Promising Demographic Trends

I’m an entrepreneur at heart, focusing on the demographic trends that impact our economy and markets — not the corporate consultant and manager I was trained to be.

I started my career as a consultant at Bain and Company, helping large Fortune 100 companies reverse market share losses resulting from new technologies and innovations brought on by demographic trends, a key indicator for our economic research.

When I grew tired of the slow pace of change inherent in most large companies, I started consulting with startup ventures in Californrnia.

Through this work, I discovered that many new companies were growing exponentially by working with the innovations of the baby boom generation, not just in new computer technologies, but new lifestyle products and services. Young people often drive radical innovations in our economy by questioning the prior generation’s assumptions.

I became fascinated by the baby boom generation. I was transfixed by its massive size and its thirst for innovation. I read all I could on the subject, and found a treasure trove of income and spending data in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Consumer Expenditures Surveys.

My intellectual curiosity led to a discovery of the wonders of demographics — the most predictable and scientific influence in economics — and the best leading indicator ever!

My research in demographics greatly expanded my keen interest in cycles. From my life experience and education, I saw clear evidence of up and down cycles throughout history. I always believed that there must be a way to predict such cycles as they were so consistent and pervasive.

I studied and documented every cycle I could find throughout an exhaustive search of history, which led to an amazing insight in 1988.

On my desk was a long-term chart of births in the U.S., along with the S&P 500 Index adjusted for inflation. I looked at these two charts and saw that they were the same — except for an approximate 45 to 49-year lag. In other words, a large increase in the U.S. birth rate foretold a large increase in the S&P 500 Index about 45 to 49 years later.

To me, this was no random correlation. My demographic research told me otherwise. What I was seeing was the peak in spending of the average family. As we refined our data, this became an approximate 46-year leading indicator for the economy.

I knew I had found something profound. Then, one year later, I found a similar correlation between inflation rates and workforce growth with a 2.5-year lag.

You mean it’s possible to predict inflation rates decades in advance? Yes!

From there, I integrated the S-Curve and the product life cycles for technologies and businesses… and the Dent Method was bornrn.

Through our method, we can tell when the average person will do most things in life, from cradle to grave. Short-term cycles are harder to predict because human nature allows us to get over-optimistic when times are good and too dour when times are bad. Naturally, things only get worse when we factor in the governrnment’s manipulations in its efforts to control a naturally cyclical economy!

At Dent Research, we have continued to refine our analytical method over the years, on both macro and micro levels. Our approach has provided us with unique insights, which often run contrary to popular opinion.

We aren’t afraid to make bold calls. We are here to provide the unvarnrnished truth with a more realistic view of trends so you can prosper in good times or bad — and over the long haul.

The demographic cycles we study said bad times would continue after the lead indicator peaked in 2007. And we all know that we’re in a particularly rough stretch today. We see lean times stretching into 2020 and possibly into 2022.

But then we’ll hit our stride again and good times will follow. Yes, life goes in cycles!



Follow me on Twitter @HarryDentjr

Harry Dent

Bestselling author and founder of Dent Research, an affiliate of Charles Street Research. Dent developed a radical new approach to forecasting the economy; one that revolved around demographics and innovation cycles.