Long-term Meta Trends to Watch

2018-03-26

When it comes to their investments, our clients know it’s important to look at both the short and the long-term. The long-term is what really matters – health, wealth and happiness coming to life. It’s being in a good position today, but planning for even better, secure months and years ahead. The same theory applies to making investment decisions. We look at long-term trends and incorporate this knowledge into strategies that prove themselves year after year. Here’s a brief overview of the Meta trends we’re looking at in 2018:

Energy efficiency

As populations and governments make a commitment to use less energy (or at least, move to greener forms of energy such as wind or solar power), we evaluate market impact. We make decisions about investments involving oil and gas, the Keystone XL pipeline, and emerging opportunities in clean energy. It’s not about completely eliminating investments in oil or conversely, a sudden and heavy investment in new technology – it’s about being aware of what’s happening in those industries and making informed decisions.

Population growth

Understanding the massive population increase in the middle class of developing nations in association with increased consumption levels, we are able to make smart decisions about how and where to invest. In these developing economies, we evaluate the impact of this growth – the opportunities and challenges – while evaluating the potential bearing on our existing investment decisions. Population growth has a major impact both locally and globally, even as it happens over a significant period of time or a significant distance away. Recognition of these factors, as well as preparation for the socio-economic reactions, is critical.

Aging population

Baby boomers have largely left the workforce or are headed in that direction. While many retirees continue to work, others are engaged in a traditional retirement wherein they can travel, explore personal interests or enjoy leisure time. These “traditional” retirees have a unique set of needs: from healthcare and housing to leisure, travel and consumer goods choices. Medical science technology is a critical need, in addition to regular retail technology that might improve quality of life. Boomers tend towards spending for a better life experience rather than acquisition of material goods, which implies a higher demand for specialized services associated with regular consumer products. A huge population segment, this aging group of Canadians will continue to have a major impact on our communities, housing, healthcare, retail, and investment landscape as they seek interesting life experiences and more comfortable daily living.

Online shopping

Amazon reported $5.6 billion in profit in 20171, a year in which they bought Whole Foods, saw Amazon Prime and virtual assistant Alexa take off, and introduced a number of other consumer and tech innovations. While taking a step into bricks-and-mortar retail with the purchase of Whole Foods, as well as the introduction of cashierless Amazon Go shops, this e-commerce giant continues to grow. Drone delivery is said to be coming very soon. Meanwhile, bricks-and-mortar retail giant Wal-Mart continues to fight for a space in the online retail world, both through their own website and by purchasing Jet.com in 2016. Their profits are also extremely high, and their online market is growing. It’s a battle that has yet to play out, but a few things are certain: the online shopping trend puts both of these stocks on our watchlist and consumer reaction will determine our approach.

Wealth today is important, but we understand that success needs to last well beyond this year or next. Our wealth management strategies are designed to help clients preserve and grow their investments, enabling them to live their preferred lifestyle now and in retirement and beyond. So while we’re very tuned into the investment landscape around us today, our eyes are always looking towards how the future will play out. That’s how we help clients create a long-term lasting legacy that can be passed on for generations.


1 https://newrepublic.com/article/147249/amazon-big-tax