Central banks in the Eurozone (EZ), Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark have just moved to negative interest rates; thus casting investors into a world of negative yields already amounting to $2 trillion (comprised of both sovereign and corporate bonds, like Nestlé or Shell). As much of the world flirts with either “lowflation” or deflation, this situation will endure, with two main consequences: (1) It pushes many investors into risky assets; (2) It makes the life of insurance companies and pensions funds a misery - no longer able to match returns (often expected at 8%!) and liabilities.
This last point makes it plain why wellness is bound to grow at a rapid rate. Two years ago we argued half-jokingly that in the future wellness would become compulsory, as both the public and the private sectors can no longer afford the financial liabilities created by an “unwell” world.
We are now vindicated by David Cameron himself! The British Prime Minister recently unveiled a plan to strip the obese of benefits (it was dubbed the “lose weight or lose benefits” plan). To illustrate the prohibitive cost of non-wellness, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health estimates that the NCDs (non-communicable diseases) burden could amount to a cumulative output loss of $47 trillion over the next 20 years – equivalent to 75% of global GDP in 2010.
Only one path can effectively mitigate the risk: reducing the burden by prevention. We are without doubt entering “the age of prevention”, of which wellness is the most critical component (healthy food, physical exercise, meditation: these are all at the epicentre of prevention).
ABOUT THIERRY MALLERET
Thierry Malleret is the co-founder and primary author of the Monthly Barometer, a predictive analysis provided exclusively to private investors and today's most influential opinion and decision-makers. Previously he was a senior partner at IJ (Informed Judgement) Partners, an investment boutique for ultra-high-net-worth individuals based in Geneva. Thierry also founded and directed the Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum (WEF), bringing together top policymakers, CEOs and academics to consider how global issues will affect business and society in the short and long term. For a number of years, Thierry conceived and implemented the WEF program at Davos. He holds MAs (in economics and history) and a PhD in Economics. He writes a Wellness Edition of his Monthly Barometer, exclusively for the Global Wellness Institute. For a copy of the full report, join the GWI as a Member or Ambassador.