Last week at the gym, I struck up a conversation with the gentleman working out next to me. He expressed his frustration with the folks around us who were checking their phones constantly. I sympathized with his irritation but I had to admit that I am also guilty of this transgression. Admit it…You do it too. We feel compelled to check for new emails, respond to a text, change around our playlist on Spotify. If you’re like me, you’ll even glance at the stock market between sets.

Needless to say, it’s not just at the gym. We all check our phones everywhere all the time: on the subway, on the bus, in our cars (not while driving, of course), while walking down the street, while we eat, and even while we’re watching TV. We are using our mobile devices more than ever, and we are utterly addicted to them. That little device in our hands provides hours of entertainment, communication, productivity, and information.

So I told my new gym friend not to fight it. Instead, I suggested he buy the companies that benefit from our hopeless addiction.

In the U.S., adults used their phones for an average of 3.1 hours per day in 2016. This was up from 2.8 hours per day in 2015, and up from 0.4 hours per day just six years ago in 2010. There are now over 2.8 billion smartphones installed worldwide. As the price of Internet connection drops worldwide, the runway of people looking down at their phones will increase dramatically.

There are plenty of ways to take advantage of and invest in this mobile trend. We have made investments for clients in phone companies like Rogers and Telus, hardware producers like Apple, content providers and social networks like Google and Facebook, software and utility providers like Priceline and Microsoft, and cell tower operators like Brookfield Infrastructure. There are many more beneficiaries of our mobile addiction, and we, at Baskin Wealth Management, continue to put more work into finding winning ideas for clients in North America and globally.

Barry Schwartz
June 8, 2017