When you think of "mobile" or "connected" devices, you probably picture that new smartphone you just bought, and maybe your Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad2.
Well, I'm here to tell you that you're thinking too small.
Way too small.
By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices in use worldwide.
That's not a typo. And it's not a "hyped" estimate that we came up with internally. In fact, the estimate was made by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Nasdaq ADR: ERIC), one of the largest telecommunications companies on the planet, in the research report "More Than 50 Billion Connected Devices."
That creates a lot of significant risks.
But for savvy investors, it creates one hellacious profit opportunity. And - as you'll have the opportunity to see in a free investment briefing on Monday, there's one company in particular that's poised to profit.
Still need to know more?
Well, consider a "connected future" in which:
- The "connected" shoes of the elderly, or patients with health problems, can be monitored to make sure those folks are getting proper exercise.
- Connected vehicles can be remotely controlled to maximize fuel efficiency and to minimize traffic jams.
- You can use your phone to cool off your house via your connected air conditioner - as you drive home from work.
- A connected vending machine can signal when it needs to be replenished, saving the vendor from unnecessary visits.
- Your mobile device can be turned into a virtual wallet, or even a bank.
- And connected trees can signal a lumber mill, which monitors them to nurture a better crop, and a more-timely harvest.
Business, consumer electronics, healthcare, government ... they'll all be affected, and in a huge way.
And the 50 billion estimate could actually be low, Ericsson says. By 2020, for instance, there will be:
- 3 billion subscribers with the means to buy information on a round-the-clock basis - either for a lifestyle improvement, or for personal security. In "mature" markets, these subscribers will typically have between five and 10 connected devices each.
- 1.5 billion vehicles in existence worldwide, many of them connected. And that doesn't include buses or railroad trains.
- 3 billion utility meters (water, natural gas and electricity).
- And a cumulative 100 billion processors shipped - each capable of being connected.
So, as a now-intrigued investor, how do you play this?
Well, there are several possible paths to pursue.
You could, for instance, invest in the component makers. Or you could invest in the companies that make the actual devices.
But the hottest opportunity is going to be security.
As we've reported in both Money Morning and Private Briefing, cybersecurity is one of the biggest growth areas for business in the years to come.
And with 50 billion connected devices, that opportunity is going to explode. Just think: How do you protect the networks, the devices themselves, and the bank accounts and credit cards that supposedly sit behind those billions of gadgets - which you know present a "target-rich" environment for scammers, hackers and those friendly letter writers from Nigeria.
Yes, for investors like you, security is where the action figures to be.
And while much of this growth is still down the road and in the future, there are actually several companies that are already very well positioned to benefit.
And one company in particular is a "must add" portfolio play.
And that overall profit opportunity is just what Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald is going to address in the free briefing "The Biggest Technological Breakthrough of Our Lifetime." That briefing is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST on Monday (Nov. 21).
To find out more, or to sign up, please click here.
News and Related Story Links:
- Ericsson Whitepaper:
More Than 50 Billion Connected Devices.
- Money Morning Briefing:
"The Biggest Technological Breakthrough Of Our Lifetime."
- Money Morning Special Report:
Five Ways to Profit from Cybersecurity Stocks.
About the Author
Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning at Money Map Press. With his latest project, Private Briefing, Bill takes you "behind the scenes" of his established investment news website for a closer look at the action. Members get all the expert analysis and exclusive scoops he can't publish... and some of the most valuable picks that turn up in Bill's closed-door sessions with editors and experts.