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[Editor's Note: Nearly half of American families have no net worth at all, and are about one paycheck away from disaster. Meanwhile, retirement savers have a median nest-egg of just $14,500. And that's precisely why we're sharing Michael's Strategic Tech Investor column with you this weekend. This powerful, easy-to-use method can pull anyone out of dire straits and into a comfortable, protected lifestyle or retirement. Here's Michael…]
If you're like most Americans, you're locked in a nightmarish cycle. You work. You spend. You work some more. You earn enough to cover most of your bills – pretty much. You fear those financial emergencies that show up at the worst time.
But I can show you a way out…
While the top 16,000 U.S. households own 12% of this country's wealth, about half of American families have no net worth at all.
And forget about retirement. At a time when most experts will tell you that $1 million is the starting sticker price for a decent retirement, millions of working Americans – more than one-third of us – have nothing at all put away for those "Golden Years."
Even the folks who are putting something away face a huge shortfall from what they'll really need: A year ago, the median retirement nest egg among those aged 55 to 64 was a paltry $14,500.
And that shortfall just keeps getting worse.
For most of us, the first inclination to "fix" that problem is to work harder, earn and save a bit more, hoping this bit of "financial catch-up" will be enough to bridge the gap.
But this "earn-more" mentality is destined to fail. Instead, most of us will end up working longer – well into our retirement years, in fact. As author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins recently said, this failure to save means big groups of working retirees will end up serving as "the best-dressed greeters at Walmart."
Fortunately, there is a solution – a real and workable "catch-up" strategy that any Main Street investor can employ to save themselves from a pauper-like future.
It's a strategy that can deliver yearly returns 50% greater than conventional investments.
And with the benefit of compounding, this strategy can deliver the meaningful wealth that all of us seek.
Starting today – with this special report from my Strategic Tech Investor – I'm making it my personal mission to deliver these high-return investments to you.
And to underscore our commitment, I'm even presenting you with "The Million-Dollar Tech Portfolio" – a group of investments that I personally selected for their high-return potential.
You Can Do Better
Let me share some statistics with you.
According to a recent Bankrate.com poll, 36% of Americans haven't even started to save for retirement… not at all.
Even more stunning, 25% of people aged 50-64 have yet to start saving.
The backdrop to that distressing figure is that more than two-thirds of American families, not just those near retirement age, are in a very precarious position.
According to a recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts nonprofit group, 70% of U.S. households face at least moderate "financial strains." And 55% of families are "savings-limited," meaning they have less than one month's income in "liquid" assets. (Financial planners recommend you have an "emergency fund" – easy access, through bank accounts or cash, to at least two months' worth of income at all times.)
Moreover, wages continue to stagnate.
According to recent findings from the Economic Policy Institute, U.S. wages have been almost entirely flat since 2003.
If you want to make the kind of massive outsize gains you'll need to reach that goal, then you need to start looking at the greatest wealth-creation machine the world has ever known – the U.S. technology sector.
From Eli Whitney's cotton gin and Thomas Alva Edison's phonograph through to Henry Ford's assembly line and William Shockley's transistor – and now Apple's smartphone and Google's search engine – these are the technologies that have enriched our lives and investors' pockets.
And they keep U.S. stocks on one giant long-range bull market (with, admittedly, some big dips along the way).
Here's how we know that tech stocks have led that charge.
Over the past 20 years, the tech-centric Nasdaq Composite Index has made incredible gains of nearly 518% – handily beating the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (326%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (347%).
In other words, general technology stocks offer returns that are more than 1.5 times greater – that's 50% more – than blue-chip stocks.
But individual technology stocks – the opportunities I intend to bring you on this new "mission" I've embarked on – can do even better.
Over a period of years, when the power of compounding gets to work its magic, that performance differential can give you a meaningful edge over market-tracking "index" investments.
Just take a look at recent stock market history.
From 1990 to 1999, booming PC and software sales launched rallies of 9,000% in Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), 10,000% in Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), and 66,000% in Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) – and turned early investors into multimillionaires.
And with the maturation of the Internet and the rise of smartphones, e-commerce, and social networking, just think about all the wealth that's been created since the early 2000s by companies like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL), and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB).
Something very similar is happening now.
Today Is the Day
The emergence of biotechnology, high-speed networks, e-commerce, and mobile communications have delivered a whole suite of new tech sectors that are making millionaires out of ground-floor investors.
Innovations such as genomics, Big Data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Everything are doing more than just emerging – they're "interlocking." That means they're meshing to create a ubiquitous tech "ecosystem" unlike anything we've seen before.
I'm talking about such burgeoning developments as:
- Mobile payments, which researcher Gartner says will nearly triple from $235 billion in 2013 to 720 billion by 2017.
- The Internet of Everything (IoE), which is projected to soar from $255.87 billion in 2014 to $947.29 billion in 2019.
- Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) chips – known more colloquially as "sensors" – which the MEMS Executive Congress says will grow from about $12 billion last year to over $22 billion by 2018.
- Cloud computing, which Market Research Media says will grow at a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $270 billion in 2020.
- Big Data, which researcher IDC predicts will grow at a 27% CAGR to reach $32 billion by 2017.
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which IDC says will grow at a 23.5% annual pace – creating a $30 billion market by 2017.
- And wearable technology, which TechNavio has predicted will soar at a 54.11% CAGR through 2018.
There's also the memory market, which is benefitting from such innovations as solid-state memory and the Hybrid Memory Cube; "Miracle Materials," which includes such revolutionary developments as graphene and carbon nanotubes; the next-generation auto, which includes the "connected car," the driverless auto and the electric vehicle (EV); new semiconductor architectures; unmanned aerial and undersea vehicles (drones) and other forms of robotics; cybersecurity; and biotechnology and medical devices, which are being developed both to cure diseases and increase human longevity.
As I've been saying, investing in innovation can be stunningly lucrative.
Take biotech: Since January 2010, the Nasdaq Biotech Index has generated returns of 338% – more than three times the still-hefty return of 88% from the S&P 500.
Take wearables, a market that will get a big boost when the Apple Watch debuts in April. Forrester Research predicts that smartwatches will pull in 10 million users – or more – this year.
And that's just one device.
The wearable market exemplifies this emerging tech ecosystem.
Because of the seamless relationships between devices, the smartwatches that are now hitting store shelves can "talk" to your smartphone, your "cloud," your PC, the smart devices in your home – even your doctor.
With all of these devices – from smartwatches and virtual-reality headsets to "smart cars" and IoE-connected warehouses – the demand for increasingly better semiconductors will be unlimited. And that's even after a record year in 2014.
Global chip sales hit $87 billion during 2014's third quarter, the last period for full data. That's an all-time quarterly record, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Expect the chip sector to keep flexing its muscle. Research and Markets is forecasting global chip sales will close 2014 up 4.4%. Gartner is even more bullish: It expects worldwide semiconductor revenue will come in at $336 billion for 2014, up 6.7% from 2013.
That momentum will continue throughout this year and beyond.
Your neighbors and colleagues will soon be talking about Big Data, the cloud and the IoE like we now talk about the Internet, smartphones, and social media – it's fait accompli.
And that makes today the greatest tech investing opportunity since at least the early 2000s.
Let's Get Started
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.