These days, you can see humpback whales in the waters around New York City.
That didn't used to be the case. The whales had left New York Bay hundreds of years ago. Recently, they've ventured back. In 2011, there were five reported whale sightings.
Now, people have spotted more than a hundred in one year. It could be because the water is cleaner or that there are just more whales.
The story is part of a larger trend – one that is decadeslong – toward a rebounding environment in many parts of the world.
New Jersey has been practically overrun by bears and deer. We're drastically more efficient with farmland, meaning we use less of it to make more food. And overall, America has been using smaller amounts of raw materials for decades.
This has led to a massive reforestation known as "global greening," with the total biosphere on land growing by 2 billion tons or more per year. For example, foliage in the Australian outback, by 11% between 1982 and 2010.
If you listen to all the doomsayers, you'd think the world is about to end. But things are actually getting better for the environment. As Jesse Ausubel, the director of the Program for the Human Environment at New York City's Rockefeller University, explained…
"[The declining use of raw materials] does not surprise us," Ausubel writes, "when a single pocket-size smartphone replaces an alarm clock, flashlight, and various media players, along with all the CDs and DVDs."
This isn't to say the environment is in perfect shape... There are a lot of concerns to be had. Ausubel himself believes in climate change. He also points out that American carbon emissions peaked in 2007 and are now at 1990 levels again, thanks to technology and efficiency.
My point is not to delve into a hot-button issue like climate change here. Rather, the shocking thing about this story is simply that you likely haven't heard it.
We always focus on the negative. Even when we're experiencing major improvements in our lives... we complain about the minor downsides.
We're concerned with how much time people waste on the Internet, rather than looking at the amazing and beautiful things it makes possible. You can learn virtually anything. For example, in 2015 a young Kenyan set a record for the javelin throw. He didn't start with the help of a coach. He learned to throw simply by watching videos on YouTube.
That's just the start.
We worry about the market, our investments, and our finances, even though we have all the tools to create a plan that can ensure a comfortable future. An investor 10 or 20 years ago was at a remarkable disadvantage compared with you. Brokerage fees were high. Index funds were rare. Information was expensive and scarce.
I'm excited about the next few decades. I think that retirees – and people in general – are primed for an unprecedented increase in quality of life and financial security. You have huge advantages... And you'll only gain more as time goes on.
For those of you constantly fearing the next market crash, remember that the U.S. stock market is the greatest wealth-creation tool in history.
It allows you to become a partial owner of thousands of profitable businesses. When paired with the power of compounding, the market is what allows us to even consider saving for retirement.
But still, we worry.
We've covered a lot of the reasons why folks worry (war, inflation, politics). But one we haven't covered is artificial intelligence ("AI").
Some people think AI is going to ruin our current way of life, while others are excited about how it can improve our lives. The technology and how we use it is changing rapidly. It's hard to know what will happen next.
Right now, I'm more concerned about what AI means for our portfolios.
I'm personally skeptical about AI investments today. I'm already seeing signs of a mania in AI companies. How do you separate the companies who are actually using AI to grow their businesses from the dozens of companies trying to simply take advantage of this trend?
And furthermore, is this technology something Americans should even be investing in?
Last night, I took the stage to debate these critical questions with Marc Chaikin, a Wall Street veteran with 50 years of experience…
We joined forces for the first time ever to answer all your questions about AI. We discussed exactly how this AI mania is taking shape, which AI stocks to avoid, and how you can find the real opportunities to position yourself to grow your wealth – 100% free.
If you missed it, you can watch the replay here.
What We're Reading...
- Something different: The earliest known amputation happened more than 30,000 years ago.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
July 20, 2023