Economists covering geopolitical investing at PwC said a key investment theme in 2024 is a focus on longevity, or extending life spans.
Alexis Crow, author of the Observer Research Foundation’s Annual Outlook 2024 and a visiting senior fellow at the foundation, told me that the report, which considers economies around the world, forecasts Spending on longevity will increase, but these investments will vary on a case-by-case basis. Depends on where you look.
“In the United States, I think we are further along the longevity trajectory and biohacking has become a craze; this is when individuals pursue their own DIY biology. “This trend has in turn spurred growth in biotech, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, venture capital, and health and wellness,” said Crowe, whose role at PwC also focused on long-term investing. ”
DIY biohacking trends can be as small as taking anti-aging supplements or as big as, say, a wealthy entrepreneur spending more than $2 million in one year on a series of medical interventions and tests designed to, according to Fortune coverage, helping him stay young. In terms of venture capital, probiotic company Pendulum Therapeutics is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital.
Biohacking is closely related to the “consumerization of health care,” Crow said. Because of the high cost of health care, Americans in particular spend a lot of money on alternative medicines. Crow’s report notes that other recent studies estimate that the U.S. complementary and alternative medicine market could be worth $411.4 billion by 2030.
Crowe also pointed to wealth management as an important investment opportunity and argued that continued consolidation in the U.S. The high interest rate environment has put a lot of pressure on alternative asset managers, making them “ripe targets” for consolidation, she said.
Crowe sounded optimistic about the overall economy. “For the first time in eight years I am cautiously optimistic about the U.S. economy,” she said. Households and businesses “have weathered interest rates clearly well and are in relatively good shape, suggesting that the elusive soft landing has been achieved,” the report noted.
The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure showed prices rose just 0.2% from November to December, according to a government report on Friday. The pace is broadly in line with pre-pandemic levels and slightly above the Fed’s 2% annual target.
The base case for Crow is a soft landing. However, geopolitics could upend this. For example, she noted, “If conflicts in the Middle East escalate in the Strait of Hormuz and the Red Sea, higher oil prices could lead to a sharp rise in inflation.” Crow said this could cause West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices to rise to Over $100 per barrel. U.S. crude oil prices hit about $78.01 a barrel on Friday.
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