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The world is aging. The number of older persons has tripled over the last 50 years and it will more than triple again over the next 50 years, as quoted from my last article, "World Demographics: Embracing The Gracious Aging World." With the updated data released by the U.S. Consensus Bureau in December 2012, the projections of the population by selected age groups will be reviewed. The potential implication for investment will also be analyzed in this article.

Projections of the Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for the United States

(click to enlarge)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division (Released on December, 2012)

Chart of Percent of Population aged 60 and over, 65 and over, and 85 and over: 1900 to 2050

(click to enlarge)

Source: U.S. Administration on Aging using the Census data from U.S. Census Bureau

According to the table, the percentage of population 65 and older is expected to increase from 15% in 2015 to 19% in 2025. The above chart shows the percent of the population 65 and older increasing from 4% in 1900 to 12% in 2000 and projected to be 19-20% in 2030 and 20-21% in 2050. It also shows the percent of the population 85 and older, as well as the population 60 and older. The aging trend will continue and will only start to stabilize in 2040.

Investment Implications

As written by Jim Fink from Investing Daily, the P/E ratio is highly correlated and falls with the increasing percentage of older age population (65+), as compared to the middle-age population (40-49). Jim Finks utilized a metric called the "Middle-/Old-age ratio," which divides the number of people aged 40 to 49 (prime earnings and spending years) by the number of people aged 60 to 69 (retirement age with declining spending). As quoted,

Between 1981 and 2000, as baby boomers reached their peak working and saving ages, the M/O ratio increased from about 0.18 to about 0.74. During the same period, the P/E ratio tripled from about 8 to 24. In the 2000s, as the baby boom generation started aging and the baby bust generation started to reach prime working and saving ages, the M/O and P/E ratios both declined substantially.

The decline in the M/O ratio has just begun and will continue until 2025 according to the SF Fed. However, the Fed authors also expect real earnings to grow 3.42% annually over the next decade. Yet, declining M/O will overwhelm the growth in real earnings and cause the stock price (in real terms) to decline by 13% between now and 2012, according to Jim Fink. The solution derived from Jim Fink's article is to look for stocks that will grow earnings much faster than declining P/E ratio can devalue them, which means the stocks with low PEG ratios.

Investment Targets

By using Reuters' stock screener, a list of potential investment targets will be presented below. The list will focus on stocks with low P/E, low PEG ratio, high EPS growth, and a reasonable low-medium beta.

Name (Ticker)

Sector

P/E

EPS Growth 5 Year

PEG Ratio

Beta

Dividend Yield

Coinstar, Inc. (CSTR)

Services

10.60

41.61%

0.60

0.86

N/A

Denny's Corporation

(NASDAQ:DENN)

Services

4.85

29.53%

0.26

1.60

N/A

MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS)

Services

6.66

35.22%

0.48

0.87

N/A

Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA)

Services

10.25

69.05%

0.54

0.89

N/A

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Technology

10.88

62.22%

0.64

1.05

2.27%

Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS)

Technology

11.92

32.70%

0.47

0.62

N/A

Ebix Inc. (NASDAQ:EBIX)

Technology

9.53

52.55%

0.48

1.28

1.74%

TESSCO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TESS)

Technology

10.4

21.03%

0.68

1.12

3.20%

Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)

Services

6.35

47.68%

0.46

0.77

N/A

Source: Reuters and Google Finance

In short, conservative investors may want to focus on non-technology stocks with strong, stable economic moat to reduce the risks of rapid technology change. The above list may not be suitable for investors seeking income as most of the mentioned stocks do not offer dividends, with the exceptions of AAPL, EBIX, and TESS.

Note: This list is only provided as the starting point for interested investors to research further. Investors and traders are recommended to do their own due diligence and research before making any trading/investing decisions.

Source: Aging Population And Growing Demand For Low-PEG Stocks