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How can you boost your 401(k)? Follow these baby boomer aging trends

Sure, millennials are the trendy crowd these days. But that doesn’t mean your stock portfolio can’t profit from investment trends tied to aging baby boomers.

Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, range in age from 56 to 74 now. And just because they’re getting older, doesn’t mean they don’t still carry clout.

There are more than 71 million boomers; only the millennial generation is bigger. Boomers are also the wealthiest generation. And if you follow the money – i.e. what the baby-boom generation spends their money on – you’re likely to find investment opportunities. Money is made by profiting from big societal trends. The aging of the U.S. population is a big one. So is “aging in place.” Virtual medicine is fast-emerging as a big business, too. And don’t forget about new pharmaceuticals that keep hearts beating longer and blood sugar levels steady. The “humanization of pets” trend is also gaining in popularity, as is replacing a cranky knee, digital payments and keeping in touch with grandkids via social media. Fixing up the house remains in style, too, especially for aging homeowners who one day may need a home in-care specialist. What do all these trends have in common? They intersect with the lives and spending habits of aging baby boomers.

Baby-boomer expenditures drive sales and profits of publicly traded companies. Below, is a sampling of stocks and funds that would fit into a so-called “baby boomer” portfolio.

Home in on health care
The most obvious beneficiary of an aging population is health care companies, says Daniel Wiener, chairman of Adviser Investments. “It’s all about the baby boomers wanting to live longer, more active lives,” says Wiener. “Boomers are replacing knees and hips. They’re taking drugs to reduce their cholesterol and control their diabetes. The health care industry is rife with opportunities.”

Three are a few ways to invest in health care: Buy individual stocks or funds exposed to a diverse group of health care companies.

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