On Friday night in the US, it emerged that people are saving more and spending less. For some, this was seen as bad news yet to me this is what we have been waiting for. At last, some responsibility! As we continue to be peppered by bad news after bad news, we are tightening our belts and slimming down.

In the markets, we continually ask ourselves the question – where will growth come from?

What companies do we buy remembering that buying shares represents owning equity in a business and sharing in the good news and bad? Just ask BP shareholders how they are faring right now.

When we really think about it, how much research do we do on companies that we invest in?

How good a job can management do in difficult times and what strategies do they have for growing their business and prospering in good times and bad?

I am typing this document on a new iPad and the question that I have been asking myself for the past couple of weeks is what will this invention have the capability to do to existing businesses and their forward plans? If they are in the media business like Fairfax, Austereo or Seven Network (to name a few), is this new Apple product an opportunity or a threat?

With innovation moving at such pace, which businesses will have the ability to look into the future to see how their plans will survive the ongoing innovation cycle? Growth is good but at what cost to existing business models? 

When I look around at the general economic conditions, it is apparent that the retail industry is under increasing pressure. This year the sales have begun much earlier and there seems to be much more urgency about moving stock than in previous years, yet online businesses are reporting continued growth.

Revenue and profits are still coming in at the top end of expectations for many Internet-related businesses, as witnessed last week when Wotif.com.au updated the market. This news came as a surprise to many investors, as it was only the week before that Virgin Blue reported that conditions for the industry were tough and the outlook was uncertain. The share price of Virgin was savaged by the market, as a result of this market "update".

The poster child for running an online retail business comes from the United Kingdom where retail conditions are challenging, to say the least.

ASOS PLC has had a one-year return of around 95 per cent. The company trades on a PE multiple of around 37 times and the share price over the past year has risen from 306 pence to its current price of 750 pence.

Last Friday, ASOS PLC surged 15 per cent to 728 pence, the biggest one-day rally on record. The online clothing retailer reported a nine-week sales increase of 58 per cent. Pretax profit rose to 20.3 million pounds in the year ending 31 March, from 14.1 million pounds a year earlier.

What an extraordinary result in the current environment. A picture tells a thousand words and the chart below speaks volumes.

The reason I mention this is to show that there are still opportunities out there – it is just up to us to find them. Growth in the Internet is still in its early stages and you just need to look at your own spending habits for confirmation of this trend.

By way of example, in our household every month, our download habits are seeing exponential growth. We are cutting spending in many areas but not broadband use.

Our teenage boys watch less and less TV every month and we download more and more. They tell me that if they want to watch a show they will download it and watch it when they want to, not when the network tells them they have to. This growing trend has big implications for TV advertising for a start. Radio advertising is probably more susceptible to downsizing as more and more web applications allow listeners to tune in to Internet radio stations from anywhere in the world ad-free.

The industry will see some growth shortly as the political machines rev up their campaigns and spray us all with an advertising blitz but this is only a short-term fillip for their businesses. They will need to innovate or they will continue to see market share decline and dwindle in the coming years.

The new iPhone that is being released in late July in Australia will again alter the habits of everyone who is connected or uses a mobile phone. We have long made the case that bandwidth requirements will also grow exponentially.

That is why Telstra quite simply cannot afford to be locked out of the next wave of spectrum that will be released by the Federal Government. The market may also be telling you the same thing, as the share price of Telstra has been moving convincingly against the index.

Whilst some of the rise may be attributed to investors becoming more defensive and reducing their exposure to Australian Resource companies, I remain convinced that Telstra is still the best-positioned company to deliver to all Australians what they need, to remain relevant in the Internet age.

They have scale, capacity, bandwidth, infrastructure, people and presence.

Continue to invest in companies that can hitch their wagon to the enormous growth that we will see from the technology and Internet sector worldwide.

Cisco announced last week that they are looking to hire an additional 3000 people across their businesses, Apple shares continue to scale new heights, new companies and startups abound not just in the Unites States but around the globe so don't give up on the market. Stay in the game and go for growth. It is not as hard to find as you think.

It is easy to look at the market right now as a glass half-empty rather than half-full so start thinking more like a start up than a has-been.

If anything, it will make you feel a few years younger.

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.