I just received my copy of next year’s Stock Trader’s Almanac. The page I normally turn to first is the editor’s choice of best investment book of the year. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with the choice, but I always note it in my review. This year it turned out that I hadn’t read the top pick, so I felt I needed to remedy that state of affairs. I set some time aside to read Fast Forward: The Technologies and Companies Shaping Our Future by Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi (Fruitful Publications, 2015). And although I admit I read it in a manner befitting its title, it was definitely worth the time I put in, and probably considerably more.
This seems to be the fifth book that Mellon and Chalabi have written. Their earlier efforts are Cracking the Code, Wake Up!, Top 10 Investments for the Next 10 Years, and Top Ten Investments to Beat the Crunch!
Fast Forward analyzes technologies in eight areas: robotics and automation; life extension; the internet of things; transportation; energy; payment processing; 3D printing; and media, publishing, education. Much of what they write is a summary of material that has been covered extensively in the media. But what is new and valuable is that the authors describe companies, both private and publicly listed, that are engaged in these technologies. It is therefore an idea book for technology investors. In the third appendix to the book they list the public companies chapter by chapter, along with the exchange on which they trade as well as their ticker and market cap.
Although I wouldn’t put Fast Forward among the best books I’ve read this year, for those who want to explore investing in burgeoning technologies it is a useful starting point.