Technology dominates our waking lives, whether we are at work or at home. Tech was one of the biggest winners last year and highly unsurprisingly too when our whole lives around technology whether we are building our very own best gaming PC which is perfect for our needs or simply playing games on the go on our smartphones. We use it on a daily basis for everything. So technology may have had a big year, other industries haven’t 2015 was generally a lacklustre year. The NASDAQ finished the year nearly 6 per cent ahead of the wider S&P 500 index. However the strength has been confined to a few key names his year, including some of the most worldly known including Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. May as well include Microsoft on the list too, these are the key themes to look out for this year when it comes to investing in technology.
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Consumers have been massively toying with virtual reality for a rather long time now, but 2016 may just emerge as a new consumer technology trend this year. The Oculus headset as an example does offer a significant improvement in the consumer experience and it does actually come out at a rather decent price too. With the virtual reality tool, users plug their smartphone into a device and two images are displayed one for each eye, which gives the illusion of an immersive 3D effect. This can be a great tool for a multitude of sectors including real estate, where prospective buyers will be able to tour a new house, or holidaymakers, who can look around different cities or hotels. The immersive experience provided by some of the new virtual reality groups is highly enticing. Although virtual reality was originally created by gamers, with people participating in groups but the rice will come down over time, and content will then be developed and thus the trend should also have widespread appeal across many different sectors.
FANG isn’t just one company it is Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, although last year they dominated the scene this year they might not have quite as much of a strong standing. Although these companies will continue to benefit from the movement to the Cloud and to video over the internet rather than through TV or satellite, many believe the advertising market may be challenging in 2016. While advertising growth may be better in mobile than it is elsewhere there could be a pause in the growth rates and some of these companies won’t be immune.
For 216 this year’s big IPOS will be the sharing economy apps of AirBNB and other apps like Uber. Valuations are incredibly high, but they seem to generate a great deal of cash too. They happen to be creating new industries, so they are undoubtedly worth something, it is difficult to predict whether they will work out for investors without knowing the prices, but generally speaking they are ones to watch.