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Investment in innovation: trends and opportunities
Fri, 3rd Dec 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Moving into 2022, while COVID-19 is still front of mind for many investors, there are some more interesting and immediate implications when it comes to investing in innovation as a result of the pandemic.

The healthcare industry has been forced to transform rapidly, and health innovation has gone from strength to strength since the pandemic. Similarly, structural changes such as decarbonisation, ageing of the population and technology advancements like the internet and eCommerce continue to throw up investment opportunities. This makes innovations in healthcare, technology, aged care, and the environment the four major investment opportunities currently out in the market, and the appetite for investment is hotter than ever.

Healthcare trends and opportunities

Various healthcare organisations have fared differently under the COVID-19 pandemic, although all are clear beneficiaries of the demographic trend of the ageing population.

One such organisation grew its FY21 revenue by 28% on the back of 36 million COVID-19 tests in FY21. At the same time, another recorded a 28% reduction in EBIT for the September 2021 quarter, as isolation orders cut the demand for elective surgery and non-surgical services. An infection prevention company that owns and develops cleaning and sterilisation technologies is likely to be in demand in a post-COVID-19 environment, especially within the health sector.

The appetite for investment in aged care

Ageing of the population is another trend that can create fresh business opportunities and diminish others. For example, healthcare organisations and aged care providers are beneficiaries of an older population as the demand for health care and retirement living services increase.

Artificial intelligence and big data

Technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) and digitisation are trends that can significantly enhance business process efficiency and productivity, resulting in higher profit outcomes. Some companies can hyper-personalise service and product offerings, while others are able to use digital solutions and data analytics to drive efficiencies in procurement and supplier relationships.

The irreversible and growing trend toward eCommerce and online shopping has fuelled the demand for logistics and associated warehousing to service the fulfilment needs of consumers and merchants. The CEO of a specialist buildings and infrastructure company says that his company cannot build logistics and warehousing infrastructure quick enough to meet the demand.

The owner of an integrated global software platform for international logistics service providers is experiencing record demand from the Group's 18,000 logistics customers.      

'Green' evolution

Structural changes brought about by decarbonisation is a current focal point for clever investors. A few companies have each embarked on a decarbonisation strategy built around recycling demolition materials and steel. Steel, once produced, exists forever and so is infinitely recyclable.

A nickel-focused base metal explorer is likely to benefit from the tightening global demand for higher nickel content batteries for the Electrical Vehicle market.

Innovative investment tactics

As major events and trends unfold, it's the reaction from investors that determines the investment outcome. For example, pandemic conditions may require an investor to make an investment decision that is considered contrary to the 'conventional wisdom' prevailing at the time.

Experienced investors know 'following the crowd' doesn't always make money. Smart, well-informed investors who understand the concept of 'risk-adjusted returns' consistently achieve superior investment outcomes, compared to the 'crowd'.

Looking at 2022, the investment horizon has numerous businesses with earnings and growth outlooks backed by emerging and sustained trends, likely to support earnings and asset growth well into the future. If investors understand these sectors and invest their money wisely, their 2022 could be a bonza of a year.