Causes for concern within the global economy are currently in plentiful supply, both for individual and institutional investors. The constantly talked about threat of a deeper global downturn, Brexit uncertainties, the US-China trade war and different regional tensions are just a few of the factors contributing to a real sense of volatility.
There are, nonetheless, plenty of good opportunities available for savvy and well-informed investors, ranging from new areas of investment to companies that are democratising access to products that had been unreachable for individuals. These investors are stepping ahead of the pack and deriving higher and more reliable returns.
“We are quite clearly living in fast-changing times,” says Tim Corcoran, chief executive at Master Investor, the largest private investor show in Europe, which will take place in March 2020. “Investors may be concerned about uncertainty and volatility, but there are actually plenty of good opportunities and mitigation strategies available.”
For some investors, a desire for better growth is focusing their attention on precious metals, where prices have been increasing. On the other hand, entirely fresh fields of investment are currently opening up and presenting additional huge opportunities.
“Cutting edge science is creating some amazing new possibilities,” says Mr Corcoran. Among the most notable developments is the field of longevity, where researchers are making progress experimenting with ways of slowing, halting or even reversing the effects of ageing. “Any company making improvements to people’s lifespans would be expected to derive substantial financial returns, so investors are beginning to really look into this area.” At the event, the chief executives of longevity pioneers such as Juvenescence and AgeX Therapeutics will be speaking.
The Master Investor 2020 show will also be looking at the cannabis market, which is taking off rapidly in recreational and medical terms in North America, and growing across Europe with notable health and wellness applications. Equally, the show will have a focus on areas such as ‘clean meat’, whereby meat products are grown in laboratories rather than as livestock. Not only are these foods environmentally friendly but they are also suitable for vegans, whose buying habits represent a burgeoning consumer market.
There will also be a substantial focus on how to invest strategically to achieve long term growth. Executives from large funds such as BlackRock and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust will be speaking in sessions around such strategies, following highly positive feedback from their talks at last year’s event. Meanwhile, respected entrepreneur and investor Jim Mellon will take to the main stage to share his latest thoughts on thematic investing and the key trends he sees having an impact over the coming years.
Attendees of the Master Investor 2020 event are expected to include investors ranging from those simply looking to grow their money more quickly now, to those looking to better shape their own retirement plans. Increased access to new retirement funds and the relatively low returns on offer through traditional investment vehicles are encouraging interest in emerging companies. In addition to those factors, new technology is becoming much more readily available to individual investors looking for access to new ways to boost their income and balance their portfolio of investments.
For private investors of all types, new technology opens up entirely new markets that would have been inaccessible even just a few years ago. Mr Corcoran gives the example of FinecoBank, whose head of brokerage will be speaking at the event. The company enables investors to buy shares in companies trading in different parts of the world, including on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where some of the world’s biggest cannabis companies are currently trading.
“FinecoBank is an Italian company that has launched a trading platform that makes it incredibly easy for private investors to tap into foreign markets’ stocks and shares,” Mr Corcoran says. “To buy shares in a Canadian company, for example, is traditionally very difficult from outside, but that’s no longer a problem and the resulting opportunities are clear to see.”
Another important part of the picture for contemporary private investors is cutting edge platforms. These include NetWealth, which supports users in balancing their portfolios and making the right choices in line with their risk appetites. Meanwhile, UK-based WiseAlpha is enabling individuals to invest on a microscale in corporate and high-yield bonds, which until now had been solely the preserve of major investment funds. WiseAlpha will host the FintechWise stage at Master Investor 2020, with talks ranging from how technology is democratising financial services, to how pension providers are harnessing new systems to help people improve retirement planning.
Master Investor 2020, which takes place on 28 March at the Business Design Centre in London, will feature over 100 discussion opportunities and exhibitors from industry experts to a large number of listed and unlisted companies, funds and trusts. “Investors can engage with people from these companies and learn about future developments, opportunities and strategies,” he says. “The show is a rare chance to deeply understand new areas of growth and meet the people making the difference.”
Tickets for Master Investor 2020 are available now from masterinvestorshow-2020.reg.buzz and for a short time they are free to anyone using the code ST100WA