Welcome to this week’s mailbag edition of The Bleeding Edge. All week, you submitted your questions about the biggest trends in technology. Today, I’ll do my best to answer them.
But before we get to today’s questions, I just wanted to say thank you to all the readers who attended last night’s free 5G investing summit, The Final Phase of the 5G Boom.
Thousands of you joined me as I showed why 5G will be the best investment opportunity of the next decade. I provided some special research on Phase 3 of the 5G boom. And I even told you a bit about my top watchlist company for Phase 3 to thank those who take the time to join.
I made this research available at no cost – just a “thank you” for attending. To my knowledge, this level of 5G insight has never been shared publicly before.
If you missed the event, don’t worry. A replay is still available online.
You can access it and learn my No. 1 5G watchlist company right here.
Now let’s turn to this week’s questions. And remember, if you have a question you’d like answered next week, be sure you submit it here.
When to buy your next smartphone…
First up is a great question about the rollout of 5G devices…
I live in Eastern Washington. 5G service is not predicted until next year. I need a new cell phone (mine is an iPhone 6). I don’t know if it will last until we convert. Is it worthwhile to buy another 4G phone until then?
– Alan G.
Thanks for writing in, Alan. There are literally billions of smartphone users asking themselves this very question right now… including me. More and more, people are holding on to their phones longer and longer. And it shows in the numbers…
Have a look at the chart. It shows the replacement cycle for the average smartphone. In other words, it shows how long consumers are holding on to their smartphones before they go out and buy another.
In 2007, when the first iPhone was released, it was common to replace your smartphone every 19 months. After all, the new versions were exponentially better than the old models. They were too compelling to pass up.
But look at the numbers from last year. Today, smartphone users are holding on to their devices for nearly three years before they upgrade. The reason is simple. The newer models just aren’t that much better than the older models. Perhaps they have a better camera… a slightly faster processor… or something as simple as a new color. But generally speaking, it’s just not worth the cost to upgrade.
Alan, I suspect this is why you haven’t upgraded your phone yet. Why bother? Your old one probably still works fine. Not great… but all right.
But 5G represents an exponential leap in network speeds. Remember, average speeds will be 100 times faster than 4G networks. And none of the current 4G models will be able to connect to the 5G networks. Every smartphone on earth, all 3.3 billion of them, will have to be upgraded.
(I recently showed my readers of The Near Future Report the company that is at the center of this massive upgrade cycle. When every smartphone on earth is replaced, device makers will turn to this one company for an essential component. More details here.)
There are a bunch of non-Apple 5G-enabled handsets (listed below) already available around the world, but my official advice is still to wait. 5G network coverage is still expanding, so even if subscribers buy an Android-based 5G phone today, they likely won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of it for many months.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
LG V50 ThinQ
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
Oppo Reno 5G
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
ZTE Nubia X 5G
Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod device
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait probably until the fall of 2020 for the 5G-enabled iPhones to be available. These will be expensive phones – at least as expensive as the latest iPhones. My recommendation is to save up money to buy the 5G version in about a year’s time.
And I have a strong preference for Apple smartphones over Android devices. There are two important reasons. First, Android is a Google product, which means that Google surveils anyone using an Android-based phone. Every website you visit, your email, and every application that you use is monitored, packaged up, and sold for advertising purposes.
Second, the iPhone iOS is far more secure than Android’s system. Hands down, no comparison better. And security is critically important to me. So for those readers who can afford it, the Apple iPhone is the way to go.
One last thing, Alan… Even if 5G doesn’t reach your neck of the woods by the time the 5G iPhone launches, feel free to pick one up anyway.
A 5G-enabled device will work perfectly fine over the current 4G networks. So we’ll still be able to use the phones no matter where we are. And when we are within 5G network coverage, we’ll enjoy the super-fast speeds of 5G.
Why big biotech backs bleeding-edge companies…
Next up is a question about my trading service, Early Stage Trader…
I’m a bit concerned about one issue that I haven’t heard addressed yet [for Early Stage Trader]. Companies are making remarkable advances in treatments of all kinds. I realize that it would be wise to invest in these companies. My worry is that the pharmaceutical community will do all it can to block these by any means necessary.
Hypothetically, let’s say someone invented a pill that cures all diseases. That would hurt the entire pharmaceutical community. There would no longer be a need for its products. Speaking only from an investor’s point of view, my concern is the potential failure of these companies [because of actions by the pharmaceutical community]. Any thoughts?
– Chris W.
Thanks for writing in, Chris.
For newer readers, Early Stage Trader is a service where we track developmental-stage technology companies and invest ahead of major catalysts that will push the stock price higher. These catalysts are typical FDA approvals, human trial results, new product announcements, strategic deals, or even preclinical trial results.
The other important thing to point out is that our trading strategy applies a strict, rules-based system. In other words, of all the early stage companies on the market, only a small handful will pass muster with our system and become a recommendation.
Our extensive backtesting has shown that by picking only the companies that meet certain criteria, we’ll greatly increase our success rate and peak gains.
To return to your question, there is a very interesting dynamic at play right now in early stage biotechnology companies. This particular sector is receiving record levels of venture capital investment right now. Each year has been exceeding the last. This has accelerated development and dramatically increased the number of companies pursuing new technology platforms and therapies to cure human disease.
The result is that the cat is out of the bag. Big pharmaceutical companies couldn’t control the pace of investment and development if they wanted to. They couldn’t possibly buy every company just to shut them down. And it is hard for them to lobby to prohibit early stage companies from going through the well-defined clinical trial process managed by the FDA.
So pharmaceutical companies have embraced innovation. They invest early in promising companies to keep tabs on exciting developments and profit as they achieve success.
And we are already starting to see a change in business models. Genetic editing often enables a “one and done” therapy. One treatment, and nothing else. Instead of years of medications, a patient receives one very expensive treatment that cures the disease. The most expensive genetic therapy that I have seen to date is $2.1 million.
That may seem extreme, but some diseases cost far more than that over a period of years. So health insurance companies are also going to adjust and provide coverage for this new breed of more effective therapies.
Chris, your question is an important one, and I’m glad you asked it. If it were 20 years ago, my answer would have been quite different. But today, we’re entering an absolute renaissance of biotechnology, genetic editing, and therapeutic development. This is a central theme in all my research and one that investors will profit from for years to come.
For paid-up readers of Early Stage Trader, you can read more about our system right here. I outline our criteria on pages 12-13.
How I know I’m doing my job well…
Finally, let’s conclude with a piece of feedback that really brightened my day…
Hi Jeff, Thanks so much for all your work. I knew hardly anything about the tech you write about. What you are teaching me is worth every penny of your subscriptions. I now subscribe to The Near Future Report, Exponential Tech Investor, and Early Stage Trader. I consider the extraordinary gains a great bonus. I pray God continues to bless you and your family.
– Randy W.
Thanks for the kind words, Randy. One of the great things about being a technology analyst is sharing my passion for bleeding-edge technology with readers like you. Since I got my hands on my first computer at age 12, I’ve been focused on nothing but high tech. It’s great to be able to share so much of what I’ve learned.
And I know I’m doing my job well if my readers are happy with the content they receive. Yes, I know that everyone signs up to profit, make money, and secure their financial future. But if I can help readers become passionate about technology, understand how it will positively impact their lives, and learn about best practices in investing along the way, then I’ve really achieved my goal.
That’s all the time I have this week. If I didn’t get to your question, reach out here. I’ll do my best to answer it next week.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
P.S. As we prepare to publish, markets are volatile. The Nasdaq is down 2.5% as I write. I’m tracking the situation closely. Look for Monday’s edition of The Bleeding Edge next week. I’ll share my thoughts on what this means for the broader market and the tech sector.