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Investors considering growth in the portfolio may find megatrends offer an alternative and sustainable long-term approach. So, what are megatrends and how can you invest in them?
Megatrends are universal socioeconomic, environmental or technological forces that change the way we do things . These trends tend to be sustained over longer periods, in some cases, 20 years or more and based on known patterns and pressures . Investing in megatrends has become increasingly accessible in recent times. A range of ETFs have appeared in the market to target specific trends and incorporate a wide range of companies in that area.
Three examples of megatrends follow.
1. Virtual connectivity and digitisation
The internet is becoming faster and cheaper to access, with close to 60% of the world’s population already users . There are a range of opportunities following from the movement online, such as ecommerce or online entertainment and gaming. Even data storage and security are becoming major concerns. Access to this megatrend can be broadly through sectors like technology that service and fuel this trend, regions with companies dominating this trend, such as the US or across Asia, or via niche subthemes like robotics and artificial intelligence.
2. The growth of the Asian middle-class
Two-thirds of the world’s middle-class population are expected to reside across Asia by 2030 and this offers potential for a range of industries, such as luxury goods, tourism, education and healthcare. Many global players have turned their focus to targeting consumers in this region, while regionally based companies like Alibaba or Infosys Ltd are well positioned for future growth. Investors can consider sectors like healthcare which will benefit from the growth or take a more concentrated approach by investing across Asia or within specific countries, like India.
3. Limited resources
Ongoing population growth and climate change are placing pressure on available resources including minerals, energy, water and food sources. This has forced an evolution in terms of new products, how we consume and how companies interact with us. Renewable energy and battery storage is one area tipped to grow off the back of this megatrend. Many larger corporations have also started to adjust their operations too, for example, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pledged $10bn to fight climate change through the Bezos Earth Fund . Investors may consider sub-themes like battery technology or electric cars, or they could consider industries which may experience higher demand on the basis of restricted resources like agriculture.
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