What Will Investing Be Like in 100 Years?

what will investing look like in future?I decided it’d be fun to imagine what the world of investing might be like in 100 years’ time. I’d really love if you left a comment with your own ideas on this. Read on and then leave me your thoughts below.

Here are some of the scenarios I came up with:

We will have blown ourselves up at Armageddon

Therefore, investing will not exist, because we’ll mostly be dead. If there are survivors, they’ll probably be too busy trying to survive, so they probably won’t be researching there next DGI stock to purchase.

The Third World War will have eradicated 85% of the population

We humans are pretty dumb, so we’ll potentially kill even more of our fellow earth inhabitants than we already have done in the 20th and 21st centuries. Perhaps if we do a world war again, we will learn from our mistakes and invest in love and understanding our neighbours with compassion and respect? Then again, maybe not.

Automatic global investment matching your needs

A lot less morbid, thankfully – A simple selection of questions will be able to determine your investing preferences, and this will be done automatically and globally. It will be more difficult to invest locally or regionally, because the trend towards globalising different areas of our lives will continue at a rapid pace.

Tax breaks for investing in one-world government projects

There could easily be a one-world democratic government in the next 100 years. As much as I absolutely detest the idea, and think it’s the most dangerous (and simultaneously likely) political scenario to emerge, it’ll probably still happen, because people are stupid and they listen to stupid ideas. Therefore, the one-world government will also want more of our hard-earned cash and we will give it to them because of the generous tax breaks.

Tax breaks for investing in health research companies

Several pandemics may have come and gone over the next century, so health research will continue to be crucial to the global population. Therefore, generous tax breaks for investing in health research will be offered, in order to generate vast amounts of knowledge to prevent yet more pandemics.

Robotic/automated trading will be the norm

Why pay people when you can get algorithms, robots, and software to trade for you? Ludicrous speed superluminal communications will make it possible to trade in tiny fractions of a second, far beyond the capabilities of mere humans.

Everyone will have a globally diversified index tracker from birth in a child trust fund/equivalent.

Imagine having a selection of index trackers, or some kind of multi-tracker fund such as a Vanguard LifeStrategy 80 from birth. Even if you just put in a few hundreds or thousands of pounds at birth, it could be worth a lot by the age of 18, let alone, 21, or retirement age (could be 80+ years old by then).

Everyone will have the opportunity to save for their children’s university/other education with huge tax breaks

This is because the trend is for people to spend their own money on tertiary education, rather that it being heavily subsidised by the government. We had tuition fees come in under a Labour government, of all parties, and despite current rumours of a wish to cut fees under a future Labour government, I do not think it’s particularly likely. They’d be better off using some other tax scenarios to fund more benefits to working families who may be struggling with the high cost of housing in this country. With a growing population, can you imagine what a house might cost in 100 years’ time?! Yes, that’ll be £2,000,000 for the 2-up 2 down terrace in a run-down area of inner city Manchester.

SO, what do YOU think investing will look like in a century’s time? Let me know, leave a comment below.

photo credit: bplanet/freedigitalphotos.net


  1. M,

    Fun post! It started out quite dark, but I really enjoyed reading through it.

    Why do you think that a democratically elected world government is a bad idea? It’s basically the European Union on a worldwide scale – don’t shoot me now!

    I don’t think that investing will change all that much in the future. Of course there will be different legislation and tax regulations, but when you filter all those out it will come down to the question “has investing in and of itself ever changed?” Hundreds of years ago land nobility bought farm lands to increase their net worth and power, now the nouveau riche buy companies by the dozen. Even though the assets have changed, the strategy remains the same.

    And for what it’s worth, I hope to still be able to invest a hundred years from now. Immortality, here I come!

    Best wishes,
    No More Waffles recently posted…Why You Should Enjoy Paying Taxes like I DoMy Profile

    1. NMW, thanks for your comments, as always. I hope that things won’t change too much, or too quickly and that we are still able to invest basically as we please over the decades to come.

      With regards to the EU, the real power is held by the commission, who are not democratically elected. I think people should be as independent as possible. Part of the point of FI is that you have control over your own time and your own destiny. How we think and run our lives, and what we choose to do with them should be our choice, not the choice of a government that governs the entire world. People think differently from house to house, village to village, city to city, nation to nation, and culture to culture. Of course, there are many more iterations of this, but I just mean to say that I value diversity in all sorts of ways, not least of which in people being able to choose their own leadership on every level. The less choice there is, I feel the worse we will be as a planet.

  2. An interesting questions!

    I feel like increasing globalization and governmental regulation will combine to make the top global companies more powerful and entrepreneurship (at least in industrial spheres) more difficult as legal traps take an increasingly larger toll on smaller competition that’s unable to cope with fees for regulatory compliance.

    Stocks in general will feature lower returns than before, but longer investment horizons will even out those lower rates.

    I see the formation of “megacorps” being the defining characteristic of future global industry. Buy your S&P funds now, while they’re cheap!

    1. Charles, thanks for stopping by and providing some interesting comments.

      I hate to say it, but I tend to agree with you in that entrepreneurship in the industrial world is looking like it’s getting more difficult. That being said, if 3D printing really takes off soon, then perhaps this problem won’t emerge? We can only hope!


      1. I don’t know how I feel about 3d printing. On the one hand, I think it’s an awesome technology that has the POTENTIAL to change the world. I don’t think we’re to the point yet where it’s a gamechanger, but new technologies always have to start somewhere.

        I doubt folks looked at old BBS and thought, “This internet thing is going to completely redefine the way people live in just a few decades.”
        CharlesMakesCents recently posted…How to Launch a Business (Legally) in Your CityMy Profile

  3. Here’s my totally (and usual for me) optimistic view:

    There won’t be a need for money as in 100 years’ time, 3D printers will be able to print just about anything anyone would want to have. Need a diamond ring? Print one.

    I must confess though that the idea is largely borrowed from one of Peter Hamilton’s sci-fi books – I forget which one now – and it was set a bit further in time than 100 years…but 100 years is quite a long time if you consider the advances made since the previous 100 years.

    As for disease, I expect they’ll just be able to create a drug to attack the DNA of any particular virus by then.

    I am curious that you didn’t include climate change as having destroyed the world’s economy though – apparently that’s the number#1 threat to humankind. Personally I think it’s be the resources by the 7+ billion people on the planet – we’re our worst enemy sadly.

    Aside from the single government, maybe there’ll be a single global currency (any guesses on the name?) with the exception of a few outlying bankrupt countries who have no income of their own but still want to spend money.

    Best wishes,
    Dividend Life recently posted…I will teach you to be rich!My Profile

    1. Hey DL, thanks for the fascinating comments. I particularly loved the bit about 3D printing – very Star Trek-esque! I was just watching an early episode of TNG where humans from the 21st century were found, in a cryogenically frozen state, in the year 2364. Data replicates a guitar for one of them, perhaps 3D printing will be the interim tech of choice?

      I didn’t include climate change because our climate is always changing, and yet, we are still here. There are so many factors at play, not least of which is the solar cycle(s) which we are in. I do not believe that we humans are contributing as much of the warming as some people say we are, however I am very sad about pollution – so I am in the strange halfway house that is pro-alternative fuel tech but not for the reasons of warming, but for the other destructive things our dirty fuels do. That being said, I have confidence that we will survive various types of climate change. What I am not so confident in is if the sun goes berserk on us… which is really quite possible. If that happens though, I don’t think anyone will give two hoots about their dividend growth portfolio…


  4. I’d start off by painting a morbid picture too, assuming society hasn’t been decimated by war (by other humans or robots in a Terminator-style uprising) or by some new-fangled disease, I see investing still going on.

    There will still be huge disparity between the haves and the have-nots/rich and the poor but investing would perhaps be the norm for all, with some obviously investing in more than others.

    24 hour trading internationally for definite.

    I see more invested in biotech, ie things to prolong youth, prolong life and medicines to combat 22nd century disease.

    Maybe investment into tech on how the subconscious mind can be transferred into a chip to be inserted into a new younger body after the death of the old body.

    And who’s to say that we may not have discovered life outside of Earth and that there will be such investment projects of the ‘offworld’ variety?

    Ok, mabye I read too much science fiction

    1. Great set of suggestions. I really love the offworld one – and in fact, I’m pretty sure that those kinds of investments will be within our lifetime, although not for discovering life off world, but to get resources and new forms of energy from off-world e.g. the rings of Saturn – I totally imagine and would want to invest in a fund harvesting their energy. Thanks for popping your ideas down, really love to think about these things

  5. Interesting topic to write about!

    I like to think about the future of the human race quite a lot.
    Your first two scenarios may be morbid but are certainly a possibility!
    Although surely if we have one world gov then the liklihood of those scenarios massively decreases, so maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing? Maybe it wouldn’t be like in 1984 et al, it could end up being pretty good for us?

    I think whatever happens trading will be become more and more automated, seeing as a hell of a lot of it is already.

    That is one other doomsday scenario you missed out, the trading bots become self aware and take over the world! 🙂
    theFIREstarter recently posted…Four Modern Day Paradoxes of Human ConstructMy Profile

    1. omg it’d be like “I, Robot”! Imagine that… But I definitely don’t like the idea of a one world goverment for several reasons – it’s inefficient the larger it gets, it loses diversity of opinion which is beneficial, and many more reasons

    1. Actually, that’s a really interesting point. We were just discussing Sunday trading hours in England vs. in Germany and Switzerland over the past weekend. There seems to be some CEOs and the like who are suggesting we go back to having one day a week where the larger shops are closed (it wouldn’t have to be a Sunday). I’m not sure that we’d ever have 24/7 trading, but perhaps it might become like the forex markets? Almost 24/7?

      Thanks for stopping by, as always

  6. Very interesting, M. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. You do paint a morbid picture in the first two points, but I can see why. The threat of wars is always there…a point that people always seem to insist on, is that they say that we are not as dumb as our forefathers, to have a nuclear war run off and things on the verge of collapsing, but arent we really? Are we really that different than humans 20, 30, 50, or 100 years ago? We still have the same fear factor driving us to rely on our reptilian brain just as it did for them. It is depressing, but it sure is a possibility.

    Anyways, coming back to the topic – I think the point of automatic robot trading is spot on. I think it will become the norm and accessible to one and all. Regarding ease of investing across the world without tax implications, Im not so sure about that. I imagine it to be just as divided a world and the idea of one world government isnt fathomable – atleast not in my mind.
    About tax breaks for the healthcare – I can see that…probably not for the investors themselves, but for the companies.

    Thanks for sharing a thought-provoking post and your ideas.

    Roadmap2Retire recently posted…Chatter Around the World – 85My Profile

    1. R2R, thanks for your comments. I think you’re right about war being a constant threat. We are still human and we still have evil thoughts towards our fellow man, and I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of those 100%, which is sad, but I do hope that wars will gradually reduce over time as people become more prosperous and have great access to a higher quality of life, access to more world markets/trade and so on then they will be less likely to throw all that away over some stupid war. At least, that is the stated theory behind the creation of the EU.

        1. That is really fascinating, thanks for sending the link. Funnily enough I got into a discussion recently with some Germans and we were talking about how the Thirty Years War was actually the worst war in history, but most people think it’s the First or Second World War (mostly because they don’t know much other history).


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