If you were asked to list some of the biggest trends that you expect will impact stocks over the next several decades, which ones would leap to mind? You might think of aging populations, or the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence. You might point to climate change, digital payments, or e-commerce.
However, there’s another enormously important ongoing trend that arguably could reshape the global economy (and therefore affect stocks) in a bigger way than any of those. And it’s one that many investors are completely ignoring.
A dearth of births
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported earlier this year that the U.S. fertility rate (the number of births per 1,000 women over their lifetimes) reached a record low in 2020. This continued a pattern of declines that has been in effect for years.
U.S. fertility rates have “generally been below replacement…