21st century investment themes

21st century investment themes

The world is passing through a period of massive change – which themes will drive markets in the years to come? Time taken understanding the narratives driving current and future investment thinking is well spent and, for that reason, our new series of articles investigates the themes we believe will influence markets in the medium to long term.

Conclusion and Compendium: Ten themes to move markets pop up

The UN estimates an average global temperature rise this century of four degrees. Any rise above two degrees will cause droughts in some parts of the world and floods in others. Climate change is set to become one of the defining issues of the next few decades; one that will create both winners and losers in the investment arena.

Edition 10 – Water - An increasingly hot 'commodity' pop up

The UN estimates an average global temperature rise this century of four degrees. Any rise above two degrees will cause droughts in some parts of the world and floods in others. Climate change is set to become one of the defining issues of the next few decades; one that will create both winners and losers in the investment arena.

Edition 9 – The low carbon economy

The UN estimates an average global temperature rise this century of four degrees. Any rise above two degrees will cause droughts in some parts of the world and floods in others. Climate change is set to become one of the defining issues of the next few decades; one that will create both winners and losers in the investment arena.

Edition 8 - The economics of food

How the world responds to the challenge of feeding a growing, more affluent population is set to become a prominent theme over the next few decades. We look at the long-term prospects for food production and how this will affect investors.

Edition 7 - Africa: The next big thing?

The recent football World Cup in South Africa shone a spotlight on Africa, sparking renewed interest in this often underappreciated region. The region benefits from a vast array of natural resources, which are helping to boost investment, trade flows and economic growth. However, while Africa’s resource potential has been known for some time, a much greater opportunity lies in the region’s own consumption prospects. With an already huge population that is growing and steadily becoming wealthier, the region’s scope for consuming goods and services is vast.

Edition 6 - The growing cult of consumption

Consumption is undoubtedly one of the dominant economic themes of the 21st century. Companies in both western and emerging markets are already jockeying for position to get maximum exposure to what many expect to be one of the most enduring investment themes of our times.

Edition 5 - Profiting from technical progress

Technological development is accelerating as the lines blur between academic research and commercial enterprise. Themes such as mobile connectivity, cloud computing, ‘smart city’ development and, most recently, the creation of synthetic life in a laboratory, are just a few strands in a multiplying web of developments that have wide-ranging commercial benefits. Identifying the most interesting and investible ‘tech’ themes offers considerable growth potential to investors. We need only look at history to know tomorrow’s world is going to be very different.

Edition 4 - The urban age

Within the next two decades, more than 60% of the world's population will live in cities. Such concentration of the population puts the national – and, more specifically, city – infrastructure under pressure. Billions of dollars need to be invested. Traditionally, government would have shouldered the cost but the role of the private sector is growing. With that financing shift, comes a variety of ways for the private investor to become involved. 

Edition 3 - When will the world learn to grow up

Demographics has a large, somewhat undefined influence on investment markets. The way that changing populations live their lives and spend their money has the power to shape economies and can prove to be an irresistible force on investment markets. It is impossible for investors to influence demographic trends, but it is possible to prepare for and exploit them.

Edition 2 - The energy complex

The modern world is built on energy. Nearly every aspect of Western life is dependent upon the production and utilisation of energy. We consider the transition to a decarbonised world as governments encourage a move away from finite fossil fuels to greener, renewable source of energy.

Edition 1 - Power-shift

The defining theme over the next decade and beyond is almost certainly going to be the shifting balance of power in the global economy. This is not simply an emerging market story - this is a story of the resurgence of sleeping giants, of economic and industrial catch up, of a historic shift in wealth from West to East that will change the economic and investment landscape forever.