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9 technology themes investors should be following

Karen Wallace  |  12 Apr 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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It's difficult to predict which technologies will change our world and how long their influence will last. On top of that, it's often a challenge for investors to identify investable opportunities associated with these ground-breaking technologies.

Equity research analysts based in Morningstar's Chicago office identify the following nine exponential technology themes:

Big data and analytics

Capabilities with data sets too large and complex to manipulate or interrogate with standard methods or tools. Related subthemes include the Internet of Things, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Networks and computer systems

Technology leaps ranging from hyper-connectivity and integrated systems to service continuity and new software-defined architectures will have a massive impact on the way people think of connecting applications and software with hardware.

Robotics

The branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots. Advances in robotics, specifically when combined with other exponential technologies, have seemingly infinite potential applications, spanning technology, industrial, medical, and consumer-facing channels.

3-D printing

A process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model. This emerging trend is ready for mainstream consumption and has ample potential to disrupt several industries, from industrial manufacturing and medicine to consumer products and retail.

Financial services innovation

Search for and acknowledgement of non-traditional funding sources, platforms, currency, and stored and transferred value. We not only think about opportunities to efficiently expand production, but also the underlying currencies used (including cryptocurrencies), as well as structural shifts in technology and payment delivery methods.

Nanotechnology

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Branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules. We see a range of potential applications spanning medicine, computing, manufacturing, and travel.

Energy and environmental systems

This involves the exploration of renewable energy sources--including solar, wind, water, and batteries. As organizations set processes to help reduce environmental impacts and increase operating efficiency, new avenues for technological advancement across sectors will open up.

Medicine and neuroscience

Sciences, such as neurochemistry and experimental psychology, that deal with the nervous system and brain. Key advancements in unlocking the human genome have created an infrastructure of biomarkers, while paradigm shifts in biotechnology that can alter the immune system are radically changing the way we treat diseases.

Bioinformatics

The science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data. The "quantified self" trend of acquiring data to quantify aspects of an individual's daily life has exponential potential to positively impact both the duration and quality of life.

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Karen Wallace is a senior editor with Morningstar.com, based in the US.

© 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither Morningstar, its affiliates, nor the content providers guarantee the data or content contained herein to be accurate, complete or timely nor will they have any liability for its use or distribution. This information is to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes only. No reproduction is permitted without the prior written consent of Morningstar. Any general advice or 'class service' have been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892), or its Authorised Representatives, and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information at www.morningstar.com.au/s/fsg.pdf. Our publications, ratings and products should be viewed as an additional investment resource, not as your sole source of information. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product's future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a licensed financial adviser. Some material is copyright and published under licence from ASX Operations Pty Ltd ACN 004 523 782 ("ASXO"). The article is current as at date of publication.

is a senior editor with morningstar.com.

© 2021 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither Morningstar, its affiliates, nor the content providers guarantee the data or content contained herein to be accurate, complete or timely nor will they have any liability for its use or distribution. This information is to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes only. No reproduction is permitted without the prior written consent of Morningstar. Any general advice or 'regulated financial advice' under New Zealand law has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892), or its Authorised Representatives, and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. For more information, refer to our Financial Services Guide (AU) and Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement (NZ). Our publications, ratings and products should be viewed as an additional investment resource, not as your sole source of information. Morningstar’s full research reports are the source of any Morningstar Ratings and are available from Morningstar or your adviser. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product's future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a licensed financial adviser. Some material is copyright and published under licence from ASX Operations Pty Ltd ACN 004 523 782. The article is current as at date of publication.

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