October 23, 2015

Interest rates are at 5,000 year lows. We are in the midst of the longest deflationary expansion on record and by 2050, for the first time in human history, the world’s senior population will outnumber children. These are just a few of the transformational trends recently identified by Financial Thought Leader Michael Hartnett and his team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research. In an exclusive interview Hartnett explains what they mean for the global economy and investors.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1218; Originally Broadcast on October 22, 2015
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Consuelo Mack

Every once and a while some research lands on my desk that compels me to share it with you. This is one of those occasions.

This week we have an exclusive interview with Financial Thought Leader

Michael Hartnett. Hartnett is Chief Investment Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research where he is tasked with identifying major global market trends and providing strategic insights and solutions for both institutional and individual clients. Since joining the original Merrill Lynch in 2005 Hartnett has served in several key positions including Director of European Equity Strategy in London, Senior International Economist and Global Macro Strategist in New York, and Chief Economist in Japan.   

Hartnett and his Global Research team just published the inaugural edition of their “Transforming World Atlas”, a series of maps illustrating the firm’s favorite cyclical and secular investment themes which they expect will transform the world’s economies, markets and populations between now and 2050. They are definitely on to something!

The 5 transformational themes are:

1) People – The allocation of scarce human resources

2) Earth – The allocation of scarce natural resources

3) Innovation – The disruptive role of technology

4) Government – The role of public policy

5) Markets – The allocation of scarce financial capital

With about 40 pages of maps illustrating various aspects of these key themes it was hard to pick one or two for this week’s show, but choose I did.

One major theme is the aging of the world population. One stunning statistic convinced me.  By 2050, the silver generation, people aged 65 and older will outnumber children under 14 for the first time in human history.  What’s the significance of that demographic development?

Another major theme is the internet. Around 40% of the world’s population has an internet connection today, up from less than 1% in 1995. Internet users have increased tenfold since 1999. What’s the best way to invest in this phenomenon?

Hartnett will explain what these transformational trends mean for the global economy and how they impact us as investors.


The show is available to our PREMIUM viewers on our website right now and to everyone else over the weekend.  You’ll also find an online only EXTRA interview with Hartnett about another theme that he thinks could result in significant changes in government policy

Thank you for watching. Have a great weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best Regards,


Mathews Asia


  • Facebook has 1.4 billion monthly active users, equal to China’s population
  • Number of internet users increased tenfold since 1999 to 3 billion plus
  • Internet could create $7 trillion industry by 2020

No Bookshelf titles this week.


  • Buy broad-based commodities through ETF or mutual fund

Morningstar recommends:

Greenhaven Continuous Commodity ETF (GCC)
GCC Chart

GCC data by YCharts

Actively managed mutual fund

Credit Suisse Commodity Return Strategy (CRSOX)

CRSOX data by YCharts

No stock mentions in this episode. This transcript will be available soon. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

Michael Hartnett from the WEALTHTRACK Archives:


Michael Hartnett and his team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research have identified several investment themes that are transforming the world. Some, such as the unprecedented aging of populations around the world and disruptive technologies such as the internet are well known. But there is one, not yet widely covered, that he thinks could result in significant changes in government policy.

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