When I was a kid, time stood still in India.
My cousins and I would run out if a car passed by just so we could stare at it, because cars were such a rare sight. If you wanted to buy a car, you had to wait five years to get one because the government allowed only a certain number to be made each year.
It took six years or more for the government-run company to install a telephone in your house.
Cars and telephones were all the technology that was ever available to us in India.
Computers, new medical technology and consumer appliances like washing machines and air conditioners were all something we just heard about.
But that was then …
Today, thanks to the Internet and satellite TV, people around the world know about new technologies at the same time. And that's one reason why the newest tech trend that's bringing a revolution to every aspect of human society is going to be a global phenomenon.
The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is sweeping the world right now.
According to researchers, the global market for IoT in 2020 is going to be worth $ 373 billion in terms of sales. Hardware will account for 52% of sales – devices ranging from personal wearable technology to smart homes to connected cars.
The remaining 48% will pour in from the software and analytics required to turn the copious amounts of data generated by hardware into usable information.
Leading market research firm IDC forecasts China to spend $ 128 billion on IoT by 2020. India's spending will come in around $ 10 billion to $ 12 billion by 2020. And forecast sales for the Middle East and Africa are at $ 11 billion by 2019.
When the personal computer (PC) revolution started, it was mostly limited to developed countries. Only in the much later stages, when prices of computers dropped significantly, did this revolution go global.
But unlike previous tech revolutions, IoT is a global revolution from Day One. Kids growing up in India today are going to be part of the IoT at the same time as their peers in richer, more developed countries.
IoT Global Reach
In fact, IoT is going to be the first tech revolution that has the genuine likelihood of benefiting every country at the same time.
IoT is going to give us information so that we have safer cars, buses, trucks, trains and planes. It'll reduce waste and increase safety in factories and manufacturing. It'll give us choices on how to use energy so as to maximize its efficiency and reduce pollution.
That's why I believe the IoT revolution is going to have a greater impact than the Industrial Revolution and the PC revolution. That's why Cisco Systems, the world's largest networking company, estimates that the total impact of the IoT revolution will be $ 19 trillion. And Ericsson, a device manufacturer, believes there will be 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020.
And yet, despite these massive numbers, most people are skeptical. The companies that are going to directly benefit from the IoT revolution don't currently reflect the enormous upside that they are going to capture as this tech trend unfolds.
This poor showing is largely due to fear. You see, most people are too scared of the stock market to buy the stocks that are poised to rally 100%, 200% or even 500%. And that's understandable. After all, the 2008 crash and the wild volatility we've experienced left many investors with significantly smaller portfolios and less tolerance for risk.
However, just understand that soon more stocks connected to the IoT trend are going to start soaring higher. For example, recent IoT-related IPO Impinj (Nasdaq: PI) has rallied 171% in just two months. But don't buy this or any other stock just because I use it as an example.
Now, IPOs are often small companies that are too risky. However, you can get into the global IoT trend by buying two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that I've been telling readers about.
First, there's Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE Arca: XLI), which will get you in on the industrial and manufacturing side of the IoT tech trend.
Second, there's VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSE Arca: SMH), which will get you into the electronic-sensor side of this trade, which is a critical element of the IoT tech trend.