lives could be better, richer, healthier, cheaper and profoundly more digital, virtual and data centric. Many of the technologies already exist, but I believe there's still so much untapped potential for innovative companies to think bigger and use them in ways that solve societal problems.


     

2. Cash is an endangered species — Jody Jonsson


A decade from now I think digital payments will be the norm, and people will give you odd looks if you try to pay with cash.


This is one area where emerging markets are ahead of the U.S. We’ve seen this trend for several years in developing countries — where many consumers had no bank accounts but did have mobile phones and adopted mobile payment technology quickly. The pandemic accelerated use of digital payments around the world, including places where it hadn’t previously been ingrained in daily life. Once this crisis is over, I think a lot more people will be comfortable making digital payments, and they probably won’t feel the need to use cash as much as they did before.


The chart shows the rapid growth in the number of digital payments transactions globally from 2016 to 2023 (estimated). The Asia-Pacific region leads, followed by Europe, North America and the rest of the world. Source: World Payments Report 2020 from Capgemini. 2020 to 2023 are estimates. Figures reflect all non-cash payments. No third party whose information is referenced in this report under credit to it, assumes any liability towards the user with respect to its information.

As consumers become increasingly comfortable with the technology, companies with large global footprints could be poised to benefit. We’ve also seen strong growth in smaller companies outside the U.S. that offer mobile payment platforms for merchants.


     

3. A cure for cancer may be around the corner — Cheryl Frank


A cure for cancer may be closer than you think. In fact, I believe some cancers will be functionally cured with cell therapy between now and 2030. New, reliable tests should enable very early detection of cancer formation and location. Beyond that, cancer could largely be eradicated as a major cause of death through early diagnosis.


Vastly reduced costs and scientific developments have contributed to phenomenal growth in medical research. We're in a renaissance period for R&D, and companies are investing aggressively to find unique ways to battle cancer and other illnesses. Genomics research and therapies derived from genetic testing have the potential to extend lives and generate billions of dollars in revenue for companies that develop them.


I wouldn’t be surprised to see increasing amounts of pharmaceutical innovation come from outside the U.S. In fact, I expect to see many blockbuster drugs from China by 2030. The country has the biggest population of cancer patients in the world, and it’s significantly easier to enroll those patients in clinical trials. I expect they will begin to produce novel drugs within five to 10 years and sell them at one-tenth the cost in the U.S.


     

4. Health care innovation reaches warp speed — Rich Wolf


Star Trek, the classic sci-fi TV series, depicted a far-off future where space explorers traveled the galaxies equipped with cutting edge technology such as the tricorder, a hand-held medical device that scanned a person’s vital signs, issued a diagnosis and prescribed treatment in minutes. While I don’t think there is going to be a single tricorder that does everything, I suspect that by 2030 many of us will have devices like it that will analyze blood, do cardiology monitoring and even remotely check our breathing while we sleep, some of which are available today.


The chart shows the expected growth in revenue of internet-connected remote patient monitoring devices from 2020 to 2024. In 2024 revenue is forecasted to be $2.4 billion, which is a 29% annualized growth rate from the $866 million revenue in 2020. Sources: Industry & government data, Kagan estimates, Standard & Poor’s. Data compiled June 2020. Values in USD.

We are already experiencing a massive wave of innovation and disruption across the health care sector that has the potential to drive new opportunity for companies, reduce overall costs and, most importantly, improve outcomes for patients. Breakthroughs in diagnostics will help lead to earlier detection of illnesses, which can help make drugs more effective — or in some cases treat disease before it progresses. One of the most exciting things today is something known as liquid biopsy, whereby a sample of your blood can be used to identify a tumor at its earliest stages.


A broad range of traditional technology and medical technology companies have been working to develop home diagnostics for some time, and patients are now benefiting from their innovation. These are cost-effective devices that can collect all kinds of health-related metrics that not only help coach us to improve our own health, but can be immediately sent to our doctor for further consultation. We’re still in the early stages of development, but by 2030 it should be a routine part of our daily lives.


     

5. Renewable energy powers the world — Noriko Chen


I believe we’ll see a dramatic shift toward renewable energy over the next decade. We are in the early stages of the transition to an electrification of the grid and green energy, and there are strong tailwinds that could drive growth through 2030 and beyond. Automation and artificial intelligence are setting the stage for a golden age in renewables — pushing costs down while boosting productivity and efficiency.


The chart shows the shift in the mix of the world’s power generation from 1970 through 2050, as categorized by coal, gas, oil, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and other. Coal, gas and oil combined for around 75% in 1970, but are expected to steadily decline to approximately 40% combined by 2050. Solar and wind, which weren’t being used in 1970, are expected to increase to around 50% combined in 2050. Sources: Bloomberg, New Energy Outlook 2019, a detailed study on global energy demand and supply conducted by 65 analysts for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Other” includes geothermal, biomass, etc.

Renewable energy has historically been perceived as expensive, impractical and unprofitable — but all that is quickly changing. Some traditional utilities are already generating more than 30% of their business from renewables and are reaching an inflection point where they are being recognized more as growth companies rather than just staid, old-economy power generators and grid operators. The move toward renewables is most pronounced in European utilities, where their governments have set high decarbonization targets. For example, the Renewable Energy Directive stipulates that a minimum of 32% of energy in the European Union should come from renewable resources by 2030.


     

6. Electric and autonomous vehicles hit the fast lane — Chris Buchbinder


I think in 2030 we will have widely deployed fleets of autonomous electric vehicles operating in most major and many secondary cities around the world. Ownership of a personal vehicle will go from being a necessity to a luxury. Many people will still have vehicles — just like people ride horses or bicycles for fun. But personal vehicles will no longer be necessary as the primary form of transportation for most people in major cities.


The chart shows the steady rise in the electric vehicle fleet worldwide, as measured in millions of units, from 2018 through 2030. The chart is divided between all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The two combined for 5 million units in 2018 and are expected to rise to 253 million units by 2030, with all-electric vehicles accounting for 179 million units and hybrids accounting for 74 million units. Source: IEA, Electric vehicle stock in the EV30@30 scenario, 2018–2030, IEA, Paris. Data for 2020–2030 are forecasts, provided by IEA.

This is an area that I believe the market hasn’t fully appreciated yet. Right now, the market leaders are embedded in other companies — such as Alphabet’s Waymo, Amazon’s Zoox or the Cruise division of GM — so investors can’t buy a pure-play autonomous driving company. But as these fleets roll out more publicly, the market should start to reevaluate these companies and realize this is a real business, not a science project.


I also think 2030 is when we're likely to see hybrid electric engines and hydrogen engines introduced into commercial aircrafts, with widespread deployment over the following 5–10 years. The impact on global emissions could be significant if we transition to a world where we've got huge fleets of autonomous electric vehicles on the road and aircraft transportation shifting from oil-based fuel to a mixture of oil, electricity and hydrogen.


     

7. What’s not changing? Successful investing — Andrew Suzman


My colleagues may be able to look at the future and imagine new products and trends, but I’d like to predict one thing that won’t be different in 2030. Despite all the change going on in the world, I believe the nature of my job and focus as a portfolio manager will be exactly the same.


In 2030 — just as we did in 2020 and 2010, and every year before that — we will come upon companies that do interesting things. We'll try to buy them at reasonable prices and hold them so that any returns we get may be better than if we were to buy all companies. That is my true north. Some companies will get it right and some will get it wrong. Our job is to find the companies most likely to get it right and create wealth over time so that our investors may benefit. Not that we’ll be perfect, but I'm optimistic that we can get more companies right than wrong and continue to add value for our clients.



Martin Romo is an equity portfolio manager with 29 years of investment experience. He is president of Capital Research Company and serves on the Capital Group Management Committee. He holds a bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Stanford. 

Jody Jonsson is an equity portfolio manager with 31 years of investment experience, 29 at Capital. She holds an MBA from Stanford and a bachelor's from Princeton. Jody is a CFA charter holder and a member of the CFA Institute.


Investing outside the United States involves risks, such as currency fluctuations, periods of illiquidity and price volatility, as more fully described in the prospectus. These risks may be heightened in connection with investments in developing countries. Small-company stocks entail additional risks, and they can fluctuate in price more than larger company stocks.

 

Bloomberg® is a trademark of Bloomberg Finance L.P. (collectively with its affiliates, “Bloomberg”). Barclays® is a trademark of Barclays Bank Plc (collectively with its affiliates, “Barclays”), used under license. Neither Bloomberg nor Barclays approves or endorses this material, guarantees the accuracy or completeness of any information herein and, to the maximum extent allowed by law, neither shall have any liability or responsibility for injury or damages arising in connection therewith.

 

Copyright © 2021 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global, and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Redistribution or reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC.

 

 

 

 

Our latest insights

Hear from the investment team.

Don't miss out

Get the Capital Ideas newsletter in your inbox each week

*REQUIRED

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

Statements attributed to an individual represent the opinions of that individual as of the date published and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates. This information is intended to highlight issues and should not be considered advice, an endorsement or a recommendation.

All Capital Group trademarks mentioned are owned by The Capital Group Companies, Inc., an affiliated company or fund. All other company and product names mentioned are the property of their respective companies.

Use of this website is intended for U.S. residents only.

American Funds Distributors, Inc., member FINRA.

This content, developed by Capital Group, home of American Funds, should not be used as a primary basis for investment decisions and is not intended to serve as impartial investment or fiduciary advice.