Strategic Planning and Finance

At LifeCourse, we use our understanding of generational drivers to help forward-looking organizations make long-term strategic investment decisions. From major real estate developers and natural resource companies to manufacturers and government agencies, many institutions stake large sums of money—or their very survival—on the assumption that markets and the public mood will move in a certain direction over the next five, ten, or twenty years.

How can they check the plausibility of their assumptions? Professional forecasters often can’t help, because most make projections based on short-term, linear models that are reliable (at best) over just one or two years.

At LifeCourse, we believe we can do better. Using a proven historical method, we can forecast major nonlinear shifts decades into the future—shifts both in the overall national mood and within particular age brackets and economic sectors. Our innovative consulting, keynotes, and customized communications in this area have been in high demand. For example, the Central European investment company Penta asked us to create a twenty-year forecast of consumer demand in that region. Our forecast gave Penta the tools to design a strategic plan for buying businesses it intends to resell ten to twenty years in the future. We helped AARP develop a long-term plan to attract Boomer members. Our strategies helped the Chamber of Commerce in Scottsdale, Arizona, plan a long-term campaign to help maintain the locale’s status as an elite leisure destination. Our 2009 report, "Millennials as a Political Generation," published by New America Foundation, is helping policy makers understand the long-term political impact of the Millennial Generation.

Financial companies are especially interested in our long-term forecasting methods because financial prices directly reflect the prevailing assumptions about future outcomes. Our innovative research has revealed some surprising lessons about how the performance of the economy and financial markets is linked to long-term historical rhythms. Financial companies from Charles Schwab and Rydex to the Investment Company Institute and the Family Office Exchange have tapped our insights. Our Winter of History DVD, which offers a road map of how business, cultural, and political trends will evolve in the decades ahead, has been in great demand by readers of all the top financial newsletters.

Our long-term forecasts are based on a proven method that draws on centuries of history. In their 1997 book The Fourth Turning, LifeCourse founders Neil Howe and William Strauss uncovered a remarkable pattern in American history, a cycle of recurring eras driven by generational change. Since it appeared, The Fourth Turning has risen several times to the top fifty on Amazon’s all-books-sold list as, again and again, Neil and Bill’s forecasts turn out to be right.

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