On the way home from rugby training last week, I had an interesting conversation with my 13-year-old. It all stemmed from a simple question. When do you think teleporting will happen?

Coming from a science background myself, I would like to think his question came from his own inquisitiveness, but I think it was more to do with him wanting to get home quicker.

Whatever the case, it led to an interesting conversation. We both agreed that teleporting people may be quite a while off. However, the way things made and transported may be in for a radical shakeup if our conversation has anything to do with it.

If you google 3D printers for sale, there are nearly 28 million results. Currently you can buy an entry level 3D printer for $500, and while the types of materials you can easily print with are limited, they are growing at a rapid rate. It is now possible to print with carbon fibre, aluminium, titanium, and stainless steel.

Anyway, in our conversation we dreamed up what the future would be.

My son had recently purchased a new set of handlebars for his bike. He ordered it online and had to wait for about a week until it was shipped to him. For a 13-year-old, waiting is not something they like.

Instead of products being made offshore and then shipped around the world, more things would be made locally through what is called additive manufacturing. There would be ‘printing hubs’ that had industrial 3D printers that were capable of printing items in a range of different materials and specifications.

Futuristic building on island

If you want some new lightweight bike handlebars, all you need to do is buy the design you want, it gets printed at a local additive manufacturer and can be delivered the same day.

This has the potential to change not only industries like healthcare, aerospace, and automotive, but it may also have a big impact on transport and logistics.

In healthcare they are already using 3D to develop new instruments and prosthetics. In aerospace they are using it to rapidly make new prototypes and develop lightweight materials. Companies like Repco or Supercheap Auto won’t need to stock parts that may or may not ever get used. Suppliers won’t need to discontinue the production of parts for older models, they will just need to keep the specifications.

The changes are endless and will permeate into most industries.

What does this have to do with financial planning or investing?

None of us can accurately predict what the future holds. There will be emerging businesses that will make it big, there will be many that will try but crash and burn. There will be some big businesses that adapt to the future well, but others that take the Kodak path and not keep up with technology. There will be some jobs that are safe regardless, and others that will become obsolete.

From an investment perspective, the main lesson here is diversify your assets so you are not reliant on any one industry or company. From a financial planning perspective, always plan for the unexpected.

We specialise in working with professionals and helping them achieve financial independence. If you are interested in having an independent financial adviser help you become financially independent, book a chat via the button below or contact us at team@constructwealth.com.au.

About the Author
Phil Harvey is an independent financial adviser. In 2017 Phil set up his company Construct Wealth to help clients best manage their finances so they focus on what is important to them. He is a founding member of the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers.

General Advice Warning
This advice contains general information. It may not be suitable to you because it does not consider your personal circumstances. Phil Harvey and Construct Wealth are authorised representatives of Independent Financial Advisers Australia (AFSL 464629)

See related articles