In 1980, Ronald Reagan won his first Presidential election, inflation and interest rates were double digits, US hostages were being held in Iran, and I was finishing my freshman year of high school.
As we take a look back at how things have changed over the last 41 years with our world and the stock market, the chart below tells a story of our economy and how what we value has evolved.
In 1980, 7 of the largest 10 most valuable stocks, based on market capitalization, had ties to the oil industry. At that point in time, very few people were talking about global warming or alternative energy sources. If they were, it was probably in a negative light due to the 3 Mile Island nuclear accident that was still fresh in everyone’s minds. Automobiles and the internal combustion engine were at the forefront of our economy.
Flash forward 41 years to 2021 and you will see not one of those names among a list of the 10 most valuable companies today. The list is now dominated by technology, finance, and healthcare companies, as our economy and priorities continue to evolve. This chart also shows how what we value most and believe in are aligned with where we invest our resources.
What will this list look like in 10, 20 or 40 years? It will probably be much different than what you or I would think or guess. The world, technology, and innovation are evolving much more quickly than anyone would have expected, and the pace of that change will only increase in the coming years.
If you had told someone 41 years ago that none of the major oil companies that dominated the most valuable, publicly traded companies at that time would all disappear from the list, they likely would not have believed you. What changes will be coming, how might life evolve, and how will it benefit you and your family in the years to come?
These are questions we will continue to ponder, research, and study in the coming years. It is important to understand the past and look to the future, as we all continue “Moving Life Forward” together.