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.

Investing in innovation

By Fidelity, 25 January 2016

We are in the midst of a period of rapid innovation known as ‘the information revolution’ – a third phase of great technical change after the transformative agricultural and industrial revolutions.

Investing in wearable technology

By Fidelity, 6 October 2015

Wearable technology is set to alter many areas of life – from healthcare, to retail, media and communications. Businesses involved in the production of devices, software, data storage and security stand to benefit, as do non-tech businesses which can devise ways of leveraging the technology.

Generation C: Investing in the connected generation
By Fidelity, 4 May 2015

Generation C is an important new consumer segment in modern commerce. 65% are under 35, but they span the generational groupings (see chart 1). Empowered by technology, they search out authentic content that they consume across platforms and screens, whenever and wherever they can.

Investing in digital disruption
By Fidelity, 08 January 2015

Rapid and highly disruptive digital innovation is reshaping many industries as diverse as agriculture, entertainment and financial services.

Investing in the car of the future
By Fidelity, 28 November 2014

Thanks in large part to the outstanding success of Tesla’s electric vehicles and ongoing innovations in terms of driverless cars, media interest in the so-called ‘car of the future’ continues to grow.

Water: structural demand growth creates investing opportunities
By Fidelity, 03 January 2014

As the world’s population continues to grow, countries urbanise and economies expand, demand for water is continually rising, exerting pressure on how this increasingly scarce global resource is managed.

Seven more reasons to take another look at the US
By Fidelity, 03 January 2014

More insights into why the world's largest stock market continues to look attractive.

Investing in the ‘Internet of Things’
By Fidelity, 27 December 2013

The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is the name given to the growing range of internet-connected objects with embedded sensors that can process and share complex information without human involvement.

Six advantages of equity income funds
By Fidelity, 20 December 2013

‘Equity income’ funds focus on dividend-paying shares. Here are six reasons we think it’s worth exploring the opportunities.

Investing in smart logistics

Logistics permeates every aspect of economic activity today, from shipping the fuel that manufacturers use to make products, to the courier companies that deliver the goods consumers purchase online.

Automation and robotics

Successive advances in technology are making the economics of automation and robotics increasingly compelling for many companies in a growing number of industries.

Episode 8 - Constructing tomorrow’s growth

Developed economies face the challenge of renewing their ageing infrastructure assets at the same time as delivering new projects fit for successive generations.

Episode 7 - The revival of the West

Developed market economies are still clearing away the wreckage of the financial crisis. Five years on, the US, Europe and Japan continue to suffer from a lingering hangover of high sovereign debts, challenging fiscal policy and sluggish economic growth.

Episode 6 - Reassessment of risk in fixed income
Bond investors are being forced to recast long-held assumptions about risk. The concept of ‘risk free’ has been shaken and the present combination of indebted sovereigns, challenged economic growth prospects and low interest rates seems set to become an all-too familiar backdrop for investing in capital markets.

Episode 5 - Big data: an ‘industrial revolution’ in data
It is an amount that is difficult to comprehend. To put it into perspective, it is the equivalent of 5.8 billion average-sized PC hard drives. It is even more impressive when you consider that 90% of the world’s data was only created in the last two years, and 80% of this data is unstructured, which makes it difficult for traditional database technology to interpret.

Episode 4 - Food: from crisis to crisis
For the third time in five years, the world is braced for another food crisis as the worst US drought in 50 years pushes some agricultural commodity prices, such as corn and soybeans, to record highs. Aside from the unfavourable weather conditions that have disrupted supply, there are some important long-term factors at play on the demand side, which imply a growing susceptibility to supply-side shocks.

Episode 3 - Energy - the shale revolution
Energy is what drives the modern world. And the modern world is growing. Population increases and continued economic development, particularly in emerging markets, are increasing the demand for limited and finite energy resources.

Episode 2 - Demographics – profiting from change
Possibly the single most important factor that is shaping the global economy of the future is demographics. Having recently surpassed the 7 billion mark, the global population just continues to grow, and grow. Given scarce global resources, this has some very important implications. However, not only is the global population growing, its composition is also changing in some very meaningful ways, including age and wealth characteristics.

Episode 1 - The shifting sands of economic power
Shifts in the balance of economic power have created a two-speed world in economic growth terms as emerging markets like China, India and Brazil continue a transformation that two decades ago would have seemed unthinkable.