Among S&P 500 Companies, Intangible Assets Have Gone From 17% Of Total Assets In 1975 To 90% Last Year. Stunning.

By Alan Murray and David Meyer

If you want to pick one statistic that indicates how much business has changed in the last half century, I’d choose this one: intangible assets as a percentage of total assets. It shows the rise of things like patents, software, data, brand, and the decline of hard assets like land, buildings, equipment, inventory. Ben Carlson cites a version of that data in his essay for our new Quarterly Investment Guide, noting that among S&P 500 companies, intangible assets have gone from 17% of total assets in 1975 to 90% last year. Stunning.

This news was originally published at Fortune.