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 research, data analytics and gene editing are converging to deliver novel treatments and diagnostics that will improve medical outcomes and usher in a new era of healthcare.

U.S. Wealth Migration and Urbanization Trends.

  • Concentration of wealth is characterizing urbanization across the country, influenced by demographics, city planning, corporate relocations. New business models that leverage population density have profound economic implications.

Next Generation Automation and Supply Chain Transformation.

  • Automation that was concentrated in automobile production in the developed world is now penetrating other industries such as retail, food service and healthcare. This will lead to improved productivity, dramatic shifts in supply chains, and growing end markets for technology components and industrial equipment.

The End of Moore’s Law Succeeded by Advances in
Heterogeneous Computing.

  • For nearly 50 years, Moore’s Law provided exponential improvements in the performance and cost of computing technology. As the physical and economic challenges limit further scaling, research is shifting from general-purpose processors to new special-purpose technologies designed for very specific applications.

The End of China’s Emergence.

  • After a multi-decade economic boom, China GDP growth is set to slow considerably. China has been the largest driver of global growth and the largest consumer of many commodities. A significant decline in growth and a shift away from infrastructure spending will have a headwind affect on growth and spending worldwide, particularly cyclicals and commodity-driven companies.

An Inequality Paradox and Its Impacts.

  • Although economic inequality has been on the rise within countries for at least the past four decades, inequality between countries has been falling dramatically since the turn of the century. These shifts are expanding the population and distribution of middle and upper-income consumers, presenting opportunities for global brands, content curation, and products in a variety of sectors.


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