How to Spot the Next Big Investing Wave, According to Frank Holmes
The world is constantly being shaped by powerful waves that ripple throughout the global economy.
When analyzed effectively, these macro trends can serve as a key investment tool.
Today’s infographic comes from U.S. Global Investors, and it highlights how its team uses macro trends to identify investment opportunities.
Preparing for the Next Wave
Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors, is responsible for developing and overseeing investment strategies. One fund under his team’s management is the Holmes Macro Trends Fund (MEGAX), which follows a combination of two approaches.
- Analyze macro trends in an effort to find the fastest-growing sectors.
Macro trends are defined as long-lasting, pervasive shifts that affect a large population. They generally fall into one of the following categories:
A key benefit of macro trends is that they are unbiased, and cut through the endless headlines created by today’s 24/7 news cycle. They also help investors gauge market expectations, which in turn help drive long-term price trends.
Here are a couple examples of current macro trends, and the investment opportunities or threats they present:
- Aging populations
Africa has the world’s youngest population and is least likely to be affected, while China is particularly vulnerable given the one-child policy.
- Rising interest rates in North America
Financial companies may be able to improve their interest rate spread, while the real estate and automotive sectors may be negatively impacted by higher financing costs.
Once Holmes’ team has identified the regions and sectors with the best opportunities, it moves onto the next step.
- Analyze companies within those sectors in an effort to find the ones growing the fastest, at a reasonable price.
Traditionally, investors subscribe to either the growth strategy or the value strategy. Holmes’ team uses the Growth at a Reasonable Price (GARP) strategy, which combines elements of both.
- Growth – Buying stocks of companies that have been growing fast and may increase in price over time.
- Value – Buying stocks that appear to be undervalued by the marketplace.
- GARP – Buying stocks with a track record of consistent earnings growth and reasonable valuations.
Some other key metrics are also used to evaluate companies, including quarter over quarter sales, growth in earnings, and return on equity.
Macro trends are the waves that shape the future – but to ride them, investors need to pick the best companies in these sectors. The MEGAX fund, under the leadership of Holmes, follows this strategy.
Why invest in MEGAX?
- Experience: Fund managers have a total of 60+ years’ experience
- Strategy: Pragmatic investing that cuts through the 24-hour news cycle
- Composition: Diversified portfolio to decrease risk
Investors don’t need to discover the next big wave themselves. Instead, they can invest in MEGAX to take advantage of U.S. Global Investors’ experienced management.
Please consider carefully a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other important information, obtain a fund prospectus by visiting www.usfunds.com or by calling 1-800-US-FUNDS (1-800-873-8637). Read it carefully before investing. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, Distributor. U.S. Global Investors is the investment adviser.
Stock markets can be volatile and share prices can fluctuate in response to sector-related and other risks as described in the fund prospectus.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
This graphic timeline highlights how the exchange-traded fund (ETF) came into existence, as well as the 26-year history of ETFs as an investment vehicle.
The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic
In recent decades, there have been many breakthrough technologies that have re-shaped the nature of entire industries.
In finance, perhaps the most notable disruption has come from the rise of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) — an investment vehicle that has quadrupled in size over the last decade alone. But how did the ETF originate, and how has its use evolved through to today?
Today’s infographic comes to us from iShares by BlackRock, and it shows how the ETF has gone from an obscure index tracking tool to becoming a mainstream investing vehicle that encompasses trillions of dollars of assets around the world.
The Origin and History of ETFs
ETFs emerged out of the index investing phenomenon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and there are two early examples that can be referenced as a starting point:
- Index Participation Shares – 1989
This initial attempt to create an ETF was set to track the S&P 500, and garnered significant investor interest. However, it was ruled to work like a futures contract according to a federal court in Chicago, so it never made it to the exchange.
- Toronto 35 Index Participation Units – 1990
These were a warehouse, receipt-based instrument that tracked Canada’s major index, the TSE-35. They allowed investors to participate in the performance in the index, without owning individual shares of stocks in the index.
Since these pioneering ETF endeavors, the investment vehicle has caught on in popularity — and it is now clear that ETFs provide a range of important benefits to investors, such as: low costs, liquidity, diversification, tax efficiency, flexibility, accessibility, and transparency.
Key Milestones in U.S. ETF History:
- 1993 – The First ETF launches in the U.S., tracking the S&P 500
- 1998 – Sector ETFs debut, tracking individual S&P 500 sectors
- 2004 – The first U.S.-listed commodity ETF is formed, offering exposure to gold bullion
- 2008 – Actively-managed ETFs get the green light from the SEC
- 2010 – Term-maturity ETFs debut, holding bonds that all mature in same year
- 2015 – First factor-based bond ETFs are launched
- 2019 – U.S.-listed ETFs hit $4 trillion in AUM, and global bond ETF AUM crosses $1 trillion
How ETFs are Used Today
Today, the U.S. ETF industry has $4.04 trillion of assets under management (AUM), covering a wide spectrum of assets including equities, bonds, alternatives, and money markets.
ETFs are now the go-to index vehicle for 78% of institutional investors, according to a study by Greenwich Associates. Here are the 10 most popular applications for ETFs based on the same data:
|Tactical adjustments||72%||Over- or underweight certain styles, regions, or countries on the basis of short term views.|
|Core allocation||68%||Build a long-term strategic holding in a portfolio.|
|Rebalancing||60%||Manage portfolio risk in between rebalancing cycles.|
|Portfolio completion||57%||Fill in gaps in a strategic asset allocation.|
|International diversification||56%||Gain efficient access to foreign markets.|
|Liquidity management||54%||Maintain exposure in a liquid investment vehicle to meet cash flow needs.|
|Transition management||44%||Facilitate manager transitions with ETFs.|
|Risk management||42%||Mitigate undesired portfolio risk and hedge asset allocation decisions.|
|Interim beta||37%||Maintain market exposure while refining a long-term view.|
|Cash equitization||37%||Put long-term cash positions to work with ETFs to minimize cash drag.|
In the 26 years since the introduction of ETFs, they have grown and evolved to cover almost every aspect of the market. The next stage of growth for the ETF will be driven by investors finding even more uses for these versatile tools.
Why Telcos Must Get in the Game for the Rise of Esports
Telcos failed to capitalize on the ‘Netflix’ opportunity — however, the birth of a new multi-billion dollar industry (esports) could change the game.
Why Telcos Must Get in the Game for the Rise of Esports
Over the last century, the world’s telecommunications companies have built out the complex infrastructure that makes the information age possible.
Hundreds of billions of dollars has been invested into phone lines, submarine cables, wireless towers, and fiber optics to connect the world. And with 5G innovations in the pipeline, the world has never been able to communicate faster and more effectively.
Despite this impressive accomplishment, telcos find themselves in an awkward situation: their revenue growth is stagnating and margins continue to shrink, all while companies like Netflix are monetizing internet bandwidth around the world.
Today’s infographic is from Swarmio Media, and it highlights challenges faced by telcos — and how they can potentially capitalize on the emergence of esports and a massive gaming market.
A Missed Opportunity
Habits around content consumption can change abruptly, and fast-moving technology companies have been able to capitalize on these changes.
That’s why, in recent years, there’s been a boom in over-the-top (OTT) media services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Skype, etc.) that have found effective ways to operate on top of the telco infrastructure, streaming content or providing VoIP services to end consumers.
|Television||Voice & Messaging||Audio|
|Example OTT services||- Netflix|
- Amazon Prime
- Apple Music
- Internet Radio
|Global market size (2018)||$68.7 billion||$26.7 billion||$8.9 billion|
|Growth rate (2017-2018):||28%||15%||33%|
Although telcos arguably missed the boat on video streaming, voice, and messaging, there is now an emerging segment that could help fill the gap.
The rising popularity of esports could be the multi-billion dollar industry that provides telcos a much-needed growth area to better monetize their infrastructure.
The Esports Boom
In recent years, the growth in professional gaming has been explosive.
Already worth over $1 billion, the market is projected by experts to triple by 2025. Esports is regularly packing stadiums with avid fans, spawning new professional teams, and selling massive sponsorship deals.
This boom in esports – and in online multiplayer gaming in general — has created a commercial audience of digital natives that is both young and affluent. It’s a growing segment that sees gaming as a lifestyle, and they see professional esports gamers and personalities as their heroes.
The Need For Speed
Any multiplayer gamer will tell you that there is one surefire way to ruin the gaming experience: high latencies (or as they call it, “lag”). This is an area telecoms are uniquely positioned to help with, especially with the advent of edge computing technology and 5G.
When it comes to online gaming, a sophisticated edge computing system will be able to detect where each player is located, while creating a server in an optimal location that provides all the players with the same high bandwidth, low latency, and experience.
By leveraging technology that enables edge computing at scale, forward-looking telcos can take gamers to where they want to go – and with plenty of value-adds.
Living on the Edge
To compete against growing outside threats like Netflix and Google, telcos must make bold investments in enabling technologies that bring edge computing to their customers at scale.
Beyond acting as the gatekeeper to lightning fast connections, telcos can take advantage of esports and gaming by building internal online communities, delivering tailored esports content, and enabling and promoting esports tournaments.
If done right, this can help telcos engage with digital natives, create meaningful experiences, win lifelong customers and advocates, and maximize average revenue per user (ARPU).
For many of the 2.5 billion gamers globally, there is little reason to be loyal to a telco – until now.
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