FINANCE

HOW A TRIP TO THE DOCTOR LED ME TO A TRILLION-DOLLAR INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

MATT MCCALL, SENIOR ANALYST, STANSBERRY RESEARCH

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If it were up to me... I'd live forever. But I'll settle for something closer to reaching age 150.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a highly respected professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, believes that there's a person alive today who will live to be 130 years old. And a recent Scientific American article cites a researcher who believes a human's maximum lifespan is between 120 and 150 years.

It's all thanks to converging technologies. You might think I sound crazy... But the global population's life expectancy has been on the rise for centuries, as advancements in medicine and technology have helped humans live longer.

Life expectancy has been rising steadily in the United States as well. It reached a peak of 78.8 years in 2019, before falling to 77.3 in 2020 because of the pandemic – setting the country back to around 2003 levels. But this brief decline will likely be nothing more than a small blip on the chart.

Various events in history pushed average life expectancies lower – like famine in the late 1800s, the Spanish flu in 1918, World War II a couple decades later... and now, COVID-19.

But technological advances and better medicines have always prevailed, and the upward trend has resumed after every dip. The same thing will happen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, I believe that breakthroughs in genomics, artificial intelligence, medical devices, and preventive medicine mean that babies born today could live happily and healthily into their 100s.

I like to get my hands dirty when it comes to research. I believe there's nothing better than a "boots on the ground" approach to investing. And this week, I did just that...

On Tuesday, I spent more than 10 hours getting poked and prodded by doctors – but I signed up for it. I went to the Princeton Longevity Center in New York City to undergo a full day of preventive health exams.

Everything I saw and learned was fascinating...

Cancer and heart disease are among the leading causes of death in the world. So naturally, two of the exams I went through looked for early identifiers of those diseases. If caught early enough, both could be completely eradicated.

Another leading cause of death is accidents. Yes, accidents happen... According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they killed more than 173,000 Americans in 2019. And we'll never be able to prevent them all. But the introduction of more advanced technology – like self-driving cars and automated manufacturing – could help lower that number significantly.

And consider medical technology... there's no question that has greatly improved over the years. The fact that my heart was photographed and studied in a matter of hours is equally as amazing. And there was nothing invasive about it.

It would take me pages and pages to describe all the different scans and exams that I had done – again, all in a matter of hours. It was all fascinating, and I plan to share more details of what I learned with my subscribers in the future.

But the undeniable point here is that the future of health care – and more specifically, the companies and industries that will be employed to extend longevity – will be one of best investment opportunities of the "Roaring 2020s."

Trillions of dollars will flow into this niche industry in the years ahead. It will save tens of millions of lives in the process... and expand or improve the lives of countless others.

It's increasingly common to see people live to be 100 years old... The oldest person alive today is 118.

My great-grandmother lived to be 103. And my grandmother swore that the key to a long life was the one cigarette and glass of wine she enjoyed while watching her daytime programs every day.

That's all fine and dandy. I take care of my body... But it's no secret that I enjoy a nice glass of scotch and a cheat meal every now and then. Although they make for fun stories, the key to living longer and healthier lives can't be found in our grandparents' little life secrets.

The key to longevity is the medical breakthroughs made possible by the evolution of technology.

Gene editing and stem-cell research will allow us to wipe out many diseases altogether. Preventive measures will help us catch illnesses early... and then treat them with personalized medicines better tailored to work for our bodies – not the one-size-fits-all approach we use now. Artificial intelligence and 5G networks will extend the reach of the best doctors in the world.

The possibilities are limitless... and the investment ramifications are in the trillions of dollars.

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