We’ve heard it all before – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate how the pandemic has prompted a seismic shift in public behaviour, as it’s impacted all our lives. Appreciation of this major shift in the way we live our lives should also translate to our investment choices, making them a prime consideration when evaluating future prospective investment opportunities.
In the mix – socioeconomic trends
For many, especially early on, the pandemic served a slower pace of life, it has also considerably accelerated various socioeconomic trends that have been simmering away under the societal surface for many years. The most obvious example of this being the shift to flexible working practices, suddenly propelled to the fore. The past year has made everyone see that workplace presenteeism isn’t always necessary. Companies in traditional offices were forced to send their employees home to work remotely, and many will continue to work from home long after the pandemic is over. This trend will impact business interaction, travel, commuting, commercial property, and city centres, and spending will move to the suburbs.
The acceleration of digitalisation
Another key trend accentuated by the pandemic has been the intense acceleration of the shift to digitalisation. The massive growth in e-commerce, for instance, has resulted in those businesses with superior online offerings gaining greater competitive advantage. The shift to online shopping has been evident across the age range, as older consumers increasingly turned to e-commerce to avoid leaving home.
Socially responsible investing
The pandemic has reinforced the immediate importance of sustainability and corporate governance issues. Greater focus has been placed on wellbeing and how businesses treat both their employees and suppliers. As a result, governance and sustainability issues have been catapulted up the corporate agenda.