Here, Regional Director at Rathbones Chichester, Greg Mahon answers your burning questions…

What is disruptive technology?

Technology is considered to be truly disruptive when it causes a seismic shift in consumer behaviour. This can only happen when something new is widely adopted. Think what the introduction of the iPod did to sales of CDs – not to mention its impact on the wider music industry – pretty much overnight. Or what happened to the car industry when Ford introduced the T3.

As wealth managers, we are interested in disruptive technology because it gives us an indication of what sector will be the next to take off and achieve the best investment returns for our clients. Should we, for example, be investing in industries that are leading personalised medicine, alternative energy sources, or companies that are developing robots for the workplace?

Why should I be thinking about disruptive technology?

Perhaps the most obvious connection to business is the impact technology will have on the costs of goods and services. Increased efficiency and availability of products and services – thanks to new technologies – should reduce costs across a whole range of industries. But it will also have an impact on the demands consumers make on companies. For example, is your business equipped to dispatch and deliver goods the same day to meet consumer demand? Does it have the capacity to take alternative payment methods i.e. Apple Pay or Altcoin, a new currency which is championing investment in local economies and businesses as it is only accepted within specific regions?

Businesses that can react quickly and embrace a constantly changing technology landscape are best placed to capitalise on the opportunity – that’s why it’s so important to keep track of the latest developments, even if they feel a world away at the moment.

You can see the full report on disruptive technology and its opportunities for investors here rathbones.com/sussex. Or for more information please contact: greg,mahon@rathbones.com

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