Or take autonomous vehicles. The entire transportation industry — from autos to trucking — is looking at developing autonomous vehicles. The Kensho Autonomous Vehicles Index is composed of companies developing autonomous transportation, whether directly through the development of autonomous vehicles themselves or as part of the ecosystem supporting these initiatives. It includes obvious choices likeTesla, Ford and Toyota, but also smaller companies like Wabco Holdings, which makes electronic braking systems critical to the development of autonomous vehicles.
There are additional indexes for robotics, cybersecurity, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, virtual reality, 3-D printing and new manufacturing, drones and others.
These broad industries encompass companies that often work across many of the "old-school sectors" that we traditionally put stocks into: technology, industrials, materials, for example. That's why, if you want to capture the new economy, there's a need to look at stock investing beyond the "old-school sectors."
How does Kensho put the indexes together? Using big data analytics and natural language programming, it scours millions of pages of financial statements and other public information to identify the constituents of each index, and weigh each according to the degree to which a given industry is central to the company's strategy. It even takes into account the liquidity of these stocks to ensure they are tradable.
You can examine the underlying stocks for all 16 indices here: http://cnb.cx/2aG3mDz.
I plan to leverage these indexes on a regular basis in to show you how you can invest in the new economy.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.