Highlights from Fortune’s Crystal Ball 2019 Year Ahead

Fortune Magazine has unveiled its predictions for 2019, and they cover everything from sports and politics to finance and technology. Although last year’s crystal ball was somewhat cloudy, several of those predictions were spot-on. As this year (which nobody could have predicted) winds down, it can be fun and insightful to glimpse highlights of what Fortune foretells for 2019.

Oats vs. Boozy Seltzer

People may start toasting on New Year’s with oat milk, but probably not spiked fizzy water. Fortune believes that alcohol-infused seltzers will trend downward, while foamy faux milk made from oats will gain in popularity to compete with soy milk. In fact, forecasters say that oat milk will be available in every decent coffee shop by the end of 2019.

Where to Invest

As far as business trends are concerned, Fortune sees sustainability as a blue chip asset. Products and services that are beneficial for both humans and the environment will make investor bank accounts and the shared planet greener and healthier. Fortune believes that 40 percent of professionally-managed assets will be selected based on environmental, social, and governance factors. Socially responsible companies will lead the way, and Millennial consumers in particular will reward them with brand loyalty. 

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Increased Privacy

Privacy has taken a back seat for many years, as people shared (and bared) everything on social media. Tracking companies took full advantage, to aggressively aggregate and sell reams of personal data. Now the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction. In 2019, consumers will likely buy products and services that help them safeguard their privacy and anonymity. That includes digital ad blocking software, Virtual Private Network (VPN) subscriptions, and technologies that offer multiple layers of payment security such as encryption and tokenization.

The Year in Politics

Fortune also anticipates that during the new year the United States Congress will start passing lots of important bipartisan legislation. Odds makers in Vegas probably won’t bet on that. But it’s encouraging to know that at least some pundits believe that 2019 will be the year when politicians finally reach across the aisle. If they can learn to shake hands instead of shaking fists at each other, it will be a positive, pivotal year for Washington and for the nation. But on the other side of the pond, Fortune believes that Brexit will continue to be a hot mess. That’s got to be the safest prediction since the 1920s, the year that a baker in Iowa predicted the popularity of his new invention – sliced bread.

Who’ll Win the Super Bowl?

The magazine is extremely confident that the New England Patriots will play against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl LIII. They said the same thing last year, and were half-right but half wrong. The Vikings didn’t get into the 2018 Super Bowl but the Patriots did – although they lost. This year, with only two weeks left in the regular season, the Vikings were struggling to even make the playoffs, and the Patriots were essentially in the same boat.

It may take a miracle to get either or both of those teams to the Super Bowl, but anything’s still possible, even if it seems improbable. As baseball legend Yogi Berra used to say, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”