Investing in Themes

What if you could invest in ideas?

Perhaps our single most important distinction is this: At Chevy Chase Trust, we invest in global themes. We build equity portfolios of companies positioned to exploit powerful, secular trends, disruptive ideas, innovations and economic forces. It’s more than a process. It’s a philosophy that lets us pursue the real potential in each client’s portfolio.

It might start with a discussion about the population shift from rural to urban areas. We might identify a trend in transforming technologies. Then, what begins as a simple, singular thought can lead to a pivotal investment strategy.

How it Works:

  • Study the global economy
  • Identify long-term secular trends
  • Invest across geographies, sectors, and market capitalizations
  • Limit risk organically through careful research and planning

Why it Works:

  • Capitalize on trends—when valuations are attractive
  • Use a macro view to prevent overreaction to market volatility
  • Look beyond the limitations of style, geography, and benchmarks
  • Create portfolios that can outperform in many different environments

We Believe:

  • In the long term potential for themes to positively impact stock performance.
  • The time frame over which themes will be reflected in equity valuations is consistent with client objectives.
  • Competitive barriers to entry enable thematic winners to earn long-term returns for shareholders.

 

Recent Themes:

The Advent of Molecular Medicine.

  • Breakthroughs in genomic science are changing the practice of medicine. Genomic sequencing technology, clinical knowledge, and data analytics are converging to deliver novel and more personalized treatments and diagnostics that will improve medical outcomes and usher in a new era of healthcare.

Increasing Wealth Concentration.

  • A clustering of economic activity has spurred productivity-enhancing hubs, yielding geographic concentrations of both wealth and population. People, capital, and talent in close proximity to one another leads to powerful nodes of economic activity, characterized by higher incomes and larger spend per capita. This shift has expanded the population and distribution of middle and upper income consumers and presents opportunities for global brands, content curation, and new services that benefit from increases in the density of wealth.

Next Generation Automation and Supply Chain Transformation.

  • Automation previously concentrated in automobile and electronics production in the developed world is now penetrating other industries such as healthcare, retail, and logistics. Installation costs have come down while flexibility and intelligence have gone up, allowing the adoption of core technologies to proliferate. This will lead to improved productivity, dramatic shifts in supply chains, and growing end markets for technology components and industrial equipment.

The Dawn of Heterogeneous Computing.

  • For nearly 50 years, Moore’s Law provided exponential improvements in the performance and cost of computing technology. As physical and economic challenges limit further scaling, improvements will come from special-purpose technology designed for specific applications rather than general-purpose processors. This will lead to increased segmentation within the technology sector.

The End of Disinflationary Tailwinds.

  • Despite a decade of unconventional monetary policy, high consumer leverage caused the velocity of money to collapse, and anti-inflationary factors prevailed. This phenomenon has changed. Further globalization may be slowing, commodity capacity is low, and unprecedented global fiscal stimulus has improved consumer balance sheets. All of these factors signal that inflation may be higher than the consensus currently expects.

Long-Term COVID Beneficiaries.

  • Crises often lead to disruption and sustainable changes in competitive positioning. The COVID 19 pandemic forced rapid and likely permanent changes in consumers’ relationship with technology. Long term beneficiaries will capitalize on these changes and generate new, useful data to optimize business models, gain share, and increase profitability.

 

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