Perspectives on Disruption

As our analysts and researchers travel the world surveying businesses, they hear a lot about disruption—the ability of new often-technology-backed companies to disrupt the status quo. Yet, our experience and insight tell us that disruption stretches beyond the realm of technology alone. Stephen Dover, head of equities at Franklin Templeton Investments, gives three examples of disruptions outside the tech sector.

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of developments that suggest investors should rethink what they thought they knew.

Countless reports have focused on how new technologies, such as self-driving cars, will disrupt global industries. Yet, some disruptions outside the domain of technology get much less attention.

We highlight three disruptions for investors to think about when it comes to markets, economics and politics.

Disruption #1: Shifting Global Consumption

Asia is disrupting and breaking the dominance of the United States in terms of the global consumption pattern. In recent years, many Asian countries, especially densely populated ones, such as China, India and Indonesia, have seen a surge in domestic consumption. As the chart below shows, consumption is growing faster in these countries than in the United States, and this is creating more balance in global consumption than we have seen in the past.