The Age of Robots and AI is coming! How Secure is Your Job and Financial Future?

Once confined to the pages of futuristic dystopian fictions, the field of robotics and artificial intelligence promises to be the most profoundly disruptive technological shift since the industrial revolution. While robots have been utilised in several industries, including the automotive and manufacturing sectors, for decades, experts now predict that a tipping point in robotic deployments is imminent and that much of the developed world simply isn’t prepared for such a radical transition. There are signs that every commercial sector will be affected by robotic automation in the next several years. For example, Australian company Fastbrick Robotics has developed a robot, the Hadrian X, that can lay 1,000 standard bricks in one hour – a task that would take two human bricklayers the better part of a day or longer to complete. In 2015, San Francisco-based startup Simbe Robotics unveiled Tally, a robot the company describes as “the world’s first fully autonomous shelf auditing and analytics solution” that roams supermarket aisles alongside human shoppers during regular business hours and ensures that goods are adequately stocked, placed and priced. Besides these, there are automated kiosks at places like restaurants, and airports (for self check-in and self luggage-tagging.) There is increasing automations from cow-milking robots and Amazon warehouse robots to self-driving, or better put, driverless cars and semi trucks. Data from the Robotics Industries Association (RIA), one of the largest robotic automation advocacy organisations in North America reveals that robotics technology vendors sold 14,583 robots worth $817m to companies around the world and estimates that more than 265,000 robots are currently deployed at factories across the US, placing it third worldwide in terms of robotics deployments behind only China and Japan. In a recent report, the World Economic Forum predicted that robotic automation will result in the net loss of more than 5m jobs across 15 developed nations by 2020, a conservative estimate. Another study, conducted by the International Labor Organisation, states that as many as 137m workers across Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – approximately 56% of the total workforce of those countries – are at risk of displacement by robots. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Harvard economics professor Lawrence Summers stated in 2014 that he no longer believed automation would always create new jobs and that "This isn't some hypothetical future possibility. This is something that's emerging before us right now. It is now the prevailing opinion that the era of technological unemployment has arrived.” At the 2014 Davos meeting, Thomas Friedman reported that the link between technology and unemployment seemed to have been the dominant theme of that year's discussions. A survey at Davos 2014 found that 80% of 147 respondents agreed that technology was driving jobless growth. At the 2015 Davos, it was found that almost all delegates attending a discussion on inequality and technology expected an increase in inequality over the next five years, and gave the reason for this as the technological displacement of jobs. 2015 also saw Martin Ford win the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award for his Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, and saw the first world summit on technological unemployment, held in New York. In an October 2016 interview, US President Barack Obama said that due to the growth of artificial intelligence, society would be debating "unconditional free money for everyone" within 10 to 20 years. All this begs the question if the working populace today has some investment plan or some systematic plan to go about securing their financial future? There is so much clutter in terms of choices - SIP, SIP Plans, SIP Top Ups, Lumpsum Investments, Stock investments, Real estate, Gold… the list continues. Whichever option a person may choose, it is clear that some systematic and disciplined approach toward investment is the need of the hour.

Source: The Economist

Systematic Investment Plan

SIP stands for Systematic Investment Plan. It is a Mutual Fund industry tool that encourages regular and disciplined investing without causing disruptions to your monthly budget. Here are a few plus points of doing an SIP:
  1. Convenience - SIP is a convenient method that can help create wealth. Using this tool, you can invest as little as Rs. 500 on a monthly or quarterly basis. It does not disrupt your household budget.
  2. Flexibility - You also have the flexibility of choosing your investment amount. The only rule - the investment amount should be in multiples of 500, i.e. when investing, you can invest Rs. 500, Rs. 1000, Rs. 1500, Rs. 2000 and so on. This style of investing turns dreamers into disciplined investors.
  3. The Power of Compounding - The rule for compounding is simple - the sooner you start investing, the more time your money has to grow.
  4. Rupee Cost Averaging - SIP uses Rupee Cost Averaging. Here, the number of units acquired per month varies based on market fluctuations. So, if the market is down you get more units and if the market is up you get less. This minimises the effect of market volatility on your investments.

To summarise, let us all understand one thing — we will all get old, and though our lives will be longer and healthier than any previous generation, the really long retirement time period will pose great many challenges. Good thing is, just like with any other dilemma in life, a systematic and disciplined approach (SIP) is available in the investment landscape that can help you sail smoothly through your retirement years.

Once you have a list of your goals and a date by when you want to achieve them, you have to ask yourself - are you on track to achieve each of them?

Yes! Maybe? No!

If your answer was ‘Yes’. Congratulations!

If your answer was ‘Maybe’ or ‘No’, do not worry, you can get back on track using our SIP calculators here