That’s the question smart investors should be asking themselves. Unlocking answers to an uncertain future is what drives successful businesses and outsized portfolio performance.
Knowing the answer ahead of time, ahead of the crowd. That’s an edge.
Demography Unplugged was designed by world-renowned demographer Neil Howe to help savvy investors and successful business leaders uncover hidden trends and critical developments driving world markets and economies.
Discover the likely winners (and losers) of “big ideas” as renowned demographer Neil Howe – the guy who coined the term “millennial” – distills game-changing new developments down to their essence.
How It Works
Hedgeye Demography analyst Neil Howe is a leading authority on
generations and social change in America. His granular,
ahead-of-the-curve analysis cuts across party lines. Vice President
Al Gore sent a copy of Neil’s first book, “Generations,” to every
single member of Congress. Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich called it “an intellectual tour de force.”
With Demography Unplugged, Howe brings his probing and unparalleled
insights into the massive secular themes moving markets and influencing
economies. Whether you run a portfolio, a business (or both),
Neil Howe’s forward-thinking demographic research will help you
understand where the world is going and how best to be prepared.
What You Get With Demography Unplugged
Demography Unplugged features sharp, longer-term investing insights filtered through the lens of historian, demographer and best-selling author Neil Howe. This suite of thought-provoking investment research delivers deep market insight.
Here’s what to expect:
The Next Big Thing
In this must-read, deep-dive monthly newsletter, Neil Howe identifies and dissects a significant, potentially paradigm-shifting trend he thinks is critical for investors and business leaders to understand and be proactively prepared for.
This quick-hit weekly newsletter features Neil Howe’s quick take on various “big ideas,” news items, and various developments popping up on his radar screen. Think of “Trendspotting” as your high-level mega-trend Cliff Notes.
Neil Howe’s Monday Morning Podcast
In his exclusive, weekly, Monday morning podcast, Neil discusses newsworthy ideas and developments that are timely, topical and consequential—turbocharged ideas from Neil Howe in approximately 20-minutes.
Special Bonus Content
In addition, Demography Unplugged subscribers will also receive access to special bonus content including:
• Longer-form video presentations with Neil. These approximately hour-long presentations occasionally feature special guests from Neil’s contact list of some of the sharpest minds
• Live online subscriber Q&A sessions directly with Neil
• Deep-dive, topical research notes (in addition to the “The Next Big Thing”) featuring valuable insight and perspective
As a highly sought-after public speaker, historian, economist and demographer, Neil Howe’s perspective and understanding is unmatched. If you want to stay ahead of the herd and get in front of glacial trends moving markets and the economy, Demography Unplugged is designed for you.
Hedgeye Risk Management is an independent investment research and online
financial media company. Focused exclusively on generating and delivering
thoughtful investment ideas in a proven buy-side process, the firm combines
quantitative, bottom-up and macro analysis with an emphasis on timing. The
Hedgeye team features some of the most highly-regarded research analysts on
Wall Street, all with buy-side experience, covering Macro, Financials, Energy,
Healthcare, Retail, Gaming, Lodging & Leisure (GLL), Restaurants, Industrials,
Consumer Staples, Communications, Cannabis, Housing, Materials, Technology,
Demography and Washington policy analysis.
Identify Big Picture Demographic Trends
Most successful investors and business leaders are chasing essentially the same thing. They are seeking an edge in identifying big, paradigm-shifting, trends reshaping the world.
In other words, they want to beat the crowd.
With Demography Unplugged, Hedgeye Demography analyst Neil Howe delivers exactly that. He illuminates where the world is going… ahead of time.
Armed with decades of deep-dive demographic analysis, Neil Howe has helped innumerable investors and executives see more clearly into the future. He explains how slow-moving demographic trends alter the landscape for financial markets, society, businesses and evolving technologies.
Howe is a renowned authority on generations and social change in America, having coined the term “Millennial Generation” in 1992. As an acclaimed bestselling author with more than a dozen books on generations to his name, Howe is the nation's leading thinker on today's generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America's future.
In his book, Generations (co-written with William Strauss in 1992), Strauss and Howe posit that the history of America follows a natural progression of generational biographies. Strauss and Howe study generations from 1584 to today and explain how each generation belongs to one of four types and these types repeat sequentially in a fixed pattern.
With Demography Unplugged, Howe uses his unique demographic framework to highlight the implications of myriad issues and developments affecting businesses and portfolios in the United States and abroad.
Why Does Howe’s Deep Dive Analysis of Generations Matter?
Howe’s analysis shows that over the past five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era – what he calls a new “turning” – every two decades or so. At the start of each “turning,” people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, the nation, and the future.
Turnings come in cycles of four. Each cycle spans the length of a long human life, roughly eighty to one hundred years, a unit of time the ancients called the saeculum.
• The First Turning is called a High. It’s an upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism, when a new civic order implants and the old values regime decays.
• The Second Turning is an Awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when the civic order comes under attack from a new values regime.
• The Third Turning is an Unravelling. That’s a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions, when the old civic order decays and the new values regime implants.
• And finally we enter the Fourth Turning which is a Crisis. It’s a decisive era of secular upheaval like the period we’re in today, when the values regime propels the replacement of the old civic order with a new one.
Each new generation naturally carries with it a generational archetype or common sets of traits that evolves as a direct result of that generation’s upbringing and environment. These common set of traits typically stand in a stark contrast to the traits of their parents. In other words, these generational archetypes show up throughout history in a recurring order as children seek to obey or rebel against their parents.
Howe and Strauss have names and traits for each of these four archetypes and the general progression in within each archetype holds true.
• Prophets grow up as increasingly indulged post-Crisis children, coming of age as the narcissistic young crusaders of an Awakening, cultivates principle as moralistic midlifers, and emerges as wise elders guiding the next Crisis
• Nomads grow up as underprotected children during an Awakening, coming of age as the alienated young adults of a post-Awakening world, mellows into pragmatic midlife leaders during a crisis, and ages into tough post-Crisis elders.
• Heroes grow up as increasingly protected post-Awakening children, comes of age as the heroic young teamworkers of a Crisis, demonstrates hubris as energetic midlifers, and emerges as powerful elders attacked by the next Awakening.
• Artists grow up as overprotected children during a Crisis, comes of age as the sensible young adults of a post-Crisis world, breaks free as indecisive midlife leaders during an Awakening and ages into the empathetic post-Awakening elders.
In short, all of Howe’s analysis suggests there is a symbiotic relationship between historical events and how these generations react, shape or even cause these events as a direct consequence of their generational archetypes. All of this research helps to understand each Turning within the context of the current cycle.
Demography Unplugged is the direct beneficiary of Howe’s decades of demographic research. It provides the framework needed to peer into an uncertain future and unlock the implications for investors and businesspersons alike.
Learn About The Fourth Turning
Editor’s Note: Below is an essay written by Hedgeye Demography analyst Neil Howe. It outlines his radical demographic theory on generations and explains how it impacts financial markets, society, politics and business. In the accompanying 14-minute video, Howe expands further on the analysis.
We live in a tumultuous time in American history. The 2008 financial crisis and all its hardships was the catalyst that tipped us into this age of uncertainty. It marked the start of a generation-long era of secular upheaval that will continue to run its course over the next decade or so. This is the generational theory I laid out in
The Fourth Turning,
a book I co-authored with William Strauss in 1997.
The Fourth Turning explains the rise of a figure like President Trump. In Trump’s Inauguration Day speech, he painted a bleak picture of “American carnage,” of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation” with “mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities.”
Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon co-wrote that Inauguration Day speech. Much has been made of Bannon’s role in shaping the then new administration’s policies. I know Bannon and he certainly knows about The Fourth Turning.
It’s the book that informs his worldview.
Looking abroad, it’s unclear whether America will turn inward and fall prey to nativism or maintain its nearly 70-year role as leader of the free world. Other countries are becoming similarly insular. Britain voted to exit the European Union and we’ve heard anti-EU rumblings echoed throughout Europe from France to the Netherlands.
Other nations and peoples around the world are looking to either fill the vacuum in global leadership or exploit it to advance their own ambitions. We’ve seen the thunderous rise of Chinese economic clout, the calculating geopolitical maneuvering of a resurgent Russia, and the barbarous chaos wrought by the so-called Islamic State.
In many ways, this era of uncertainty follows the natural order of things. Like nature’s four seasons, the cycles of history follow a natural rhythm or pattern. Over the past five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era—a new “turning”—every two decades or so.
At the start of each turning, people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, the nation, and the future. Turnings come in cycles of four. Each cycle spans the length of a long human life, roughly 80 to 100 years, or a unit of time the ancients called the saeculum.
The First Turning is called a High.
This is an era when institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Society is confident about where it wants to go collectively, even if those outside the majoritarian center feel stifled by the conformity.
America’s most recent First Turning was the post-World War II American High, beginning in 1946 and ending with the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963, a key life cycle marker for today’s older Americans.
The Second Turning is an Awakening.
This is an era when institutions are attacked in the name of personal and spiritual autonomy. Just when society is reaching its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of social discipline and want to recapture a sense of personal authenticity. Young activists and spiritualists look back at the previous High as an era of cultural poverty.
America’s most recent Awakening was the “Consciousness Revolution,” which spanned from the campus and inner-city revolts of the mid-1960s to the tax revolts of the early ‘80s.
The Third Turning is an Unravelling.
The mood of this era is in many ways the opposite of a High. Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing. Highs follow Crises, which teach the lesson that society must coalesce and build. Unravelings follow Awakenings, which teach the lesson that society must atomize and enjoy.
America’s most recent Unraveling was the Long Boom and Culture Wars, beginning in the early 1980s and probably ending in 2008. The era opened with triumphant “Morning in America” individualism and drifted toward a pervasive distrust of institutions and leaders, an edgy popular culture, and the splitting of national consensus into competing “values” camps.
And finally we enter the Fourth Turning, which is a Crisis.
This is an era in which America’s institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground up—always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival. Civic authority revives, cultural expression finds a community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group.
In every instance, Fourth Turnings have eventually become new “founding moments” in America’s history, refreshing and redefining the national identity. Currently, this period began in 2008, with the Global Financial Crisis and the deepening of the War on Terror, and will extend to around 2030. If the past is any prelude to what is to come, as we contend, consider the prior Fourth Turning which was kicked off by the stock market crash of 1929 and climaxed with World War II.
Just as a Second Turning reshapes our inner world (of values, culture and religion), a Fourth Turning reshapes our outer world (of politics, economy and empire).
To be clear, the road ahead for America will be rough. But I take comfort in the idea that history cycles back and that the past offers us a guide to what we can expect in the future. Like nature’s four seasons, the cycles of history follow a natural rhythm or pattern.
Make no mistake. Winter is coming. How mild or harsh it will be is anyone’s guess—but the basic progression is as natural as counting down the days, weeks, and months until spring.
Hedgeye's Macro Playbook
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