Investors who shun robotics and AI will miss out on a revolution that will change every industry, according to the president of ROBO Global.
William Studebaker is “bursting at the seams” with conviction about the space and said his firm believed five years ago that the world was on the cusp of ubiquitous automation.
And he urged people not to listen to “braindead” economists and Wall Street strategists who don’t understand how it will provide the tools to reboot growth and productivity to the extent few people can comprehend.
ROBO Global is an index, advisory and research company focused 100% on helping investors capture the unique opportunities of fast-growing robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAAI) firms around the world. In 2013, it launched the first-of-its-kind ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index Series.
Studebaker will speak at the Wealth Professional Innovation and Strategy Summit in Toronto on May 29 in a talk title Emerging Technology in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: An Opportunity for Growth.
He said his company’s index has outperformed the ACWI by 2800 basis points and that investors have to open up their perspective and believe that the rate of growth and innovation is exploding.
“People want to buy these moon shots, get a stake in Lyft, for example – you put $30,000 in and it turns into $100 million. That is a lottery ticket.
“But when we are generating returns in the 20% zip code, the wealth creation here is significantly underappreciated by Wall Street. The opportunity is not to wait, it’s to get in front of it.”
Studebaker dismissed December’s sell-off and said the long-term opportunity set in robotics and AI is huge. Companies and countries are in a robotics arms race and he praised Canada for doing a great job of incubating technology – especially in Toronto and Montreal – and highlighted the fact there has been 3,500 venture fundings in AI in China since the second quarter of 2013.
He said: “If you are going to look back in three to five years from now, you are going to go, ‘how the **** did I miss that. It’s that big. And it’s going to get much bigger because these are technologies you need to invest in to stay relevant in your life. Google, Facebook, Amazon … all these companies are ambassadors to the industry because they are really trying to define themselves as being AI first companies.”
However, Studebaker reserved his ire for Wall Street and for keeping investors in a growth straight-jacket.
He added: “Two things stunt Wall Street’s perspective. One is the over-focus on quarterly earnings. Two is having to sector silo what Wall Street believes and understands. Think 15 years ago, what percentage of the S&P was in the internet? Nothing. Now it’s added trillion of dollars.
“But these morons on TV that are talking about the market going too far, too fast – in December people were saying the world is ending. [They said] ‘we’re now going to be going through Fed hikes, growth is going to stall, blah blah blah’.
“These guys are saying they are going to wait for pullback? Really? I’m going to wait for quarterly earnings to come out? I’m going to wait until the horse is 100% out of the barn and then you are going to make a decision? That’s just not success in my opinion.”
William Studebaker will be sharing insights on this topic and more at the upcoming WP Strategy Summit on May 29. See further information or book your ticket here