SINGAPORE (Feb 4): The advent of another new year has us thinking about the future — specifically the future economy. From preschoolers to mid-career executives, corporate bosses to top civil servants, just about everybody is busy preparing for the disruptive force of technology, even though it is not clear exactly how businesses and the economy will be reshaped.

At the same time, powerful trends such as global warming and widening inequality are changing the way people want their economic systems to work. That goes for the global economic system too. Rather than continue to embrace globalisation, many now want their leaders to put national interests first, and restrict the flow of international trade and immigration. Meanwhile, the growth of big emerging markets such as China and India is raising their global influence. The result is seismic shifts in geopolitics, to which we will have to adapt.

As it happens, the Lunar New Year ­period is also when The Edge Singapore traditionally puts out what has come to be known as the 10-stock portfolio. These annual portfolios are based on nothing more than our own collective observation of the corporate sector, and general sense of financial market trends. There is no allowance for changes during the course of the year. Even though the performance has varied wildly from year to year, by our calculations, we have come out ahead of the benchmark most of the time. Indeed, our most recent 10-stock portfolio for the Year of the Dog has beaten the market.

Looking to the Year of the Pig, our latest 10-stock portfolio is a bet on companies that we think are positioned to make the most of new technologies and the new ways that business is being done. For instance, CapitaLand, which will soon be one of the largest real estate players in Asia, would boast the scale as well as ability to adopt new building technologies. As it is, the company is one of the earliest adopters of sustainable building methods, and nearly all of its developments in Singapore have been awarded the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark. It is a rating system that evaluates the environmental-friendliness of a building based on a number of metrics including its energy and water usage efficiency and indoor environmental quality.

We also have DBS Group Holdings, the biggest bank in Singapore that has embraced digitalisation. And the bank has been able to quantify what that means for its bottom line: It found that, compared with a customer who only visited a branch, a digital banking customer brings in twice the income, borrows more, keeps more deposits, conducts 16 times as many transactions, and costs 57% less to acquire. Return on equity is 27% for digital customers, compared with 19% for traditional customers.

In a similar way, Silverlake Axis, the provider of back-office software to financial institutions, should also see some growth as more banks ramp up their digitalisation efforts. With all this, Netlink NBN Trust, which operates the fibre-optic cable network that enables internet connection island-wide, should also benefit.

Also in our portfolio is Raffles Medical Group, which can be expected to benefit from the region’s ageing but wealthy demographic. It has just opened a 700-bed hospital in Chongqing, one of China’s largest cities, and will open another one in Shanghai later this year.

Finally, we have also included MindChamps Preschool among our stock picks this year, even though it was the worst performer in our portfolio for last year. Early childhood education has been highlighted as a national priority, by no less than Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as it is a way of giving children a head start in life, and fostering social mobility. Most middle-class parents would not need to be told twice of this. MindChamps commands more than a third of the share of the premium preschool market in Singapore.

While we cannot guarantee that our latest portfolio will beat the market again, we are pretty sure that all of them will have a pretty exciting Year of the Pig.

This story appears in The Edge Singapore (Issue 867, week of Feb 4) which is on sale now. Subscribe here