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Money Trends for 2007 and Beyond

Greg Balanko-Dickson has challenged me to work on the financial section of the Trends Map. Greg, I accept your challenge.

So what’s this all about?

A couple of days ago I published a link to a very interesting Trends Map [1] by some futurist forecasting folks. I added my comments about the financial section of that map.

Greg then came along and offered his own comments [2] and suggested he would try to have a go at revising the Map. He asked if I would do the financial section of the Trends Map. I took him up on the challenge.

After studying the map and trying my hand at it, I finally came to the realization that a different format was needed. My version of the financial trends is laid out here: Money Trends 2007 [3] (PDF).

Several things are different in the approach I’ve taken.

First of all, I like to see trends laid out individually, with each topic its own page. A trend is easier to comprehend when you have less information on a page. Besides, people tend to analyze one particular topic at a time, not everything all at once. So it also makes sense to look just at the trends for one topic at a time, and not try to digest them all at once.

Second, I think of trends on a time continuum. Trends — the major trends that are covered in a document like this — take hold and grow over time. And typically one behavior or trend is declining while another is growing, and so it’s important to see both happening at the same time. That’s why I presented the money trends along a time continuum, starting in 2007.

Third, the time horizon needs to be lengthened. When we are looking at trends of this magnitude, it takes years –sometimes decades — for trends to fully unfold and evolve. So, rather than looking just at 2007, I’ve looked ahead 20 years or more.

Finally, I called this document Money Trends, because that’s really what it is about: money. I have not tried to cover all aspects of all financial trends — that’s simply too big a topic.

Let me know what you think.