How to Invest in the Booming Chip-Tech Industry
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How to Invest in the Booming Chip-Tech Industry

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Investing in the Chip-Tech World Full

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Investing in the Chip-Tech World

How much of the modern world is powered by chip-tech? From computers and TVs to cars and washing machines, chips (or semiconductor devices) enable almost all of our digital goods.

When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the regular world to a halt, it put a focus on our increasingly digital world and personal electronics. Even as consumption of major purchases like vehicles slowed down, more than 1 trillion chips were shipped globally in 2020.

As economies picked up and demand increased across all goods, a global semiconductor shortage started to impact the largest companies and economies in the world. All of a sudden, the global semiconductor field was front-and-center in the minds of politicians, executives, and investors.

This graphic from eToro breaks down the importance of the semiconductor industry, and where moves are being made in it.

Understanding the Semiconductor Supply Chain

At its core, a chip or integrated circuit (IC) is a small device that contains electronic circuits on a semiconducting material.

Only a few millimeters wide, these chips (usually constructed on silicon) have millions of transistors packed into a tiny device. When designed and utilized together, they power devices and allow them to operate.

It’s a complex device that requires an extremely robust manufacturing system, capable of making millions of precisely designed products. The modern semiconductor supply chain has two primary business models:

  • Foundry model: Also known as fabless design, companies like NVidia and Qualcomm outsource production of chips to fabrication foundries like TSMC. They are then assembled and tested by specialty companies (OSATs) before being received by the end consumer.
  • Integrated model: Integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) are companies like Intel that design, manufacture, and sell their own chips. This was the traditional model of chip development before foundries took off, and many IDMs now outsource part of their production to foundries and OSATs.

As demand for semiconductor devices grew, a massive and sophisticated global supply chain formed to get chips from concept to consumer.

Market Share by RegionIDMFabless Foundry Wafer Production
U.S.51%65%0%13% (North America)
South Korea29%1%18%20%
Taiwan2%17%63%21%
Japan9%<1%0%16%
China<1%15%6%15%
Europe9%2%0%6%
Rest of World0%0%13%9%

Many of the pioneering companies in the field, like Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung, became some of the world’s largest and most influential companies.

Anticipating the Chip-Tech Powered Future

The global economic impact of the semiconductor field is monumental, and its breadth is quickly becoming better understood.

In the U.S. alone in 2020, the semiconductor industry contributed an estimated $246.4 billion to the country’s GDP and almost 2 million jobs. When measuring direct, indirect, and value-added impacts of semiconductors, global GDP contribution estimates come in at $2.7 trillion.

But more than ever, recent disruptions to the supply chain have raised alarm bells and increased investment. Slashed forecasts from automakers and electronics manufacturers are increasing demand for chip production capacity, and chipmakers have already announced investments for new factories in 2021:

CompanyAnnounced Fab Investment (2021)Fab Location
TSMC$12B–$35BU.S. (Arizona)
Intel$20BU.S. (Arizona x2)
Intel$20BEurope
Samsung$17BU.S. (Texas)
GlobalFoundries$4BSingapore

And those six factories are just the beginning. Over the next two years, 29 fabrication factories are projected to be constructed globally, with total investment surpassing $140 billion.

Policymakers are stepping in as well, as countries race to increase market share in case of further disruptions. In June, the U.S. Senate passed a $250 billion tech and manufacturing bill with $52 billion earmarked for the semiconductor field specifically.

The timing is imperative, as an even more chip-dependent future continues to unfold. Driven by advances in 5G, A.I. and IoT in everything from automotive and electronics manufacturing to smart factories, chip-tech and investments in it are becoming more important than ever.

How Can Investors Take Part?

eToro’s Chip-Tech CopyPortfolio* gives investors direct access to the semiconductor technology market.

Curated by experienced and proven investment teams, the thematic portfolio offers exposure to a broad range of chip-makers and innovators in production, with no management fees.

*Your capital is at risk.
CopyPortfolios is a portfolio management product, provided by eToro Europe Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.

CopyPortfolios should not be considered as exchange traded funds, nor as hedge funds.

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Operational Health Tech: A New Billion Dollar Market

Operational health tech is poised to be a multi-billion dollar industry. This graphic breaks down how its disrupting healthcare as we know it.

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Operational Health Tech: A New Billion Dollar Market

Many lessons were learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but what has become most apparent is the need to invest in healthcare on all fronts. In fact in just a few short years, businesses, governments, and consumers have had to entirely reassess healthcare in ways not quite seen before.

What’s more, this elevated importance placed on health could be here to stay, and one area in particular is poised for significant growth: operational health tech.

The graphic above from our sponsor Bloom Health Partners dives into the burgeoning market that is operational health tech, and reveals the key driving forces behind it.

What is Operational Health?

To start, operational health is an industry that provides health services to employees to help keep companies running smoothly.

A critical piece of operational health is workplace health, which is expected to soar in value. From 2021 to 2025, the market for workplace health is expected to grow 200% from $6.5 billion to $19.5 billion.

The industry is undergoing a tremendous amount of innovation, specifically in relation to technological advances.

Operational Health Tech: Disrupting Healthcare

The operational health tech industry is disrupting traditional healthcare by providing direct services to employees in the workplace.

For decades now, the U.S. has increasingly become a statistical outlier for healthcare spending relative to health outcomes. For instance, the average American incurs $9,000 in healthcare spending per year, nearly twice that of OECD countries, yet life expectancy is flatlining while other countries see rises.

A worsening and increasingly expensive health dynamic makes the environment ripe for disruption and is allowing for new ideas to be brought to the table.

In addition, people are already responding to these inefficient practices by shifting greater emphasis on health within the job market. For example, studies show that workers care more about healthcare benefits over the salaries when choosing an employer.

Going forward, employees will gravitate towards employers that provide standout health benefits like workplace healthcare options offered by operational health. Here are some additional factors that act as catalysts for this space.

1. Healthcare as Smart Business

What do companies that rank as some of the best to work for have in common? First, they all tend to outperform relative to the S&P 500 on a cumulative stock performance basis. Second, many offer superior healthcare benefits.

Moreover, from 2012 to 2022, companies that were the best to work for saw shares appreciate nearly 500%, compared to around 300% for the broader market. Data like this suggests investing in healthcare and keeping employees happy is smart business that pays dividends.

2. Healthcare as a Differentiator

Since 2020, labor markets have changed dramatically. As a result, employees now have more options and are much more selective about where they work. This is evident from the difference between job openings and hires which has risen to unrecognizable levels. For example, the data shows that there are nearly 12 million job openings, but only around 6-7 million hires in 2022.

Altogether, with an oversupply of jobs relative to workers, employers will have to find new ways to differentiate. One way to stand out is through healthcare and initiatives around operational health tech.

3. The Looming Mental Health Epidemic

Today some 700 million people suffer from some form of a mental health condition and COVID-19 has continued to exacerbate the problem.

Moreover, the cost of mental health for the global economy is estimated to be a whopping $6 trillion by 2030, over double compared to the $2.5 trillion figure in 2010.

Under the umbrella of services operational health tech covers, mental health will stand to benefit. Especially in the years to come as we look for new ways to combat its mounting costs.

Investing in Operational Health Tech

Bloom Health Partners is an operational health tech company looking to revolutionize workplace health by supplying employers with data to better understand their employee base and business.

One way Bloom stands out is with Bloom Shield—its flagship cloud-based big data platform for employee health data management. With Bloom Shield, new health insights become available to make better decisions. Employers can get insight into demographic data and age trends within the workplace, pre-screening detection for cancer and diabetes, and testing for management to tackle the spread of disease.

Click here to learn more about investing in operational health tech with Bloom Health Partners.

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How Environmental Markets Advance Net Zero

The global price of carbon increased 91% in 2021. Below, we show how environmental markets are supporting a greener future.

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Environmental Markets

How Environmental Markets Advance Net Zero

In 2021, roughly 20% of global carbon emissions were covered by carbon pricing mechanisms.

Meanwhile, the global price of carbon increased 91%, bolstered by government, corporate, and investor demand. This puts traditional fuel sources at a disadvantage, instead building the investment case for renewables.

This infographic from ICE, the first in a three part series on the ESG toolkit, explores how environmental markets work and their role in the fight against climate change.

What are Environmental Markets?

First, meeting a goal of net zero carbon emissions involves limiting the use of the world’s finite carbon budget to meet a 1.5°C pathway.

Achieving net zero requires us to:

  • Change how we utilize energy and transition to less carbon-intensive fuels
  • Put a value on the conservation of nature or “natural capital” and carbon sinks, which accumulate and store carbon

Environmental markets facilitate the pathway to net zero by valuing externalities, such as placing a cost on pollution and placing a price on carbon storage. This helps balance the carbon cycle to manage the carbon budget in the most cost-effective manner.

What Is the Carbon Budget?

To keep temperatures 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we have just 420 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO₂ remaining in the global carbon budget. At current rates, this remaining carbon budget is projected to be consumed by 2030 if no reductions are made.

Carbon Budget1.5°C1.7°C2.0°C
Remaining GtCO₂4207701270
Consumed GtCO₂247524752475

Each scenario based on a 50% chance of success
Source: IPCC AR6 WG; Friedlingstein et al 2021; Global Carbon Budget 2021

Across three different scenarios, the above table indicates the amount of carbon emissions humanity can emit to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

What are Negative and Positive Externalities?

Second, when companies compensate for CO₂ emissions, they can fall across two categories: negative and positive externalities.

  • Negative externalities include pollution. Carbon cap and trade programs, using carbon allowances, put a cost on pollution.
  • Positive externalities include renewables, such as wind and solar power that generate carbon-free electricity. The value of renewable energy can be expressed with a renewable energy certificate.

Natural capital is another example of a positive externality, which involves the capturing and storing of carbon. The value of this type of natural capital can be expressed using a carbon credit.

Environmental Markets and the Energy Transition

Next, environmental markets can drive the transition to cleaner energy sources by ascribing a cost to pollution and putting a premium on renewables, to change how we use energy.

As one example, in 2013 the UK government introduced the Carbon Price Support mechanism to complement the emissions cap and trade program and weaken the investment case for coal. Between 2013 and 2020, Britain’s overall CO₂ emissions fell by 31%.

Here’s how coal was phased out of the UK’s energy mix, while renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and bioenergy played a greater role.

DateCoal Gas Wind and SolarBioenergy
Q1 200031 TWh40 TWh0 TWh1 TWh
Q1 200541 TWh36 TWh1 TWh2 TWh
Q1 201031 TWh47 TWh2 TWh3 TWh
Q1 201528 TWh23 TWh13 TWh6 TWh
Q1 20203 TWh27 TWh28 TWh9 TWh

Source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES); BP; EMBER via Our World in Data (2021)

Today, less than 5% of the UK’s electricity is coal-generated, with remaining plants expected to be decommissioned by 2024.

How Environmental Markets are Advancing Net Zero

Finally, as governments increase their commitments to net zero, carbon prices are rising towards a level that requires industries to decarbonize and meet those goals.

In fact, between 2014 and 2021, the global price of carbon has increased over sixfold.

DateGlobal Carbon Price (Year End)Annual % Change
2021$47.7891%
2020$24.9637%
2019$18.16-7%
2018$19.56102%
2017$9.6729%
2016$7.52-24%
2015$9.887%
2014$9.2432%

As indicated by the ICECRBN Global Carbon Price (CPW Weighted)
Source: ICE (Apr 2022)

As companies begin to treat their carbon footprints as liabilities, there will be increasing demand for environmental attributes, such as carbon allowances and carbon credits.

Managing Risk and Opportunity

Quoted markets like ICE Futures Exchanges and NYSE allow stakeholders to precisely value positive and negative externalities to:

  • Manage emissions cost effectively
  • Hedge climate transition risk
  • Allocate capital to facilitate the energy transition and build carbon sinks
  • Create an asset class for Natural Capital
  • Invest in assets to meet climate obligations

Everyone is exposed to climate risk which means it needs to be measured and managed.

That’s why balancing the carbon cycle will be critical to managing the world’s carbon budget. Markets are providing greater access, liquidity and opportunity in supporting net zero ambitions.

In part two of the series sponsored by ICE, we’ll look at four motivations for using ESG data.

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