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As America Ages, Death Care Is the New Health Care

22 March 2013 in Trading Ideas

Consider this as a growing customer base: about two-and-half million new bodies every year, which is up by about 25% over the past 30 years. Plus, potential customers continue to form a larger pool, with the number of people around the world aged 65 and over expected to represent 16% of the global population by 2050.1

And here in the US, up to 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day.2

This steady growth of both deaths and the elderly population forms the investment thesis behind our new Rest In Peace motif, a portfolio of stocks of funeral-related products and services providers.

Ironically perhaps, this isn’t about US citizens trending higher in their likelihood of dying. In fact, the opposite is true. The National Center for Health Statistics recently reported that the age-adjusted likelihood of death declined 60% between 1935 and 2010.3 However, there are just more of us now.

And, if you define the Baby Boom as the years 1945-1964, the “at-risk” population will continue to expand. Consider that anybody born in the last boom year won’t turn 65 until 2029.

While cultural trends could change demand for funeral services in the future, it’s a good bet that most industries would welcome this kind of hold over potential customers.

1National Institute on Aging, http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/publication/global-health-and-aging/humanitys-aging (accessed March 20, 2013).

2Baby boomers turn 65, The Week, January 2011, “http://theweek.com/article/index/210682/baby-boomers-turn-65-the-4-key-questions”.

3NCHS Data Brief, 75 Years of Mortality in the US, 1935-2010, March 2012, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db88.htm,” (accessed March 20, 2013).

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