Newspapers have been replaced by the internet as THE source for news; land line phones have been replaced in most of the world by mobile phones. These are clear examples of old media industries that have long ago peaked and are not coming back. They should also come as no surprise.
But what is surprising are the number of burgeoning industries with limited upside and limited futures, according to James Altucher, blogger and principal at Formula Capital. He tells The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task in the accompanying clip alternative energy and cell phone providers are two such business areas that aren't likely to survive the decade.
Here's a surprising list of industries Altucher says have no future:
Casinos: No matter what regulations are passed by the lobbyists in Washington, Altucher is betting internet gambling is going to take down Las Vegas, Macau and Atlantic City. These cities will always carry entertainment value but meccas of money will lose market share to online gambling sites. "At the end of the day people will move more and more dollars every year from physical gambling to internet gambling. It's just a reality. It's just like we don't go to the record store anymore," he says.
Cell phones: The industry is growing faster than ever thanks to smartphones, but Altucher says the computer and the phone will merge ending the cell phone as we know it, in the not so distant future. This is why he thinks Microsoft's Skype acquisition might be the purchase of the decade. "Not only is it free phone calls, but Skype uses modern digital technology instead of voice protocols that were created in 1957," he says. "You ever notice you can never understaff anyone on a cellphone? That's because it's 50-year old technology."
Healthcare providers / medical insurance: Believe it or not pharmacy chains will replace healthcare providers for basic health care services, Altucher says. "You're going to start using cheap services offered at Walmart and other pharmacies rather than going through the complicated shenanigans" of the health care system," Altucher states. Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Krogers, are all opening up cheap health care clinics throughout the country.
Alternative-energy industry: "There's enough oil in the Colorado shales to feed the planet and fracking in Texas alone could make the US a bigger oil provider than Saudia Arabia," Altucher claims. With so much domestic oil flooding the market his ten year prediction is gas prices will fall to less than $1 a gallon and that basically puts solar, wind, ethanol and any other alternative energy out of business.