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Market Outlook Mid-year 2021 – Four investment themes to look out for

As the vaccination roll-out continues across the world, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but the journey ahead for investors is likely to be a bumpy one. From the global economic recovery to rising consumption, ESG investing and agile companies – we have singled out four investment trends to look out for.

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The big picture – More rotation, less direction

Distortions in the data mean that higher inflation readings are simply a red herring. The extent of the global economic recovery is still being underestimated; it should broaden and deepen in the next few months, having thus far been driven by consumption in the US and production and investment in Europe and China. China remains key within emerging markets for many reasons. India has now also emerged as a contender for investors looking to diversify regionally. We believe there is further upside for equities, although this might be more muted following the strong gains in the last 12 months.

What to look out for

  • Healthcare is our preferred defensive sector, and we also see upside for financials and small caps. The IT sector cannot be ignored – don’t be short innovation.

  • China remains a force to be reckoned with and offers various investment opportunities.

  • There is still room for income generation in the riskier segments of the USD bond market.

Rising consumption – Boom time ahead

In light of the magnitude of the US administration’s fiscal stimulus package, we believe that an economic boom is in the making. In addition to the stimulus measures, as the vaccination roll-outs progress and lockdown measures are gradually lifted, pent-up demand is expected to be released into the economy. Even during an economic boom, markets can become choppy every so often. So it ultimately tends to pay off to keep one’s feet on the ground.

What to look out for

  • Companies benefiting from a surge in consumption, with a focus primarily on the US, and to a lesser extent on Europe.

  • Small caps, as they typically outperform in periods of economic expansion.

  • Alternative strategies and structured products, that have an eye on the downside.

Sustainable investing – More than a feel-good investment

Investor interest in companies with a strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) background received an additional boost when the pandemic struck. And these companies delivered, showing that their responsible business practices made them more resilient in a suddenly worsening business environment. Evaluating sustainability has become an integral part of any investment analysis. Incorporating such non-financial information may improve our ability to identify risks and opportunities, ultimately yielding superior investment returns.

What to look out for

  • Sustainability leaders, as they provide a hedge in times of crisis.

  • Impact funds that aim to generate a positive social or environmental impact.

Adaptive companies – Getting fit for the future

Companies that quickly adapted to the new circumstances as the pandemic broke out can now reap the benefits of a comparative advantage. Adaptive businesses are able to increase productivity and respond more swiftly to changing client needs and market developments. Such firms are well-positioned to outperform. Some of these companies can be found within our Next Generation universe, which covers the themes that we believe represent the most promising trends for the coming years.

What to look out for

  • Shares in companies that have weathered the crisis well and even emerged stronger.

  • Actively managed solutions representing our analysts’ highest- conviction investment ideas or the Next Generation universe.

  • Tracker certificates focusing on companies operating in the cybersecurity, cloud computing, or genomics space.

Investment Trends 2021

Download our Investment Trends 2021 and learn more.

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